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Academic Programs (old nov 22 2021)

The Department of Geosciences offers a suite of STEM-centered programs for students who want to develop skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, technical communication, and data analysis techniques by studying Earth’s processes and properties.  Graduates of each program can take new knowledge bases and skill sets to professional careers in natural resources or environmental sciences, advanced studies in graduate school, or any future where scientific thinking is used.

Our students not only learn current concepts and practices in Earth Science, but have opportunities to generate new knowledge by working alongside accomplished faculty researchers. Research experiences, internships, and experiential learning are integral components of the learning experiences that we offer.

Undergraduate Degrees

We offer a B.S. degree, as well as several minors and certificates. Click a program to get more information, including the degree learning outcomes, the program coordinator, and application requirements.

For undergraduate advising please contact Karen Viskupic at

Undergraduate Major and MinorsProgram Outcome
B.S. in GeosciencesPrepare students for professional careers in natural resources or environmental sciences, graduate school for advanced studies, or any future where scientific thinking is used. The four degree track options are geology, geophysics, hydrology, and secondary education.
Minor in Climate StudiesHelp students understand past, present, current, and future changes in climate and the effects of climate change on Earth's atmospheric, hydrologic and ecologic systems.
Minor in GeologyAcquire advanced knowledge of geology and earth system science in addition to their major area of study area
Minor in GeophysicsAcquire advanced knowledge of geophysics and earth system science in addition to their major area of study area
Minor in HydrologyAcquire advanced knowledge of hydrology and earth system science in addition to their major area of study area
Minor in Geospatial Information AnalysisEquip students to apply geospatial technologies towards solving problems with spatial elements.

Graduate Degrees

We offer several graduate degrees listed below.  Degree learning outcomes, application information, and degree requirements can be found in the Gradate College online catalog under the Geosciences link. M.S and Ph.D. degrees require completion of a prescribed course of study in the specific field, and completion of original research that leads to a thesis or dissertation under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The M. Earth Science degree is a course-based program that does not require a thesis or dissertation. Interested students are encouraged to potential faculty advisors prior to applying to the program.

Our Graduate Student Handbook contains up-to-date contact information for each program.

Apply here for all programs.

For further about all programs contact Susan Hamblin at

M.S. and Ph.D. Geoscience degrees are flexible degrees that allow students to pursue coursework and research in broad disciplines that may not fall within other degrees. A Geology emphasis can be earned within this degree by following a prescribed set of courses. The Geology emphasis focuses on the physical and chemical properties of the solid earth and the processes responsible for its origin and evolution.

M.S. and Ph.D. Geophysics degrees focus on the integration of geoscience, mathematics, and physics to understand the Earth’s properties.

M.S. Hydrologic Science focuses on the understanding the movement and occurrence of water in the environment, and the interaction of water with geological, biological, and human systems.

M. Earth Science is a professional course-based degree with emphasis areas in hydrology, geology, and geophysics that does not require a thesis. Advanced courses and a portfolio prepare students to enter the workforce at a higher level than what can typically be achieved with a B.S degree.


Endorsements and Certificates

The Department of Geosciences also offers a number of professional certificates and teaching endorsements below. See the online catalog under the Geosciences link for requirements.

Geographic Information Systems Graduate CertificateEllyn Enderlin
Earth Science Teaching Endorsement MinorKaren Viskupic
Geography Teaching EndorsementKaren Viskupic
Natural Science Teaching EndorsementKaren Viskupic