Earth Science BA/BS

The Earth Science major provides a broad-based science education with focus on Earth’s systems, including the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Students gain an understanding of the major features of each of these systems with foundational courses in Earth system science, environmental earth science, historical geology, and earth materials. Elective courses in the program include hydrogeology, structural field geology, geographic information systems, geochemistry, ecology, and field biology. Students can opt to participate in internships, research projects, or serve as teaching assistants. The program prepares students for a wide variety of careers in the private and government sectors including the fields of environmental science, geotechnical services, natural hazards mitigation, mining and petroleum industries, and resource management. It also provides an excellent foundation for students interested in continuing their education with graduate work in the natural sciences. Students may complete additional courses required for secondary teaching certification.

The goals of the Earth Science program are to provide students with learning experiences in the classroom, laboratory, and field so that they are well-prepared to:

  • Understand the major features and processes in Earth’s systems and the interrelationships between them;
  • Understand the interactions between Earth systems and human society;
  • Apply geoscience knowledge and critical thinking skills to identify and address a variety of Earth science problems;
  • Understand field research techniques and be able to critically interpret geologic phenomena in the field;
  • Apply scientific methods with clearly articulated hypotheses and understand the fundamentals of collecting and applying data to test hypotheses;
  • Communicate in a scientifically effective manner, in both oral and written form.

General Education Requirements

Written Communication
Select one of the following:6.00
WRITING AND RHETORIC I
and WRITING AND RHETORIC II
COLLEGE WRITING AND RESEARCH
Oral Communication
Select one from the following:3.00
FUNDAMENTALS OF ORAL COMMUNICATION
SMALL GROUP COMMUNICATION
PUBLIC SPEAKING
Mathematical Ways of Knowing
Select one of the following:3.00-5.00
COLLEGE ALGEBRA
COLLEGE ALGEBRA AND TRIGONOMETRY
CALCULUS I
Humanistic & Artistic Ways of Knowing
Select one course from two categories:6.00-8.00
Literature
LITERATURE AND IDEAS
WORLD CLASSICS
INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE
MYTHOLOGIES
Arts
INTRODUCTION TO ART
THE ART AND HISTORY OF THE MOTION PICTURE
INTRODUCTION TO THE ARTS
SURVEY OF MUSIC
MUSIC IN AMERICA
WORLD MUSIC
HISTORY OF MUSICAL THEATER
HISTORY OF JAZZ AND POPULAR MUSIC STYLES
SURVEY OF THE THEATER
Language
ELEMENTARY NEZ PERCE LANGUAGE I
ELEMENTARY NEZ PERCE LANGUAGE II
ELEMENTARY SPANISH I
ELEMENTARY SPANISH II
Scientific Ways of Knowing
Select two of the following:8.00
PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY I
GENERAL PHYSICS I
ENGINEERING PHYSICS I
Social & Behavioral Ways of Knowing
Select one course from two disciplines:6.00
CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
WORLD PREHISTORY
INTRODUCTION TO NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES
PRINCIPLES OF MACROECONOMICS
PRINCIPLES OF MICROECONOMICS
INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHY
WORLD HISTORY I
WORLD HISTORY II
UNITED STATES HISTORY I
UNITED STATES HISTORY II
DIVERSITY IN ORGANIZATIONS
HUMAN RELATIONS IN ORGANIZATIONS
AMERICAN NATIONAL GOVERNMENT
INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT
INTRODUCTION TO GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
LIFESPAN DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
SOCIAL PROBLEMS
DIVERSITY IN ORGANIZATIONS
HUMAN RELATIONS IN ORGANIZATIONS
Diversity
Select one of the following:3.00-4.00
CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
WORLD PREHISTORY
INTRODUCTION TO NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES
RACE AND ETHNICITY
COMMUNICATION AND DIVERSITY
INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE
NATIVE AMERICAN WRITTEN LITERATURE
INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHY
WORLD HISTORY I
WORLD HISTORY II
UNITED STATES HISTORY I
UNITED STATES HISTORY II
DIVERSITY IN ORGANIZATIONS
ETHICS AND IDENTITY
SOCIAL-CULTURAL ASPECTS OF SPORTS
ELEMENTARY NEZ PERCE LANGUAGE I
ELEMENTARY NEZ PERCE LANGUAGE II
COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT
INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
ELEMENTARY SPANISH I
ELEMENTARY SPANISH II
INTERMEDIATE SPANISH I
INTERMEDIATE SPANISH II
Integrative Seminar: Ethics & Values
Select one of the following:3.00
ID 300A - 300Z (see course descriptions for options)
HELLS CANYON INSTITUTE
Foreign/Heritage Language
Select 16 credits of language if selecting Bachelor of Arts Degree16.00
Total Credits38.00-43.00

