Undergraduate Programs

Earth and Environmental Scientists study the behavior and evolution of our planet, from the dawn of the solar system and the formation of the continents to the modern environments that sustain human civilization.

If you've asked yourself these questions, then our programs are for you!

  • Is my water safe to drink?
  • What is this rock?
  • Is there life on other planets?
  • Interested in core sciences (chemistry, physics, math)? Check these options.
  • What can I do and how much can I make after I graduate with one of these degrees?

We will help you find the answers!


Our programs emphasize applications of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and data science to understanding Earth and humans’ role within it. We offer four major programs, and two minor programs:

Studying the Earth is a quite a broad concept, as a result, there are many subdisciplines within the Earth and environmental sciences. To learn more about these subdisciplines, please visit What is Earth Science? and/or our Discover Our Research page.

Honors Programs

Student in the field methods class
Photo of class instruction on a frozen lake.

Outside the Classroom

Education outside the classroom provides valuable hands-on experiences that allow students to put what they learn into context and toward real-world issues.

  • Field experiences, whether as part of coursework, research, or trips for fun, give students the opportunity to see first-hand what they learn in the classroom. 
  • Research opportunities can include study in the field, laboratory, or computer programming.
  • Internship programs in academia and in industry.

Please explore "Outside the Classroom" experiences.


Our department has a vibrant social network. The undergraduate GeoClub (officially University of Minnesota Geological Society) is very involved in outreach, departmental committees, social activities, and fund raising for field trips and scholarship.

The department itself holds many social functions that allow for interaction with everyone in the department, from interns to emeritus professors.  These activities are both academic (weekly seminars) and for fun (departmental picnics). All are welcome!

Group photo from a picnic