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Departments & Programs



Faculty and students in our department work to understand the world in which we live by understanding and quantifying the processes that deform the Earth’s crust and shape its surface; interpreting the sedimentary, geochemical, and fossil records of earth history; determining thephysical and chemical properties of earth materials; and using detailed geo- and thermochronology to better understand the evolution of the earth over geological timescales.

Graduate Education

Graduate Studies in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences (GES) involve academic course work and independent research. Students are prepared for careers as professional scientists in research, education, or the application of the earth sciences to mineral, energy, and water resources. Programs lead to the M.S., Engineer, and Ph.D. degrees. Course programs in the areas of faculty interest are tailored to the student's needs and interests with the aid of his or her research adviser. Students are encouraged to include in their program courses offered in other departments in the School of Earth Sciences as well as in other departments in the University.

Learn more about the GES graduate degree program

Undergraduate Education

The purpose of the undergraduate program in Geological and Environmental Sciences is to provide students with (1) a broad background in the fundamentals of the Earth sciences and (2) the quantitative, analytical, and communications skills necessary to conduct research and think critically about questions involving the Earth. The major provides excellent preparation for graduate school and careers in geological and environmental consulting, land use and planning, law, teaching, and other professions in which an understanding of the Earth and a background in science are important.

Learn more about the GES Undergraduate degree program