Program Requirements

Major Courses
CHEM-112PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY II4.00
GEOL-101PHYSICAL GEOLOGY4.00
or GEOL-120 INTRODUCTION TO EARTH SYSTEMS
GEOL-202HISTORICAL GEOLOGY4.00
GEOL-313EARTH MATERIALS I4.00
GEOL-314EARTH MATERIALS II4.00
GEOL-450EARTH SYSTEMS CAPSTONE3.00
GEOL-491WORKSHOP IN GEOLOGY1.00
CALCULUS I (Required if not taken as core)
PHYS-205DESCRIPTIVE ASTRONOMY4.00
PHYS-112GENERAL PHYSICS II4.00
or PHYS-212 ENGINEERING PHYSICS II
Electives
Select 4 credits of GEOL or GIS 200 level or higher4.00
Select 7 credits of GEOL or GIS 300 level or higher7.00
Select 39 elective credits39.00
Total Credits82.00

Sequential Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
CHEM-111 PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY I 4.00
CORESocial & Behavioral Ways of Knowing 3.00
ENGL-101 WRITING AND RHETORIC I 3.00
GEOL-101
PHYSICAL GEOLOGY
or INTRODUCTION TO EARTH SYSTEMS
4.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
 Credits17.00
Spring
ENGL-102 WRITING AND RHETORIC II 3.00
COREOral Communication 3.00
CHEM-112 PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY II 4.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
 Credits13.00
Second Year
Fall
COREHumanistic & Artistic Ways of Knowing 3.00
COREMATH-143, MATH-147 or MATH-170 3.00-5.00
PHYS-111
GENERAL PHYSICS I
or ENGINEERING PHYSICS I
4.00-5.00
Program RequirementSelect GEOL or GIS course 200 level or above 4.00
 Credits14.00-17.00
Spring
COREHumanistic & Artistic Ways of Knowing 3.00
GEOL-202 HISTORICAL GEOLOGY 4.00
PHYS-112
GENERAL PHYSICS II
or ENGINEERING PHYSICS II
4.00-5.00
Program RequirementSelect GEOL or GIS course 200 level or above 4.00
 Credits15.00-16.00
Third Year
Fall
CORESocial & Behavioral Ways of Knowing 3.00
GEOL-313 EARTH MATERIALS I 4.00
PHYS-205 DESCRIPTIVE ASTRONOMY 4.00
Program RequirementSelect GEOL or GIS course 200 level or above 3.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
 Credits17.00
Spring
COREDiversity 3.00
COREIntegrative Seminar: Ethics & Values 3.00
GEOL-314 EARTH MATERIALS II 4.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
 Credits16.00
Fourth Year
Fall
GEOL-491 WORKSHOP IN GEOLOGY 1.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
 Credits13.00
Spring
GEOL-450 EARTH SYSTEMS CAPSTONE 3.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
ElectiveElective Credits 3.00
 Credits15.00
 Total Credits120.00-124.00

Graduates with a BA/BS in Earth Science go on to obtain careers in a variety of fields:

  • Resources
  • Landscape
  • Astrogeology and Space Sciences
  • Education
  • Minerals
  • Geologic Mapping
  • Hazards

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