Earth Science involves the study of physical, chemical, and biological processes of the earth over time. Our students find opportunities in the environmental, engineering, mining, teaching, exploration and geophysics fields, and in hydrology, space science and oceanography.


More than academics

The Department of Earth Science offers much more than academics. The department works to provide a friendly atmosphere for all students. Undergraduate students play a visible and important role in the department, both in departmental research and life. The relative small size of the department also helps graduate students to have regular access to their advisors, and collaboration with other professors in the department of earth science, other departments on campus, and outside investigators is encouraged. We feel strongly that these factors make our department a unique and exceptional opportunity for outstanding students interested in undergraduate study in earth sciences.

Field Work

The Stretch

In addition to coursework, one of the cornerstones of undergraduate experience for students is the completion of field research. At Dartmouth, the Stretch, the off-campus study program, typically taken in the fall of students' third year, provides this field experience, and serves as an invaluable means of getting exposure to the research conducted by several different faculty. The Stretch also introduces new students to the faculty and graduate students in the department, and helps students to get a start with research early in their undergraduate career.

Field Work

Alternatives to the Stretch (EARS 45, 46, 47)

A student may have academic or athletic commitments making it  difficult or impossible to participate in the Stretch (EARS 45, 46, 47).  However, a student may still complete an Earth Sciences or Environmental Earth Sciences major, without the Stretch, by satisfactorily completing an alternative approved by the Chair or the EARS academic advisor. For example, a student may decide to take the Stretch as a fifth fall term.  Or the student could enroll in a summer field geology course offered by another university and transfer the course credit(s) to Dartmouth.  Students anticipating difficulty scheduling the Stretch during their junior or senior fall term should speak with the Chair or the EARS academic advisor as soon as possible to explore the range of alternative plans.


Contemplating a career in Earth Sciences?

Students contemplating a professional career in earth sciences are advised that:

  • Training at the Master's level or above is becoming increasingly necessary.
  • Most graduate schools have minimum entrance requirements equivalent to Mathematics 3 and 8, Chemistry 5-6, and Physics 3-4 or 13-14. Minimal expectations for Earth Sciences preparation include material taught in Earth Sciences 40, 52, 58 and 59.