Geosciences Undergraduate Programs
How to Apply
Once you have been admitted and arrived at Western Michigan University, please schedule an appointment with one of our geosciences undergraduate advisors to fill out a major or minor form. You MUST submit a major form to officially become enrolled.
- Geology - A traditional geology degree intended for students who wish to pursue a career in the geological sciences, including mining, resource exploration and recovery, environmental assessment and remediation, water resource management, construction planning, or other related fields. This program includes a variety of geosciences courses that cover the disciplines of "classical" geology, and is a strong foundation for a professional career or for further study at the graduate level.
Geophysics - A specialized degree focusing on geophysical theory and methods as applied in the Earth Sciences, including solid earth geophysics, seismology, paleomagnetics, and heat flow. This program is intended for students interested in a career as a professional geophysicist or for further study at the graduate level. Many aspects of resource exploration, surveying, site assessment and monitoring require expertise in geophysical science.
Geochemistry - A specialized degree focusing on applying chemical principles and knowledge of chemical reactions to geologic problems, including environmental contamination and pollution, site assessment and remediation, water quality, air pollution monitoring, climate change, soils, resource exploration and recovery, and the health effects of minerals, or other related fields. A geochemistry degree provides a strong foundation for professional life in any field where detailed knowledge of the composition and chemical behavior of rocks, soils and pollutants is required, or for further study at the graduate level.
- Hydrogeology - A specialized degree focusing on applied knowledge of how water moves through and interacts with geologic materials, including the flow of ground and surface water, landform development, flood management, water resource, supply and quality issues, and construction planning. This program emphasizes applied knowledge and practical expertise in instrumental and field methods used in monitoring water flow in natural and engineered systems. Hydrogeology is also useful in environmental consulting or for further study at the graduate level.
Earth science teaching - Designed to provide a basic understanding of those subjects normally included in a secondary earth science course: geology, meteorology, astronomy, and oceanography. Earth Science is now a common course of study in many high schools.
- Earth science (non-teaching) - A broad and flexible course of instruction for students who anticipate a career outside geology, but in a field that would benefit from expertise in the geological sciences. Students interested in a career in conservation, parks and planning, science journalism, policy, communications, or business should consider earth sciences as a second major.
- Group science for geology majors - Designed for students not electing a mathematics, chemistry, physics, or biology minor.
- Geology - Designed as a supporting minor for students preparing to do professional work in other science fields. It cannot be combined with earth science as a major-minor or double minor relationship. A student may design a geology minor for their specific needs.
- Earth science - A flexible course of instruction for students desiring a broad understanding of the earth and environmental processes. The program is interdisciplinary in nature. This offers students an opportunity to select earth science and related courses, in consultation with the earth science advisor, in order to design programs, which will satisfy the students' needs and professional objectives.