Dartmouth College Department of Earth Sciences


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Dartmouth Earth Sciences Undergraduate Programs


Earth Science involves the study of physical, chemical, and biological processes of the earth over time. Earth science students find opportunities in the environmental, engineering, mining, teaching, exploration and geophysics fields, and in hydrology, space science and oceanography. A background in earth science is unique in that it combines many fields into a unified physical science; as such, the study of earth science is a valuable addition to a variety of scientific disciplines. To address these needs, Dartmouth offers a major in earth sciences and environmental earth sciences. These programs are intended to provide a background in earth sciences sufficient for graduate work or employment in the field. Degrees may also be modified with earth sciences to provide a specific and unified course of study. For example, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and environmental studies may be modified with earth sciences. In addition, students can also elect to minor in earth sciences. The specific requirements for such programs are explained below.

In addition to coursework, one of the cornerstones of undergraduate experience for students is the completion of field research. At Dartmouth, the Stretch, the off-campus study program, typically taken in the fall of students' third year, provides this field experience, and serves as an invaluble means of getting exposure to the research conducted by several different faculty. The Stretch also introduces new students to the faculty and graduate students in the department, and helps students to get a start with research early in their undergraduate career, The Stretch is described in more detail here.

This link will take you to the ORC. Updated degree requirements are listed here .
Documents for the Major and Minor
A worksheet to help you plan your EARS major.
A worksheet to help you plan your EARS minor.
A worksheet to help you plan your Enviromental Earth Sciences major.
A worksheet to help you plan your Enviromental Earth Sciences minor.
Senior Thesis / Honors Projects
Information regarding the Senior Thesis

NOTE: The courses described in the above link are those required for graduation in earth sciences. It is strongly recommended that geology majors also complete courses in writing skills. For those planning to pursue graduate programs in the earth sciences, differential equations (Mathematics 23) and completion of the introductory physics and chemistry series, and additional courses in computer science, mathematics, statistics, physical chemistry, and biology are strongly recommended. These courses provide a solid basis for advanced research and courses in earth science. In fact, communication and quantitative skills are invaluable regardless of your chosen profession.

Students contemplating a professional career in earth sciences are advised that:
  • Training at the Master's level or above is becoming increasingly necessary.
  • Most graduate schools have minimum entrance requirements equivalent to Mathematics 3 and 8, Chemistry 3-6 or 5-6, and Physics 3-4. Minimal expectations for Earth Sciences preparation include material taught in Earth Sciences 34, 44, 68 and 69.

Honors are bestowed upon students who have Exceptional undergraduate students often compete independent research projects as a portion of their undergraduate education. This work is often begun during the junior year, but the bulk of the work is to be completed under the course EARS 89 (Undergradate Thesis work), during the senior year. The specific requirements are given below.

Please see the Earth Science Honors Program in the ORC.

Please click below to see information on 2010 Honors Projects:

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