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Environmental Geoscience B.S.

Know your planet, inside and out. Study how Earth’s surface environments are an interconnected series of complex systems and prepare to dive into the challenges of global environmental change.
Student presenting at the SOURCE Symposium.

About this Program

  • Learn from expert faculty in geochemistry, geophysics, hydrology and geology.
  • Jump into faculty-guided research via laboratory, computational or field studies.
  • Graduate with distinction in environmental geoscience by maintaining a strong GPA and completing a research-based senior thesis project under the supervision of a faculty member.
  • Join UGoGeo, an active community of undergraduate geoscience majors.
  • Take advantage of a study abroad option in New Zealand that is well integrated with the major.
  • Prepare for careers across the spectrum of the environmental sciences: monitoring, remediation and regulation associated with positions in private corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
  • Participate in faculty-led field excursions to unique parts of the world.
  • The B.S. in environmental geosciences is the perfect base major for the science-minded student looking to understand the complexities of policy through the environment, sustainability and policy integrated learning major.
  • Students have the option to join the Environment and Sustainability Living Learning Community.

Program Information

Degree Type






College or School

Career Path

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College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is Syracuse University’s first and largest college. As the home of the liberal arts, our internationally recognized programs provide the cornerstone of a Syracuse University education with 50+ majors in the natural sciences and mathematics, the humanities and the social sciences (in partnership with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs).
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The major’s foundation includes courses in chemistry, biology and math; core courses in environmental geosciences, plus skill-based courses in field methods and data analysis. Subsequent, upper-level courses span three major areas within the field: environmental data analysis, surface processes and climate and energy.

  • Explain process-based linkages connecting lithosphere, climate, water and life as illustrated by the Earth system over time.
  • Analyze and interpret general patterns in the history of the Earth-life system using geological records.
  • Describe local and global patterns of climate change and understand both spatial and temporal drivers of the climate system.
  • Infer Earth surface processes and environments and characterize ecosystem properties from field, lab and data-driven observations of sedimentary systems.
  • Use analytical, remote sensing and/or numerical tools to characterize hydrologic systems in the surface and/or subsurface.
  • Effectively synthesize published literature related to Earth and environmental sciences in a written report and/or a data product.
  • Develop written and verbal communication skills required to effectively convey science to a wide range of audiences.

  • History of Earth and Life
  • Environmental Aqueous Geochemistry
  • Earth Science of Energy
  • Hydrogeology
  • Applications of GIS in Earth Sciences

Extracurricular Opportunities

Campus facilities

Heroy Geology Laboratory

Dedicated spaces on campus, including the Heroy Geology Laboratory, offer state-of-the art laboratory and computing facilities that allow for sophisticated analytical and numerical study of Earth systems.

Large image of Earth hanging in foyer of Heroy Geological Laboratory

K.D. Nelson Lecture Series

Almost every week, attend a lecture by a visiting scientist as part of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences’ lecture series. This will often provide insights into the kinds of research and developments that are at the cutting edge of environmental geoscience.

Study abroad opportunity

Frontiers Abroad: Earth Science

Spend a semester abroad in New Zealand with either a geological or environmental focus. Participate in a five- to six-week field camp and take four courses at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. One of those courses will be a research methods course, using data collected during your field experience.

Students sitting on a brown, grassy hill in New Zealand.

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