The Earth and planetary sciences use diverse and
interdisciplinary approaches to the study of complex
physical, chemical, and biological processes occurring
on and within the earth. The undergraduate program combines
fundamental backgrounds in mathematics, physics, and
chemistry with courses applying these techniques to
geological problems. Undergraduates are encouraged to
select individual programs reflecting their scientific
interests and career goals, whether graduate study in
the earth sciences, professional employment, or advanced
study in areas such as management or law.
Undergraduates are involved in the full spectrum of
departmental activities beyond class work: research,
seminars, field trips, and social functions. The resulting
educational environment offers unusual opportunities
for motivated and interested students.
Our educational goals are twofold: to train active research
scientists with broad, interdisciplinary skills; and
to provide majors pursuing careers outside the laboratory with the analytical skills and scientific literacy that will enable them to succeed in a variety of professions.
We maintain a strong program in graduate education.
The graduate program is designed to allow students flexibility
in shaping their education to their individual interests,
and to maximize their involvement in research throughout
their graduate careers. Students routinely present papers
at national and international scientific meetings, and
publish in professional journals.
Our undergraduate-major program, although small in numbers,
shares many of the same characteristics, with students actively participating
in research, occasionally reaching the stage of professional
publication, and often electing to pursue graduate education
in the Earth and planetary sciences.