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​Earth Sciences

If you want to understand the nature and evolution of our planet, consider a major in Earth sciences.

You’ll gain an understanding of natural hazards, assess Earth’s climate variability and global change, predict the migration of man-made pollutants, and explore for the energy and mineral resources upon which society depends.

Consider Earth sciences as your major if you are intrigued by these questions:

  • How was planet Earth formed?
  • What surface and internal processes have shaped the Earth?
  • How has life evolved on Earth?
  • Why are there earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain chains, continents, and oceans?
  • How has the surface of the Earth changed over time?

About the College of Arts and Sciences

The founding college of Syracuse University remains at the center of undergraduate learning. The College is divided into the natural sciences and mathematics, the humanities, and the social sciences, with the lattermost offered in partnership with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.


Sample courses include:

  • Dynamic Earth
  • Introductory Geology Lab
  • Hydroecology
  • Structural Geology
  • Introduction to Paleobiology
  • Paleolimnology

View official B.A. requirements.

Practical Experience

In addition to coursework, the Earth sciences major provides extensive field and extracurricular opportunities so that you can earn hands-on experience in the industry.

  • There are many research opportunities for Earth sciences majors. You can work with a faculty member on a research project, conduct your own independent research, or via National Science Foundation funding, work with a group of students and a faculty member on a project.
  • Participate in a 4-6-week field camp which includes intensive field study including excursions to key geological sites, as well as geological mapping and related exercises. Field campus are held throughout the world in locations such as Wyoming, Iceland, Australia, South Africa, and Alaska.
  • Get involved with the Geology Club, which divides their time among social, service, and education events, including hiking in the Adirondacks and spring break in Carlsbad Caverns and the Guadalupe Mountains in New Mexico.

Study Abroad

Broaden your perspective and enhance your resume with a study abroad experience during your college years. Consistently ranked among the top 25 international education providers in the U.S., Syracuse Abroad has more than 100 programs in 60 countries.

Earth sciences majors most often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in Florence and Strasbourg, and to our World Partner programs Frontiers Abroad (Christchurch, New Zealand), SEA Semester, and the University of Queensland.

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in earth sciences, you’ll be prepared for careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Geology
  • Hydrology
  • Paleontology
  • Oceanography
  • Climate and environmental sciences

Or pursue a graduate degree. Recent graduates of the program have attended some of the top graduate schools in the U.S.