- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Earth science is geology and more; it provides foundational knowledge of how our planet works and applies knowledge of the natural process of global change to understanding our current environmental conditions.
The earth sciences major at WSU prepares you with the skills to engage in some of our most challenging problems, such as responsible exploration for and extraction and use of natural resources, understanding consequences of global climate change, and reducing human suffering and property loss from natural hazards.
In the integrated curriculum of WSU’s School of the Environment, you’ll explore and understand the Earth’s physical and environmental processes. Along the way, you’ll have unbeatable opportunities to experience the latest science and technology. With WSU professors as your mentors, you can even conduct your own research.
- Strengths of the program
Get hands-on experience and learn from leading researchers in science labs and teaching programs like these:
- GeoAnalytical Laboratory
- Astrobiology Laboratory
- Computational Geodynamic Laboratory
Work closely with professors who are nationally recognized experts in:
- Geochemistry of large volcanic eruptions
- Exploration of chemical weathering on ecology, hydrology, geochemistry, and microbiology
- Hydrothermal systems
- Magma genesis in volcanic settings and rifting events
- Chemical and physical evolution of the Earth
Study at numerous nearby field sites such as the Columbia River Basalt plateau, Idaho and Wallowa batholiths, Cascade volcanoes, and local groundwater sources.
Benefit from an integrated School of the Environment curriculum- you learn to consider Earth Science from all angles.
Expand your experience through the department's close ties with the Department of Geology at University of Idaho.
- Core courses and curriculum
As an Earth sciences major, you take core courses in:
- Earth’s history and evolution
- Mineralogy and crystallography
- Sedimentary and igneous petrology
- Water and environmental geology
- Geologic structures
- Field geology (field camp)
In addition to a solid grounding in the fundamentals of geology, you will have plenty of opportunities to dive deeper into the topics that interest you most. A few of the topics you could focus on:
- Global climate change
- Geophysics or geochemistry
- Economic geology
See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
For all students at WSU
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, you'll need to do these two things:
- Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.
For students in Earth sciences and geology
Students in majors offered by the School of the Environment can be considered for scholarships from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources, and the School of the Environment.
All students must apply through the WSU General Scholarship Appliction. The School of the Environment will use this universal application to evaluate recipients for scholarship awards. The deadline for applying is January 31 of each year.
A listing of scholarships specific to the School of the Environment may be found on the School of the Environment website: http://environment.wsu.edu. These scholarships range in qualification criteria, so when answering questions or checking off categories, be specific.
- Suggested preparation for incoming students
Students who become Earth science majors often enjoy:
- Science and math, especially physical and Earth sciences
- Hands-on learning
- Working outdoors
- Applying analytical techniques to solving practical problems
- Making a difference in the real world
High school preparation should emphasize biological/physical sciences, mathematics, communication, reading/reasoning, and computer literacy.
If you plan to transfer from another college, we recommend completing some of these prerequisites before transferring:
- Mathematics through pre-calculus or calculus
- One year of general chemistry
- One year of general biology
- One year of physics
- One year of English/communication
This will give you a good start on the curriculum and reduce the time it takes to graduate. Please check the WSU Transfer Equivalency site or contact us to verify courses.
- Sample career options in Earth sciences
An Earth sciences degree prepares you for jobs such as these in the public sector and in private industry.
- Exploration geoscientist
- Petroleum or mining geologist
- Planetary geologist