Undergraduate Programs


Department of Geosciences offers majors in several branches of geoscience to build a strong foundation in your area of interest. The degrees are designed to prepare you for professional development and graduate study.

  • Accelerated Master of Arts in earth science: The accelerated graduate degree program allows undergraduate students to begin accumulating credits toward the completion of a Master of Arts in Earth Science degree while completing a bachelor's degree.
  • Earth science: This flexible degree is for students wanting to gain geoscience expertise outside of core geology. Students interested in conservation, parks and planning, science journalism, policy, economics, engineering, communications and business consider this for a second major.
  • Earth science education: Focuses on secondary earth science courses such as geology, meteorology, astronomy and oceanography. Earth science is an expanding area of study in many schools.
  • Geochemistry: Focuses on chemical principles, reactions, geologic problems, environmental contamination, pollution, site assessment, remediation, water quality, pollution monitoring, climate change, soils, resource exploration and the health effects of minerals. This degree provides a strong foundation where you will obtain knowledge of the composition and chemical behavior of rocks, soils and pollutants. 
  • Geology: This traditional curriculum focuses on the study of rocks and minerals, petrologic relationships, rock-forming processes and field methods in the earth sciences. 
  • Geophysics: Focuses on geophysical theory, methods applied in earth sciences, solid earth geophysics, seismology, paleomagnetics and heat flow. Many aspects of resource exploration, surveying, site assessment and monitoring require expertise in geophysics.
  • Hydrogeology: Focuses on applied hydrology, geology, landform development, fate and transport of contamination in the subsurface, flood management, water resources, water use sustainability, water quality and construction planning. This program emphasizes developing practical expertise in instrumentation, field methods, monitoring and water flow in natural environments as well as engineered systems.
  • Secondary integrated science education: Focuses on preparing students to teach science as integrated content in middle and high school (grades 6-12). This program is only available as a second major, and requires a first major in biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics secondary education.


Select a geosciences minor in consultation with your advisor.

  • Earth science: An interdisciplinary, flexible course if you would like to broaden your earth and environmental understanding. You can select earth science and related courses.
  • Geology: Designed as a supporting minor if you are preparing to do professional work in other science fields. This minor cannot be combined with earth science as a major-minor or double minor. A student may design a geology minor for specific needs.
  • Group science for geology majors: Designed for geosciences majors not electing mathematics, chemistry, physics or biology minor.
  • How to apply

    For admission to an undergraduate program in the Department of Geosciences, apply through the Office of Admissions at Western Michigan University.

    Apply to WMU

    After you have been admitted, schedule an appointment with a program advisor to fill out a major or minor form for official enrollment.