Earth Sciences: Geology 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. Geology track students focus on the composition of rocks and minerals that are relevant for natural resources, hazards, and sustainability by combining field investigations, laboratory exercises, and theoretical studies. Research-oriented projects expose students to geologic concepts that combine chemical and physical processes and the summer field camp is a capstone experience that enables students to integrate their curriculum in a diverse suite of projects.
Top Five
Reasons to Study
This Major
  1. Understand the world around you and the earth beneath your feet.

  2. Learn through field investigations and hands-on lab experiences.

  3. Explore earth processes and the geologic record.

  4. Develop technological skills for cutting-edge research.

  5. Think critically about data and complex concepts related to hazards.

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

Hydrologic technician

Exploration geologist

Field engineer

Environmental technician


Project geologist

Courses You
May Need

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

2nd Year
GEOL 315, 316, 363; MATH 251, 252

3rd Year
GEOL 331, 332, 334, 350

4th Year
GEOL 418 and electives

Major Credits
Required 86 credits
Electives 20 credits

Total 106 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

Geology of the Earth

Science policy

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

Mineralogy and Petrology [Earth Sciences]

Sedimentology and Stratigraphy [Earth Sciences]

Computational Tools for Earth Sciences [Earth Sciences]

Earth Physics [Earth Sciences]

Geologic Hazards [Earth Sciences]

Structural Geology [Earth Sciences]

Advanced Geographic Information Systems [Geography]
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