What Can I Do With a Major In Earth Sciences?

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Marlena Yang

Career Counselor

Major Information

Earth Sciences majors go on to successful careers in academics, research, politics, government, industry, publishing, the arts, and much more. An Earth Science degree is available through the College of Science & Engineering (CSE) or the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). The requirements for these programs are similar. Talk to an adviser to learn more and to choose which program is right for you.

All liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and earth sciences majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include:

  • Critical thinking and evaluation skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong research skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Ability to gather, assess and interpret data
  • An understanding of the composition of the Earth and the processes that operate on it
  • Ability to read maps and aerial photography
  • Ability to identify rocks and minerals                   

Interest Code: IRS

Internship & Job Search Websites

Student Groups

Professional Organizations

Career Options

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although, keep in mind that there are earth sciences alumni in all eight of the career fields).  For more career information for earth sciences majors, utilize these additional resources:

  • What Can I Do With This Major - Find information about common career paths, employers, and strategies for how to build experience in different career fields
  • LinkedIn's Alumni Tool - Explore thousands of alumni career pathways
  • GoldPASS - Explore different job, internship, and volunteer opportunities as well as career events on campus

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Healthcare & Science


  • Engineering Intern, Cirrus Aircraft
  • Research Assistant, Structure, Tectonics, and Metamorphic Petrology Lab
  • Intern, The Sigma Group
  • Hydrologic Technician, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Hyrogeology Intern, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • Research Intern, NASA Planetary Biology Internship Program


  • Geologist, Basin Geologic Consulting, Inc.
  • Engineering Technician, Northern Technologies, Inc.
  • Mineral Exploration Geologist, Pathfinder Mineral Services
  • Hydrogeologist, Stanec


  • Clastic Reservoir Geologist, Badley Ashton
  • Geophysicist, Amec Foster Wheeler*
  • Assistant Scientist, Science Museum of Minnesota*
  • Research Reservoir Engineer*
  • Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey*

Graduate Programs

  • MS Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin
  • MS Water Resources Science, University of Minnesota
  • MS Geosciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • MS Geological and Earth Sciences, University of Minnesota
  • PHD Geological and Earth Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin