Earth Science Minor

Effective spring 2020, the earth science minor will be available online!

As an earth science minor, you will learn about the principles of science and how they are applied to the study of the Earth. The earth science minor focuses on a range of fundamental earth systems, including the structure and building blocks of the Earth, the theory of plate tectonics (how the Earth moves) and how studying the Earth allows us to look back through time. The program is entirely flexible and may be used to broaden your understanding of planets, climate, oceans, natural hazards, evolution or economic resources. Alternatively, if you are a science major, you can use this minor to delve into the application of your field to the Earth (e.g., geochemistry or geophysics).

You should minor in earth science if...

  • You want to know about how science is utilized to understand many aspects of the Earth on which we all live.
  • You love NOVA and the Discovery Channel and want to know more than those resources can teach you.
  • You are a scientist who wants to know how your field can be used to understand the Earth and its processes.
  • You want to amaze your friends with your understanding of the rocks and structures in our national parks.
  • You are fascinated by extra-terrestrial planetary exploration.

Program overview

The earth science minor very flexible and does not require you to take any mathematics or non-geology science classes. You will learn the fundamentals of geosciences and earth history in addition to choosing from a broad variety of topics that relate to the interdependence of Earth and humans, like economic geology or earth hazards and disasters. Other subjects have sparked the curiosity of many, like planetary geology or the geology of national parks. Furthermore, other topics are both controversial and topical, like climate change or the evolution of life.

  • Program requirements: To learn more about specific program requirements, consult the 2019-20 undergraduate catalog.
  • Course listings: To see which courses will be offered when, check out the WMU course listings. You can also read course descriptions for geosciences classes here.
  • Professional development: Students in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences are encouraged to gain valuable professional, research and field experience through joining our highly active student organizations: Geology Club, Student Chapter of American Institute for Professional Geologists, Student Chapter of American Associate of Petroleum Geologists and the Student Chapter of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

Associated faculty

  • Faculty directory: Learn about our faculty members' professional and academic backgrounds, their teaching and research interests and publishing history.
  • Faculty and staff research specialties: Learn about each faculty and staff members' unique research interests (links to laboratories are also provided here).


The College of Arts and Sciences has a two-tiered advising system for undergraduates. Please consult your departmental and college advisors regularly to ensure that academic requirements are met.

  • Major and minor advising: Unsure which geosciences major/minor is right for you? Curious about job opportunities for geology majors? Contact Dr. Duane Hampton, our prospective undergraduate advisor and career advisor, to set up an appointment. Confused about which classes to take, how to enroll in classes or want to know your progress towards graduation? All of these questions can be discussed with your undergraduate faculty advisor, Dr. Michelle Kominz.
  • College of Arts and Sciences advising: Have a question about general education or graduate requirements? Take advantage of CAS undergraduate advising drop-in hours or make an appointment.


What's next?

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