Washington State University

School of the Environment

Watershed Lab

Steffen Center


Earth Science/Geology

Earth Science/Geology



Earth Science studies provides basic knowledge of how our planet works and the natural process of global change in order to understand our current environmental predicament.

The Earth Science major prepares you with the skills needed to engage in some of our most challenging problems, such as:

  • Responsible exploration, extraction, and use of natural resources
  • Understanding consequences of global climate change
  • Reducing human suffering and property loss from natural hazards

With our integrated curriculum here in the School of the Environment you will be successful in the areas listed above and learn to:

  • Understand Earth Processes
  • Relate past global climate change and its causes and consequences
  • Use the latest science and technology to conduct your own research

The Earth Science major is flexible because it draws from courses in other diverse departments as well. As a result, you better understand the many connections between the natural processes on Earth, how they affect our environment and habitats, and how the planet works as a system.

Your Course of Study

You will begin your freshman year with general university requirements and a select curriculum with additional math and science courses that will help prepare you for the School of the Environment’s Core Curriculum.

Earth Science Major Core Courses
  • Introduction to Geology
  • Earth’s History and Evolution
  • Mineralogy and Crystallography
  • Water and the Earth
  • Sedimentary Petrology and Sedimentation
  • Igneous Petrology
  • Geologic Structures
  • Environmental Geology
  • Field Geology (Field Camp)

Your Junior and Senior Year you will have the option of taking numerous elective courses that focus on your area of specialization including:

  • Living on the Edge: Global Climate Change and Earth History
  • Geophysics
  • Astrobiology
  • Volcanologist
  • Introduction to Economic Geology
  • Groundwater
  • Introductory Geochemistry

With our many hands-on experiences including field trips, field camps, internships and research upon graduation you will be prepared to be an effective geologist, geochemist, exploration scientist (for petroleum, natural gas, and mineral deposits), geophysicists, paleontologist, climatologist, hydrologist, mineralogists, oceanographer or related career path.

geo_trip07Earth Science/Geology Advising Sheet

Strengths of Our Program

Get hands on experience while learning and working with leading researchers and labs such as:

Suggested Strengths and Interests for an Earth Science Major
  • Physical Sciences
  • Enjoy the outdoors/working outside
  • Traveling to diverse locations around the world
  • Multidisciplinary research
  • Applying research and analysis to solving problems.


School of the Environment, PO Box 642812, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-2812, 509-335-3009, Contact Us
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