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Departments & Programs


Major & Minor

Why major in Geological & Environmental Sciences?

Many people think that the geological sciences involve just the study of rocks. In reality, the field is incredibly diverse. Majoring in GES provides you with the opportunity to focus your studies in:

  • Earth history and the evolution of life
  • the oceans and the atmosphere
  • the processes that shape the Earth's landscapes
  • the chemistry and physics of earth materials
  • sources of water, economic minerals, metals, and fuels
  • natural hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides
  • contamination of natural waterways and possibilities for mitigation
  • resource depletion and sustainable practices

Download the 2013-2014 GES Major and Minor Curriculum

Unique opportunities

Field trips: Stanford University's location near the Pacific coast, the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and the San Andreas fault system provides a fantastic setting for field studies, and most GES courses include field trips.

Research: Most of our majors take advantage of multiple opportunities to do in-depth research with a faculty member. Recent research projects have included everything from collecting coral samples in Hawaii to analyzing GIS data.

Career preparation: A GES major or minor prepares students for careers in environmental engineering, land use planning, law, public service, teaching, graduate studies in earth and environmental sciences, and other professions in which an understanding of the earth and a background in science are important.

Think you might be interested?

Click on the links below to get more information about

Or come by the office of the Undergraduate Program Director, Richard Nevle ( in Geocorner (Braun Hall), Room 112.

To declare:

  1. Come talk to us! Please come visit with Richard Nevle,
    the Undergraduate Program Director. He can help you choose a major
    advisor and map out a tentative course plan. We'll also add you to the
    GES undergraduates email list so that you can receive notices about
    upcoming events, seminars, and announcements.
  2. Log in to AXESS, follow the "Academics" link, then "Add a Major", and choose Geological and Environmental Sciences.