What Can I Do with a Major in Earth Science?

Earth Science is an all-encompassing term for the sciences related to the planet Earth. Earth science includes the study of the solid earth (the lithosphere), the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, including the oceans, and the biosphere. Typically, earth scientists use tools from geology, physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics to build a quantitative understanding of how Earth sytems work.

Earth Science majors*:

  • map and sample in complex settings
  • monitor and assess water quality
  • examine the structure and behavior of minerals
  • create numerical models
  • conduct environmental assessments

The Earth Science major prepares individuals for many different careers. Earth scientists are typically employed in consulting and planning firms, energy and mineral resources companies, as well as government agencies such as the National Park Service, environmental protection agencies, and health departments. They are also employed in schools and universities, a wide array of both small and large corporations, legal practices, non-profit organizations, and even the news media.

In recent years, about 30% of our graduates have furthered their education in graduate programs.

Career options for Earth Science graduates include**:

  • environmental consultant
  • materials analyst
  • geoscientist

Additional Resources

*This is a sample of specific skills (competencies) that Earth Science majors acquire; it is not a comprehensive list. Also note that these are in addition to the general skills that are common to all CAS majors.

**This is a sample of career options available to Earth Science majors; it is not a comprehensive list. Also note that some of the listed career options may require additional education and/or training beyond the bachelor's degree.