Earth Sciences

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Why investigate and study the earth's characteristics? Because it's your home!

How has the planet changed over time? What conditions were necessary for life to begin? Why does climate change? What is the future of the Earth? Learn how to help maintain flourishing environments in our communities and for our planet. The study of earth science has never been more crucial than it is today and leads to many opportunities in this growing field.

Study how the Earth was formed, how it evolved and how we can best manage its resources to preserve habitats. Applying interdisciplinary techniques to locate, identify and characterize natural processes, reconstruct landscapes and examine the impacts of climate change on a diverse range of environments, FSU’s earth sciences majors seek answers to today’s most pressing scientific questions. 

An FSU earth science major, you will link the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. You will be able to engage in hands-on and field-based learning in our rich rural Western Maryland setting and first-class facilities including geochemistry labs, an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and remote sensing laboratory, and the Western Maryland Regional GIS Center.

  • Enter a field experiencing widespread growth because of increased awareness of excessive global consumption and declining availability of finite materials and energy resources.
  • Complete an environmental science concentration or pursue certification as an earth science middle/secondary teacher.
  • Study in a multidisciplinary program with diverse courses delivered by the departments of geography, physics, biology and chemistry.


Earth Science Program Highlights

  • Explore such questions as -- how has the planet changed over time? What conditions were necessary for life to begin? Why does climate change? What is the future of the Earth?

  • Perform 50 percent of your lab work in the field -- exploring rock deposits, waterways, swamps and other natural settings.

  • Complete a senior research project, with the opportunity to present your work at a scientific conference.

  • Gain valuable internship experience at locations such as the U.S. Geological Survey, soil testing companies, environmental consultancies and other high-profile organizations.

  • Choose to study for a semester or a year in Newcastle, England, with our direct exchange program Northumbria University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences.

  • Minor in biology, chemistry, climate science, geography or sustainability studies to complement your degree and expand your career options.

What can I do with an earth sciences degree?


Median pay for geologists (BLS 2021)

Related Occupations

Environmental Engineer

Conservation Scientist

Industrial Ecologist

Earth scientists (geologist, climate scientists, environmental scientists) have an important set of scientific knowledge and skills to address environmental and workforce needs. You will be trained in systems thinking, problem solving, field and sampling methods, geospatial technology and data analysis, and communication skills to work in such areas construction, mining and environmental consulting firms. Earth scientists are also in demand for federal and local governmental careers.

What You'll Learn

You will learn an understanding of our earth as a complex system, surface processes, earth materials, earth structure, hydrology and water science, natural resources, atmospheric processes, and climate change. FSU’s researching and knowledgeable faculty will assist you in developing your skills to use scientific methods, environmental sampling and analysis, teamwork and professional communication skills, integrative and critical thinking, capabilities in geographic information systems (GIS) and other geospatial technologies. You will learn to integrate geomorphology, geology, soils survey, environmental reconstruction, field work, geographic data handling, remote sensing and your own original research.

You really do get the hands-on learning. As an undergrad, I went to Frostburg as well. Then I had an internship with the USGS. It relates directly to what you would be doing in a job, in the field.”

Jade Llewellyn '14 M'16, earth science major

Our Alumni

Our earth science graduates have gone on to a variety of successful careers.

Job Titles

  • Conservation research program manager
  • Construction materials testing technicians
  • Environmental scientists/educator
  • Flood mapping specialist
  • Field/soil conservation technicians
  • Lab techs


  • FEMA
  • Bat Conservation International
  • Geochemical Testing Inc.
  • Geo-Technology Associates
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

A Frostburg State education: more valuable than ever.

With nationally recognized academic programs, real-world learning experiences, a top-notch support system, and a thriving student life, Frostburg State is a place where you can discover yourself, define your goals, and prepare for your future.

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