Earth Sciences Curricula
The Scripps Institution of Oceanography offers a rigorous and interdisciplinary curricula in the Earth Sciences. Students can do a major in Earth Sciences or specialize in Earth Sciences within another major (i.e. Physics, Environmental Systems).
Earth sciences encompass broad scientific study of the origin and evolution of the earth system and its life forms. The Earth Sciences major embraces a wide range of topics, including the physical and chemical evolution of the planet, the evolution of life, the causes of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, earth-surface processes, the origin and behavior of oceans and atmosphere, and the impact of humans on the environment. Earth science investigations are increasingly quantitative and experimental, and thus most upper-division courses require a strong foundation in chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
The Earth Sciences curriculum takes advantage of the unique opportunities offered by Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Classes beyond introductory level are usually small, permitting personalized instruction. Field trips are an important part of the instructional program. Earth sciences students are encouraged to consult with their instructors about incorporating appropriate courses and research opportunities at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography into their undergraduate curriculum.
A degree in earth sciences is an appropriate start for a broad range of career and graduate school opportunities in various areas, including research, government, state and federal survey jobs, environmental management, the petroleum and mining industries, consulting, ocean sciences, industrial institutions, elementary or secondary education, environmental policy and consulting. A link to learning outcomes is here.
Earth Sciences Major REQUIREMENTS
Lower-division requirements for all the specializations are designed to provide the foundations in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology that are essential in modern quantitative earth science disciplines. All Earth Science majors take an introductory course: SIO 50, and four upper division core requirements introducing basic concepts in the Earth Sciences. SIO 100, SIO 102, SIO 103, and SIO 104.
Ideally, SIO 50, SIO 100, SIO 102, and SIO 103 should be taken during the sophomore year to provide the appropriate background for other upper-division courses.
It is strongly recommended that all Earth Science majors meet regularly with the Earth Science program academic advising staff and a faculty adviser to discuss and update curriculum choices.
Students can also incorporate courses in the Earth Sciences into other degrees:
Physics Major with Specialization in Earth Sciences (B.S. Degree)
A Physics major with a specialization in Earth Sciences is available through the Physics Major. The course work required is essentially the same as the standard physics major, augmented by courses in earth sciences. This major is appropriate for students who plan to go on to graduate school in related fields, or to students who plan to go into professional geologic work with their undergraduate physics degree.
Environmental Systems/Earth Sciences (B.S. Degree)
An Environmental Systems major with a track in Earth Sciences is available through the interdisciplinary Environmental Systems Program. The course work required is similar to much of the course work required in the Earth Sciences major, with the addition of some social sciences and policy courses. The major is appropriate for students who plan a career in the environmental field, or who plan graduate students in environmental sciences, environmental policy or environmental law.