How to Apply

Living in an active tectonic margin makes the outdoors an excellent natural laboratory for learning and living earth science. In the Department of Earth Sciences, you will be welcomed into an active research community that has fun while exploring the processes that govern the evolution of the earth. With upper division classes averaging fewer than 20 students, you'll get to know every faculty member and student in the department.

Students hiking through woods

Incoming Undergraduate Students

Our students study the Earth, from its surface to the deep interior, to understand the underlying processes that shape our planet. High school students planning to major in Earth sciences should take courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, geography, and science. Students who transfer to the UO after two years of college work elsewhere should ideally have completed a year each of general chemistry, general physics, calculus, and introductory geology with laboratory.

Student sitting on a rock writing

Current UO Students

Majoring in Earth sciences opens the door to high-paying jobs in the energy and natural resource fields. Our students enjoy small class sizes, ample opportunities for undergraduate research experiences, and class field trips to view geological phenomena firsthand. Our department is large enough to support a wide range of interests but small enough to offer you a real community.

Student on a trail holding a rock

Graduate Programs

Our graduate program emphasizes original research in an area of expertise under the guidance of a faculty advisor within the department. Students may pursue independent research in a wide range of fields that include geochemistry, geophysics, geobiology, geomechanics, geodesy, ice physics, coastal oceanography, geomorphology, neotectonics, petrology, volcanology, paleontology, paleopedology, seismology, tectonics, stratigraphy, sedimentology, structural geology, and ore deposits.

Scholarships and Funding

Undergraduate students can seek funding through the College of Arts and Sciences, the American Institute of Professional Geologists, and other sources. Graduate students typically receive graduate employee fellowships that provide tuition waivers, health insurance, and a stipend to cover living expenses.