Undergraduate Program Earth Science

Fish swimming in ocean

Earth Science Bachelor's Degree Overview

Discover how the planet functions from the core to the atmosphere with a bachelor's degree in earth science from PSU.

As an earth sciences major, you'll gain foundational knowledge about the Earth's materials, evolution, resources, and sustainability. Our program grounds you in the geologic framework of inquiry and problem solving while encouraging you to explore the link between the geologic perspective of earth systems and concepts of sustainability.

You'll graduate with a well-rounded education in the earth, space, physical, and life sciences, preparing you for a range of educational and professional jobs.

The earth science degree is a flexible but focused program, allowing you to take courses in biology and sustainability-related topics that will give you a competitive advantage in today's job market. This background will give you a competitive advantage for careers in education as teachers in elementary and high schools and at the college level; as well as careers in governmental agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, and in the private sector such as with engineering, architecture and planning firms or in the construction, mining, and petroleum industries.

The coursework also meets the requirements to receive an integrated science endorsement for teaching science in middle and high schools. The inquiry approach used in the geology field and lab courses at the core of our program model the inquiry approach used in middle and high school classrooms.

Degree Details

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Earth Science Bachelor's Degree: Why PSU?

Our location in Portland provides you access to a geological paradise. What better place to study the earth than in the center of a volcanic region, within walking distance of a landslide, driving distance of glaciers, and an important source area of meteorites and other geologic activity that can provide us with new insights into the past, present, and future.

Our dedicated faculty also bring a broad range of expertise to your classes, and many have years of experience working with K-12 schools and teachers.

You can get involved with our student clubs CoRiBa, chapters of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists and the Association of Petroleum Geologists. Learn about Earth science geology and related topics outside the classroom, listen to invited speakers, explore careers in geology, and go on field trips and hikes.

What can I do with a Bachelor's degree in Earth Science?

The demand for highly qualified science teachers in Oregon is high, and PSU's bachelor's degree in earth science equips future teachers with experience in scientific inquiry approaches and knowledge of critical issues in atmospheric science, hydrology, our dynamic and ever-changing surface environment, and climate change and its impacts on earth systems.

Earth science majors can also work in a variety of environmental jobs in business, industry, consulting, and government agencies. Many of our graduates go on to become general or earth science teachers in middle and high schools, but the major also prepares you to work in careers addressing the challenges that come with environmental and economic development.

Featured Courses

  • G 340U Life of the Past
  • G 341U Geology of the Oregon Country
  • G 344U Geology and the National Parks
  • G 346 Exploring Mars
  • G 374/Geog 320 Geomorphic Processes
  • G 453 Geology of the Pacific Northwest
  • G 454 Cascade Volcanoes


  • G 353 Natural History of Dinosaurs
  • G 342U Volcanoes and Earthquakes
  • G 345U Life in the Universe


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).