BA in Environmental Geosciences

Environmental Geosciences is the study of the natural processes that control our environment and the associated impacts of human activities.

This major covers natural processes that have been modifying the planet over its entire history, but with a strong focus on understanding the modern system and how it has been affected by human activities. There is a focus on the interactions that occur between soil, water, air, natural resources, and people.

Students earning a degree in Environmental Geosciences will develop key observational and analytical skills that enable them to address fundamental questions about the functioning of geoscience systems, especially in relation to hydrology and water quality, soils, mineral resources, and climate change.

This major is particularly well suited to those interested in pursuing geoscience careers in environmental, geological and hydrogeological consulting, industry, and local, state, and federal government agencies.

More about the Environmental Geosciences Major

The BA in Environmental Geosciences

The College of Liberal Arts offers a bachelor of arts (BA) in Environmental Geosciences; it’s administered through the Earth & Environmental Sciences Department in the College of Science and Engineering, which also offers a bachelor of science (BS) in Environmental Geosciences. This may be confusing, so here we explain the similarities and differences between the two options.

  • The BA and BS are equally challenging. The major courses are the same for both degrees and students from both take their classes together. The pre-requisite courses to enter the major are the same.
  • Admissions to the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science & Engineering are different; you might get into one college but not the other.
  • The structure of the degrees are slightly different. The BA has more flexibility if you want to pursue multiple interests, allowing space in your degree plan for breadth and depth; the BS degree program offers opportunities to take additional earth science courses.
  • The BA degree requires proficiency in a second language.

Requirements for the BA

The Liberal Arts Advantage

Students who choose the BA degree have the option to add relevant minors to their major and their electives will help them develop skills that employers look for, above and beyond technical skills developed in the major courses. These core career competencies include:

CLA's Core Career Competencies
  • Analytical & Critical Thinking
  • Applied Problem Solving
  • Ethical Reasoning & Decision Making
  • Innovation & Creativity
  • Oral & Written Communication
  • Teamwork & Leadership
  • Engaging Diversity
  • Active Citizenship & Community Engagement
  • Digital Literacy
  • Career Management

Consider your own interests and career goals and consult with an advisor when deciding whether to apply to the College of Liberal Arts (for the BA) or College of Science & Engineering (for the BS). Both degrees will prepare you well for your future.