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 wide variety of scientific disciplines. Dartmouth offers majors 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. Other majors (e.g., Physics, Chemistry, Economics, Engineering, Biology, etc...) may be modified with Earth Sciences to provide a more interdisciplinary course of study.

COVID-related accommodations for the major

Special accommodation for undergraduate EARS and EARV majors due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Any student whose Stretch enrollment was, or will be, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (for example, by the cancellation of the 2020 Stretch, or by being denied a spot on a future Stretch due to oversubscription) may substitute ANY three EARS courses numbered between 30 and 69 in lieu of the Stretch.  

In other words,

•    Any three EARS courses numbered between 30 and 69 (not just field-based courses) may count in lieu of the Stretch (EARS 45, 46, 47) for the EARS or EARV major.
•    This flexibility is offered ONLY to students whose Stretch enrollment has been or will be impacted by the pandemic, so must be approved in advance by the chair (prof. Meredith Kelly) or the undergraduate advisor (prof. Leslie Sonder).
•    A course used in lieu of the Stretch cannot also satisfy another major requirement.


Information about the modified major can be found on the ORC site.


The courses described in the ORC are those required for graduation in Earth Sciences. It is strongly recommended that majors also complete courses in writing skills. For those planning to pursue graduate programs in the Earth Sciences, completion of the introductory physics and chemistry series, as well as 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.


The table below outlines a variety of suggested tracks through the Earth Sciences major for students that are interested in specific subdisciplines within the field. Note that our emphasis is more on the types of skills acquired through our major, but you can simultaneously achieve these skills while focusing on a more specific topic. All of these tracks would be possible following the completion of any one of our introductory courses (EARS 1-8). Feel free to reach out to the Department's Undergraduate Academic Advisor or any faculty member for further information.


Data Analysis (EARS 10-19)

1 course

Core Methods (EARS 30-59) 

Five courses (including EARS 45,46, 47, and least one numbered ≥ 50)

Quantitative Analysis (EARS 60-69) 

1 course

Advanced Topics (EARS 70-79)

1 course

Culminating Experience

1 course

Solid Earth, Geology, and Tectonics 

Any of EARS 10-19 

EARS 33, 37, 38, 51, 52, 58, or 59 AND

Stretch or other geology field program

EARS 62, 64, 65, or 67

EARS 73 or 74 

EARS 87, 88, or 89

Hydrology and Hydrogeology

EARS 16 or 17 

EARS 33, 35, or 52 AND

Stretch or hydrology field camp

EARS 64, 65, 66, or 67 

EARS 71, 74, 76, or 77 

EARS 87, 88, or 89

Glaciology and Climate

EARS14 or 15 

EARS 51, 52, 58, or 59 AND

Stretch or other glaciology field program


EARS 70, 75, or 78

EARS 87, 88, or 89

Environmental Geology

EARS 14, 16 or 18

EARS 33, 35, 38, 51, 52, 58, or 59

Stretch or other geology field program

EARS 62, 65, or 67

EARS 71, 73,74, or 77

EARS 87, 88, or 89

Geobiology and Paleobiology

EARS 15 or 17

EARS 31, 38, 51, or 58 AND

Stretch or other geology field program


EARS 62 or 65


EARS 87, 88, or 89

Earth and Planetary Science

EARS 17 or 19

EARS 33, 36, 38, 51, 58, or 59

EARS 62, 64, 65, or 67

EARS 77 or 78

EARS 87, 88, or 89