Earth Sciences: Environmental Geoscience Track (ERTH)

Students in the Department of Earth Sciences learn about the minerals, rocks, soil, ice, biota, and waters that compose the Earth, and the processes that shape the Earth from its interior to the surface. Environmental Geoscience track students focus on building a deep understanding of physical, chemical, and biological processes in the environment, specifically those related to environmental quality and the sustainability of soil and water resources. Students perform field investigations, experiments, and computational analyses to test models and concepts related to natural hazards and climate change.
Top Five
Reasons to Study
This Major
  1. Understand the world around you and the earth beneath your feet.

  2. Explore environmental science through field, lab, and computational exercises.

  3. Learn data analysis using real-world datasets.

  4. Develop technological skills for cutting-edge research.

  5. Prepare yourself for practical careers or further academic study.

College of Arts and Sciences
Where Can I Go?

Students in Earth Sciences may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS), a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS), or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Earth Sciences provides students with a foundation for employment in:

Federal, state, and local government

Research laboratories and institutes

Energy industries

Public works departments

Geological surveys

Environmental consulting firms

Land use planning agencies

Nonprofit organizations


Colleges and universities
Alumni Jobs



Engineering geologist


Data scientist

Environmental science technician

Soil scientist

Natural hazards analyst

Courses You
May Need

1st Year
GEOL 201, 202, 203; PHYS 201, 202; CHEM 221, 222

2nd Year
GEOL 311, 315, 363; MATH 251, 252

3rd Year
GEOL 316, 318, track electives

4th Year
GEOL 316, 318, track electives

Major Credits
Required 60 credits
Electives 44 credits

Total 104 credits

Core Education Requirements

BS or BA Degree Minimum = 180 credits.

Core Education is approximately 71—83 credits depending on transfer credits and placement scores and requires courses in:


Math and/or CS (BS) or Language (BA)

US: Difference, Inequality, Agency

Global Perspectives

Areas of Inquiry in:

Arts and Letters

Social Science / Science
What Will I Learn?

Land use and change

Natural resource management

Natural hazard assessment

Climate change science

Science policy and communication

Field-based skills

Technical writing

Data analysis
Experiential learning opportunities

Numerous faculty conduct field-based research that rely on undergraduate help

Numerous faculty conduct laboratory experiments that need undergraduate assistance

Field-based courses and field trips throughout the academic year [e.g., Field methods]

Field camp in the summer

Hands-on learning through software and remote-sensing technologies
Specialized Courses

Geomorphology [Earth Sciences]

Oceanography [Earth Sciences]

Soil Science [Environmental Science]

Computational Tools for Earth Sciences [Earth Sciences]

Advanced Geographic Information Systems [Geography)

Earth Monitoring [Earth Sciences]

Geobiology [Earth Sciences]
Add A Minor Or Certificate

Environmental Studies

Computer Information Technology



Contact Us

Tykeson College and Career Advising

An equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This publication will be made available in accessible formats upon request. © 2020 University of Oregon. Revised: 8/11/2020