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Earth Science


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Curriculum Overview

The interdisciplinary academic major in earth science at The College at Brockport provides options for study in the atmospheric, hydrologic, and geologic sciences. This major provides a well-rounded background in all three areas.  It is recommended that non-teaching majors supplement the required core of geology, meteorology, and oceanography courses with electives related to interests and career goals.  Those  whose interests lean more toward the physical sciences might consider a major in either geology or water resources, both of which have many environmental applications.

Students who intend to become secondary earth science teachers should meet with an advisor in the Department of Education and Human Development as well to discuss the additional NYS Provisional Certification requirements. Click on the following links for more information about the education program and available scholarships and internships.


Earth science majors must earn a minimum of 32 credit hours of geology/earth science courses, supplementing the required core with elective courses related to interests and to career goals.  In addition, you are required to complete one year each of physics and chemistry, and one semester of calculus.   

Core courses (17 cr.):

ESC 211 Introduction to Meteorology     (4 cr.)
ESC 222 Introduction to Water Resources (4 cr.)
ESC 350 Computational Methods in the Field Sciences   (3 cr.)
ESC 391 Writing in the Earth Sciences (1 cr.)
ESC 494 Senior Research (1 cr.)
ESC 495 Senior Seminar (1 cr.)
GEL 201 Introduction to Physical Geology   (4 cr.)

NOTE:  To make normal progress toward the degree, students should take ESC 391 and ESC 350 in the junior year, and ESC 494/ESC 495 in the senior year.  Many of the required courses are offered every other year, so plan your schedule accordingly.

Geology elective (select one):

GEL 302 Historical Geology (4 cr.)
GEL 312 Mineral Science (4 cr.)
GEL 363 Environmental Geology  (3 cr.)

Meteorology elective (select one):

ESC 313 Environmental Climatology (3 cr.)
ESC 332 Air & Water Pollution Meteorology (3 cr.)
ESC 420 Radar & Satellite Meteorology (3 cr.)

Water Resources elective (select one):

ESC 300 Physical Oceanography (3 cr.)
ESC 318 Watershed Science (3 cr.)
ESC 412 Hydrology (4 cr.)
GEL 462 Groundwater  (4 cr.)

Upper-division electives:     

ESC/GEL credits by advisement (3-6 cr.)
ESC/GEL credits 32 hours total

Science co-requisites (20 cr.):

CHM 205-206 College Chemistry I & II  (8 cr.)
PHS 205-10 Introduction to Physics I & II OR  PHS 235-240 Physics I & II (8 cr.)
MTH 201 Calculus I  (4 cr.)

Additional electives for the earth science major may be selected from:

ESC 300 Physical Oceanography (3 cr.)
ESC 311 Synoptic Meteorology I (4 cr.)
ESC 312 Synoptic Meteorology II (4 cr.)
ESC 313 Environmental Climatology (3 cr.)
ESC 314 Climatology Laboratory (1 cr.)
ESC 332 Air & Water Pollution Meteorology (3 cr.)
ESC 412 Hydrology (4 cr.)
ESC 420 Radar & Satellite Meteorology  (3 cr.)
ESC 431 Environmental Applications of GIS (4 cr.)
ESC 455 Introduction to Soils Science (3 cr.)
ESC 457 Marine Geology - Bahamas (3 cr.)
GEL 302 Historical Geology (4 cr.)
GEL 306 Introduction to Paleontology (4 cr.)
GEL 312 Mineral Science (4 cr.)
GEL 363 Environmental Geology (3 cr.)
GEL 408 Structural Geology (4 cr.)
GEL 411 Stratigraphy & Sedimentology  (4 cr.)
GEL 415 Geomorphology (4 cr.)
GEL 462 Groundwater (3 cr.)

NOTE:  The following courses cannot be applied toward the Earth Science major:  ESC 102 Elements of Geography, ESC 362 Global Warming Issues, ESC 364 Water Resources Issues, and GEL 362 Energy & Mineral Resources Issues.

Last Updated 4/15/14