Undergraduate Degrees in Earth and Environmental Science

Brochure – Rice Earth Science Undergraduate Program [pdf]

Want to climb active volcanoes, sail around Antarctica, explore the world’s oceans, help the global environment, join geophysical expeditions, learn advanced laboratory skills, study the Earth’s deep interior, and gain valuable job experience? Then explore the opportunities with a degree from Rice in Earth Science.

The Department of Earth Science offers undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue exciting careers in energy, the environment, government, education, academia and more.  In particular, we teach students how to work with open-ended, complex and highly interconnected problems, giving our students the skills to become leaders and entrepreneurs in the real world, whether that is in academia, running a business, or working with and for societal issues.

Students in Earth or Environmental Science Science can choose either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree path. The BS in Earth or Environmental Science degree should be chosen by students planning a dedicated career or further study in Earth or environmental science. The BA  degree has fewer requirements and might be a good choice for students planning a career in which Earth or Environmental Science is incidental.

Research Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to work very closely with an internationally-known and respected faculty that conduct research projects all over the world. Field and laboratory opportunities abound. Many undergraduates also present their own research projects at national and international professional conferences.  We also offer a formal senior honor’s thesis program.

Career Opportunities

The career opportunities of Earth and environmental scientists are many and diverse. Many of our students go on to graduate school. Earth and environmental science majors have gone on to careers in academia, the energy industry, environmental consulting, government, policy, business, law, medicine, teaching, and much more.

Student Life

The department has a very active student organization, known as the GeoUnion, for both graduate and undergraduate students. GeoUnion hosts visiting speakers, is involved with campus and national professional societies (AAPG, AGU, GSA, SEG, SEPM), sponsors social and professional gatherings, holds an annual, industry-funded field trip, and coordinates earth science outreach and other graduate activities on campus.