Earth Sciences Degree Programs

Geological Sciences Field Experience students in working group

Welcome to the community of students who study the Earth system and the processes that have changed the planet and our environment over time!


Whether you are in our undergraduate or graduate program, the Department of Earth Sciences (ES) offers students the opportunity to discover the Earth while participating in several different degree programs or minors. Students learn in the classroom, in the lab, and out in the field. Earth science is inherently multidisciplinary so our graduates are well equipped to tackle complex problems, including environmental and resource problems affecting human society.

Undergraduate Majors

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJOR REQUIREMENT:

Geology Field Experience  

In a Geological Sciences Field Experience students apply their knowledge obtained in the classroom to geological problems in the field involving time, space, and process. The Geological Sciences Field Experience is a critical component of the student's curriculum because it requires students to apply classroom-based skills to geologic problems and processes occurring (or which have occurred) over spans of geologic time.

The Geological Sciences Field Experience requirement may be satisfied by the following options. The faculty strongly recommends Options 1 or 2, which provide the most thorough background in skills sought by employers. Option 3 might be pursued by students with less traditional interests.

Fieldwork learning about coastal geological process over time.
American West field-based course

Earth Sciences faculty offer field-based courses in the spring and summer that take students to geologically significant and even unique locations throughout the American West. The courses have visited sites from the Badlands to the Grand Canyon, from the Cascades to Devils Tower. 

Some of the costs of these courses are supported by the Allen M. “Doc” Thompson Fund, named for the faculty member who pioneered taking UD field courses out of the region to explore the geological features unavailable on the East Coast.

Must be approved by a vote of the faculty. All field experiences must satisfy the University's Discovery Learning Experience requirement. This may require adding additional components to courses offered by other institutions.

The student’s adviser will be responsible for ensuring that all forms are completed to ensure that the student receives DLE credit for the field experience

Students learning about earth systems in the field
Discovery learning experience geological sciences

All field experiences must satisfy the University's Discovery Learning Experience requirement. Students choosing Option 3 must communicate the results of their work in written and oral/graphical form (i.e. verbal and/or poster presentation).

PROCEDURE, IMPLEMENTATION AND ADMINISTRATION PLANNING FOR OPTION 3.

  1. The student first discusses the proposed field experience with their adviser at least 1 term before the field experience is to begin.
  2. The student will write a 1-­page description of the proposed project and turn it in to their adviser at least 1 term before the proposed field experience is to begin.
  3. The student’s adviser will inform the Chair, who will then schedule a discussion of the proposed project for the next scheduled faculty meeting.
  4. The student’s adviser will inform the student of the faculty’s comments and decision regarding the project.
  5. If approved, the student will enroll in GEOL466 (3 credits) to receive credit for the field experience. The faculty mentor directing the field project will serve as the instructor of record.
  6. The student’s faculty mentor will be responsible for scheduling, facilitating, and providing an assessment of the student’s written and verbal presentations of the results of the project. The mentor will also be responsible for ensuring that all forms are completed to ensure that the student receives DLE credit for the field experience.

Minors

Graduate Programs

Degrees Offered:

Applicants who are interested in a graduate program should contact potential advisors prior to submitting an application. A list of individual faculty members’ research interests are available on their profile pages, and the department research page describes the broad focus areas for multiple faculty.

Delaware Geological Survey field experience participants check a core sample.
Geology field experience participants check a core sample from Delaware Geological Survey.