Academic Program in Geosciences

Geoscience majors take a variety of interdisciplinary courses—biology, earth science, physical chemistry, math, and physics.

Program Requirements

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These serve students who want to pursue related fields of earth science,  such as environmental studies, oceanography, or evolutionary biology. Our introductory classes—in marine science, natural disasters, and mineralogy, for example—are available to non-majors who may be interested in learning about earth systems through scientific study or current environmental issues.

You will have opportunities to participate in fundamental geoscience research alongside faculty members. Winter-term projects take students on excursions to nearby sites in Ohio as well as locales in California, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Australia. The National Science Foundation supports many faculty research initiatives. In addition, at least two Oberlin students per year participate in original summer research projects sponsored by the Keck Geology Consortium .

The department’s extensive teaching collection of rocks, mineral samples, fossils, and maps, offers additional hands-on tools for analysis and in-depth study.

On campus, you will have access to the department’s global positioning system (GPS) base station and rover, handheld GPS units to locate sampling stations or map geological features of the Earth’s surface. We also use standard GIS software and own two wells for groundwater analysis.

Graduates of the Department of Geosciences often continue study in geoscience at such exemplary institutions as Harvard University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Wisconsin, University of Rochester, and the paleoclimatology programs at Brown University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.

Others graduates obtain jobs as science teachers or with geological consulting firms, environmental organizations, and research organizations like the Paleontological Research Institution.

Related Programs

Discover related majors, minors, and concentrations in the Sciences at Oberlin.