Mission & Learning Objectives


The mission of the Earth System Science major is to equip undergraduate students with a comprehensive understanding of Earth Systems (geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere) to address environmental challenges at local, regional, and global levels. The program offers experiential, collaborative, laboratory, field, capstone, and seminar learning opportunities. Graduates of the program will be well positioned to pursue either graduate studies, professional employment, or teaching at the elementary or secondary levels. The goal of the major is to produce well-educated, enlightened citizens, who can reason cogently, communicate clearly, and solve problems.

Courses in the Major satisfy the Domain II B requirement.

An Earth Science Bachelors degree is a gateway into a wide range of careers, including: Geologist, Hydrologist, Ground Water Specialist, Environmental Consultant, Mining or Minerals Engineer, Paleontologist, Climatologist, Meteorologist, Polar Scientist, Soil Scientist, High School Teacher.

Earth System Science Program Learning Objectives

  1. Content Knowledge: demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of Earth’s geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere.
  2. Field methods: appropriately use a variety of tools and resources to collect data in the field.
  3. Research methods:independently integrate laboratory, field and literature data to support a thesis.
  4. Communication methods:communicate scientific data, ideas, and interpretations (through written, oral, visual, and digital means).
  5. Critical thinking: think critically about environmental challenges at local, regional, and global levels.
  6. Ethics: evaluate the ethical issues at the intersection of society and the environment.
  7. Education coordinate majors:pass the appropriate MTEL examination which qualifies them to teach Earth Science at the elementary or secondary level.

Pre-Engineering Program Learning Objectives

  1. Acquire foundational knowledge of physics, math, chemistry, and related subjects, as well as critical thinking skills and facility with the scientific method.
  2. Acquire laboratory skills.
  3. Develop critical thinking skills to assess science and technology issues as citizens and in society.
  4. Acquire knowledge of the breadth and scope of engineering, including an understanding of the design process used by engineers.
  5. Acquire an ability to work collaboratively.
  6. Be prepared to enter one of University of Massachusetts system or Mass Maritime B.S. degree programs in engineering.