- BS in Earth Science with focus groups in
- BA in Earth Sciences
- BS in Environmental Geosciences
- BA in Environmental Geosciences
- B.GeoE. - Geoengineering is offered through the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geological Engineering
Seniors majoring in either Earth Sciences or Environmental Geosciences are encouraged to complete an undergraduate thesis project. Writing a thesis is a deep dive into the full arc of the research process, and includes the formulation of a testable hypothesis, experimental design, collection and synthesis of data, and communication of the results to a broad audience. Additionally, a senior thesis project is a chance to apply your Earth sciences skills to cutting-edge science and real-world problems, and is highly regarded during evaluation of job and graduate school applications.
The first step in organizing a senior thesis project is for a student to select a faculty or staff mentor, who may then agree to help advise the student through the thesis process. This may be someone with whom the student has worked before, and students are encouraged to expand their earlier undergraduate research into a thesis. The student and mentor should create a thesis plan that is agreeable to both of them and send a copy of this plan to the Undergraduate Studies Committee (USC) prior to the beginning of the semester in which the thesis project begins. Students may earn credit for the time and effort spent completing a thesis by enrolling in ESCI 4094 (“Senior Thesis” 2 cr), which may be taken at any time of year (F, Sp, Smr) and repeated twice for a total of 4 cr. Students completing a senior thesis must submit a thesis document for review by their faculty mentor, a member of the USC, and a third faculty member prior to the end of instruction Spring term of their senior year. Additionally, the student should give an oral presentation of their thesis project inside or outside of the University as a talk or poster presentation. An example of particularly strong senior thesis can be downloaded here.
Undergraduate students have the opportunity to work with individual faculty members and their research groups. Funding can come from a faculty member's research grant or students can apply for funding from the University.
Alternatively, students may choose to earn university credit for research conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. Students may choose to enroll in "Directed Studies in Earth and Environmental Sciences." ESCI 3093 and ESCI 4093 are meant for 3rd and 4th year students, respectively, and can be taken for 1 to 4 credits per semester (where 1 credit equals 42 hours of work per semester). Students seeking to enroll in these courses need to work with a faculty member to create a course contract. A simple list of details that should be discussed between students and faculty advisors can be found here. More information for students about the contract process can be found here. Instructions for Faculty and Staff can be found here. When students are ready to begin preparing their course contracts, they should go to: z.umn.edu/Directed_Activity
To see what areas of research might interest you and read about the U's funding:
- Individual faculty - Areas of Study and Research
- Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
There are some funding opportunities for geology and geophysics majors to help defray the cost of educational expenses. This list is not exhaustive, please feel free to search for other sources of funding.
- Departmental Undergraduate Scholarships (including Field Camp Scholarships)
- The University's National and International Scholarships Office
- Association for Women Geoscientists
- Geological Society of America
- Joshua M. Feinberg, Director of Undergraduate Studies
firstname.lastname@example.org; 651-500-5839; Drop-In Office Hours on Thursdays 10 am to noon in room 239 of Tate Hall. Go here to schedule an appointment.
- Other members of the Undergraduate Studies Committee available for advising include:
- Other important members of the Undergraduate Studies Committee include Samuel Hunt (Undergraduate Representative), Kent Kirkby, Morgan Monz (Graduate Student Representative), and Jen Petrie (Student Personnel Coordinator).
ESCI Undergraduate Suggestion Box!
Students are encouraged to submit anonymous feedback about the ESCI Undergraduate Program using this form. Submissions are reviewed by the Undergraduate Studies Committee every two weeks.
University of Minnesota Geological Society (a.k.a. GeoClub)
GeoClub is the official student organization for geo students. Other than social activities, this group raises money for the yearly spring field trip. See the GeoClub website and join the group's Facebook page. If you are even considering a major in Earth Sciences or Environmental Geosciences, please ask Jen Petrie to add your email address to the GeoClub listserv. This is the primary way that the department communicates information about research, internship, scholarship, and job opportunities to our undergraduates!
Listing of Earth Sciences Courses
- TwoStop - This is an incredibly useful tool that allows you to see all ESCI courses offered in a given semester.
- Undergraduate Catalog listing
- Course Schedule - search by semester
- Department Field Camps
Need Tutoring, or writing, research, or media project support?
Check out the Student Success Website, which provides tutoring for over 250 UMN courses, as well as a variety of support resources for students.
Outside the University, there are opportunities for undergraduates to gain research experience through summer internship programs. Listed here are just a few, please feel free to search for other internship opportunities.
- NSF-Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
- Environmental Careers Organization
- US Geological Survey
Careers in the Geosciences
- What can I do with a degree in Earth Sciences?
- Listed here are just few resources for geoscience job information. Again, this list is not exhaustive, please feel free to search for other available resources.
- Department of Earth Sciences Career Panel Discussions
During the spring semester, the department holds a career panel event for the benefit of students considering a non-academic career in the earth sciences. We invite professionals in the Earth Sciences who generously give of their time to come and provide information and advice to students about opportunities in the public and private sectors of geoscience employment. Please read the bios of the panel members for 2016 and 2015.
If you are interested in being on the panel, please contact the department at <email@example.com>.