Undergraduate Program in Geological Sciences

Earth & Planetary Sciences: 460

Earth & Planetary Sciences investigates processes controlling the evolution of the Earth, its environment, and life through time. The need to understand both history and process makes Earth & Planetary Sciences inherently interdisciplinary and our department is closely tied to Marine and Coastal Sciences (SEBS and SAS) and Environmental Sciences (SEBS). The Earth & Planetary Sciences major covers the core areas of Geological Sciences and still allows ample opportunity for students to specialize through additional courses in math and allied sciences. The major can be completed in three semesters once basic Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics courses are completed. Our majors enjoy employment opportunities in environmental and energy industries, as well as excellent placement in the top graduate programs in the country.

Learning Goals

Majors and Minors. Our majors and minors need to evaluate processes controlling the evolution of Earth, its environment, and life through time.  They should think in terms of interdisciplinary interactions of inquiry with scientific and societal relevance: global changes to the solid Earth and its environment, oceans, climate, and life; natural hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods, and landslides); natural resource exploration and management (hydrocarbons, ore minerals, groundwater); and planetary geology.  

Other Students. Students taking Geological Sciences classes for the general science requirement should develop an appreciation of critical thinking and the scientific method, including hypothesis testing. Students should appreciate the importance of earth sciences in understanding of the physical, social, and economic resources and history of our planet. One example: we would expect that any student successfully completing our courses should be able to critically evaluate scientific issues in earth systems discussed in the popular press.

Declaring a Major or Minor in Geological Sciences

To delcare a Major or Minor in Geological Sciences, an appoitment with the Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Dr. Gail Ashley, should be scheduled to discuss your intended program and potential course schedule. A Rutgers, School of Arts and Sciences Major and Minor Declaration/Change Form should be filled out, signed and approved by Dr. Ashley. The Major and Minor Declaration/Change Form is avaialble online at http://sasundergrad.rutgers.edu/academics/forms/majorminordec.pdf.

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