Earth and Planetary Sciences, BS

College of Arts & Sciences

Program Description:

Earth and Planetary Sciences is the study of the Earth and other bodies in the solar system. It involves the study of the formation, composition and history of rocks; the large- and small-scale processes that modify them after they form (including the effects of water, the atmosphere and human activities); and the useful materials (metals, petroleum, coal, etc.) that may be obtained from them. Earth and Planetary Sciences is a multidisciplinary science that utilizes chemistry, physics, biology, meteorology, oceanography and other disciplines to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of our planet and the solar system and to enhance the stewardship of our planet’s natural resources. Prospective majors are encouraged to begin their lower-division requirements in math, chemistry and physics as early as possible and visit with a Departmental Undergraduate Advisor to assist in curriculum planning. The B.S. degree is the recommended route for preparation for graduate study Geology, Geophysics or Planetary Science. B.S. students do not need to select a minor: completion of degree requirements fulfills requirements for a Distributed Minor. Petitions for course substitutions in the degree programs are welcome and should be made in consultation with a department advisor. All majors are encouraged to pursue an undergraduate thesis (493 and 495) in collaboration with a faculty advisor.

Students are advised to check with the department for information on new or changed requirements.

Admission Requirements:

A minimum of 26 credit hours; 23 credit hours must be in courses acceptable toward graduation.

A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 on all work.

  • Transfer students must have a 2.0 transfer GPA.
  • Continuing UNM students must have a 2.00 institutional GPA.

Demonstrated academic achievement by satisfying the following:

  • Completion of the University Writing and Speaking Core.
  • Completion of the University Mathematics Core.
  • Completion of the University Foreign Language Core.

Completion of Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences major admission coursework with grades of "C" or better:

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences: EPS 105L; CHEM 121; MATH 123 or 150 or 162.
  • Environmental Science: ENVS 102L; CHEM 121; MATH 123 or 150 or 162.

Career Opportunities:

Students who major in earth and planetary sciences may be inclined to pursue graduate degrees in earth and planetary sciences and eventually find careers in academia as researchers or instructors.  Others may prefer to find work outside of academia, either directly after graduation or after obtaining a professional degree.  Undergraduate study in earth and planetary sciences can prepare students for attending professional programs in law, medicine, dentistry, or business; or for entry into any field of work that makes use of people skills, an understanding of the scientific method, and the ability to read and write analytically. 

Contact Information:

Laura Crossey: Professor
(505) 277-5349

Maya Elrick: Professor
(505) 277-5077