Earth Sciences Major (B.A.)

https://ceps.unh.edu/earth-sciences/program/ba/earth-sciences-major

The bachelor of arts in Earth sciences is offered through the Department of Earth Sciences. This program provides students an opportunity to obtain a broad education and a general background in the Earth sciences with a greater degree of freedom in choosing electives than in the bachelor of science programs. Through careful choice of electives, students can prepare for business, industry, public service, the non-profit sector, graduate school or, in combination with a M.Ed. or M.A.T. certification program, a career teaching in secondary schools.

Satisfy the Discovery Program Requirements 1
Satisfy the bachelor of arts degree requirements
Complete (with a C- or better in each course) a minimum of eight courses in the department, including the following:
ESCI 401Dynamic Earth4
or ESCI 409 Geology and the Environment
ESCI 402Earth History4
ESCI 512Principles of Mineralogy4
CHEM 403General Chemistry I4
Five advanced-level courses, two of which must be 700-level or above15-20
Math Requirements
MATH 425Calculus I4
MATH 426Calculus II4
Capstone
Total Credits39-44

It is strongly advised that students complete, as early as possible, a year each of college chemistry and physics.

Capstone Experience

A capstone experience is required of all undergraduate Earth sciences majors during their senior year. All capstone experiences at UNH must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. The capstone synthesizes and applies disciplinary knowledge and skills.
  2. The capstone fosters reflection on undergraduate learning and experience.
  3. The capstone demonstrates emerging professional competencies.
  4. The capstone applies, analyzes, and/or interprets research or data or artistic expression.
  5. The capstone explores areas of interest based on the integration of prior learning.

Suggested ways of meeting the capstone requirement in the Department of Earth Sciences include approved INCO 790 Advanced Research Experience, ESCI 795 Topics/ESCI 796 Topics field courses, ESCI 799 Senior Thesis, URA/SURF/IROP projects, internships, environmental/geologic field camps, REU programs, or Earth Sciences education and outreach activities designed according to the above criteria. Capstone experiences must be equivalent to a minimum of 2 academic credits. Students should work closely with their faculty advisors to define the most appropriate capstone experience for their Earth Sciences degree program, although the capstone mentor can be someone other than their primary faculty advisor. All capstone experiences must be approved and certified by the faculty advisor and the capstone mentor. Presentation of projects or experiences developed for the capstone is encouraged at the annual UNH Undergraduate Research Conference or other appropriate venue.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
ESCI 400 Freshman Field Seminar 1
ESCI 401 Dynamic Earth 4
MATH 425 Calculus I 4
CHEM 403 General Chemistry I 4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing (or pass placement test) 4
 Credits17
Spring
ESCI 402 Earth History 4
MATH 426 Calculus II 4
CHEM 404 General Chemistry II 4
Inquiry Discovery Course 1 4
 Credits16
Second Year
Fall
ESCI 5/6__ (number > 512) 4
ESCI 530
Geological Field Methods
or Techniques in Environmental Sciences
4
Discovery Course 1 4
Foreign Language 2 4
 Credits16
Spring
ESCI 512 Principles of Mineralogy 4
Discovery Course 1 4
Foreign Language 2 4
Discovery Course 1 4
 Credits16
Third Year
Fall
ESCI 5/6/7__ (number > 512) 4
PHYS 407
General Physics I (/PHYS 401)
or Introductory Biology: Molecular and Cellular
4
Free Elective 3 4
Discovery Course 1 4
 Credits16
Spring
PHYS 408
General Physics II (/PHYS 402)
or Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology
4
ESCI 6__ 4
Free Elective 3 4
Discovery Course 1 4
 Credits16
Fourth Year
Fall
ESCI 7__ 4
Free Elective 3 4
Free Elective 3 4
Discovery Course 1 4
 Credits16
Spring
ESCI 7__ 4
Free Elective 3 4
Free Elective 3 4
Senior Captone 4
 Credits16
 Total Credits129
  • Recognize common Earth materials and structures.
  • Describe how Earth scientists construct the geological time scale and apply age dating techniques.
  • Describe the broad attributes of and interactions within the Earth System, as well as its geological history, how and why it is changing today, and how those changes impact society.
  • Understanding Earth processes and cycles.
  • Recognize common Earth materials and structures.
  • Perform simple calculations to evaluate and manipulate quantitative geologic data.
  • Interpret a geologic map and cross section in terms of the sequence of geologic events and understand the processes that caused those events.
  • Collect, interpret, and synthesize basic field observations and measurements to develop and test multiple working hypotheses to explain them.
  • Become proficient in basic geological laboratory skills (including microscopes and x-ray diffraction).
  • Successfully apply basic calculus and chemistry to Earth Science problems.
  • Effectively communicate results of scientific inquiries orally, visually, and in writing.