Earth System Science, B.S.

Earth System Science student looking at a rock in classroom.

Understand earth as an integrated system through geology, astronomy, biology, chemistry and physics.

A degree in Earth System Science helps you build your knowledge of Earth's spheres through an interdisciplinary approach, linking the geosciences with chemistry, physics, biology, environmental science, and astronomy. You'll explore the natural processes operating within and between each sphere, as well as the impact of human activities on the system.




Program Highlights

  • You can add a licensure for teaching science
  • Every major does faculty-mentored research
  • Learn about the Westfield River Watershed Association
  • Beautiful nature just minutes away

Play a role in saving the Earth.

Develop the knowledge and skills to understand and address climate change and other issues affecting the earth.

Earn a degree that can make a real difference.

  • Two students wearing lab coats, gloves, and safety goggles conduct an experiment in a laboratory setting.

    Develop a solid foundation in the sciences

    A degree in Earth System Science helps you build on your knowledge of science with an interdisciplinary focus that brings together chemistry, biology, and physics. You’ll explore the physical processes in operation within each sphere and get a better understanding of how this affects the entire system.

  • A student seated in a classroom setting listens to a professor.

    Student-faculty interactions

    Personalized attention from dedicated faculty helps you grow in knowledge and confidence. You'll have the opportunity to participate in relevant class discussions and meaningful research projects that will build your knowledge base, improve your public speaking skills, and add to the collective understanding of how the Earth System works, changes, and can be sustained.

  • Two students in Earth System Science lab looking at a rock with a faculty member.

    Careers in Earth System Science

    A degree in Earth System Science will prepare you for a career in the physical sciences in a variety of disciplines, including government, regulatory agencies, environmental consulting, and industry. The degree will also prepare you for graduate work and advanced degrees.

What can you do with a degree in earth system science?

You’ll be prepared for work in government, regulatory agencies, or private industry. You can use your degree for a career as a:

  • City planner
  • Geologist
  • Forester
  • Hydrologist
  • Land-use planner
  • Nation resource manager
  • National park administrator
  • Seismologist
  • Stratigrapher
  • Teacher
Two Earth System Science students looking at a rock laughing.

Ready to learn more?

Course Requirements

Program Description

The Earth System Science degree provides a strong foundation in the classic disciplines of science: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. This foundation serves as a basis for exploration of the interaction within and between Earth's systems (atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere). Emphasis is given to the physical processes that dictate the mechanics that are in operation within each sphere and control their behavior. The degree integrates recognition of both natural and anthropogenic changes through time as well as linkage of causation and effect between the systems. This degree is recommended for students who envision a career in the Physical Sciences in a variety of disciplines in government, regulatory agencies, or private industry such as laboratory technician, city planning, or consulting as well as a sound foundation for students continuing to graduate school and advanced degrees or pursuing academic careers.

Required Foundation Courses - 41 Credits
Required Upper-Level Courses - 14 Credits
Upper-Level Electives (9-12 credits)

A minimum of 9 additional credits above the 100-level, from any of the courses listed below (or an alternative elective approved by department chair), selected with guidance from the faculty advisor. 

Get big school features with small school advantages.  

We offer high-quality academics, unique learning opportunities, and a gorgeous campus—and we have small classes, accessible faculty, and one-on-one support. 

You'll join fellow motivated students ready to make the most of the college experience through active participation. Become part of a caring and committed community that understands and embraces the bridge between academic study and civic responsibility.

  • 15:1

    student-faculty ratio

  • 100%

    Of our majors pursue faculty-mentored research

  • Learn

    Surrounded by hills, valleys, and streams

Committed to your success.

Dedicated and talented, our faculty come to Westfield State with graduate degrees from some of the most respected universities in the nation. You’ll benefit from engaging classes taught by those with a passion for teaching.

Faculty directory

A professor wearing a lab coat and safety goggles talks with a student in a laboratory setting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to submit SAT/ACT scores or an essay when I apply?

Westfield State University does not require an application essay, SAT and/or ACT scores, or letters of recommendation (except for special program admissions).     

All first-year applicants are reviewed for admission based on their high school record. First-year applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) in order to qualify for admission to a state university.   

Learn more about the application process and admissions here.

How much does Westfield State University cost?

Westfield State University offers a comprehensive university experience at an affordable cost—with many options for financial aid. Visit our Cost and Aid page to learn more. 

Will I receive academic support?

We’re invested in your success. Whether you need a little help adjusting to college, study strategies, tutoring, or disability services, the team at the Academic Achievement Department is ready to help. Our mission is to provide you with the tools to explore academic opportunities as well as to plot strategies for continued growth. 

Learn more about our student support services here.

 What is earth science?

Earth science or earth system science is the study of Earth as an interconnected dynamic system made up of (atmosphere, hydrosphere, and solid earth) with a focus on its properties, structure, and systems through the lens of physical sciences and the effect humans can have on it.

Request Information

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Earth System Science, B.S.