Academic Programs

School of Earth Sciences

The Earth Sciences have been at the heart of Stanford's academic program since the University's beginnings, nearly 120 years ago. Those early geologists focused on the search for and extraction of natural resources, an important endeavor during that age of expanding industrialization. Today the School of Earth Sciences works to gain a better understanding of our planet's history and its future, the energy and resource base that supports society, geologic hazards that impact a growing population, a changing climate and the challenge of sustainability.

Learn more about the school on the School of Earth Sciences website.

Majors

Earth Systems

Earth Systems is an interdisciplinary environmental science and policy major. You will learn about and independently investigate complex environmental problems caused by human interaction with natural systems. You will become skilled in those areas of science, economics, and policy needed to tackle the globe's most pressing environmental problems and sustainability challenges.

  • Degrees offered: B.S. Coterminal M.A../M.S.
  • Units required: 94-126
  • Research opportunities are available.

Concentrations

  • Anthrosphere
  • Biosphere
  • Energy, Science, and Technology
  • Land Systems
  • Oceans

Sample Courses

  • Introduction to Earth Systems
  • Biology and Global Change
  • Human Society and Environmental Change
  • The Oceans: An Introduction to the Marine Environment
  • Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems

Alumni Careers

  • Resident Physician, University of California, San Francisco
  • Concessions Program Manager, National Park Service
  • Global Strategy and Planning, GE Energy
  • Science Teacher, Pinewood School
  • Associate Policy Director, Working Partnerships USA
  • Project Manager, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Assistant Professor, University of Southern California
  • Veterinarian, Happy Valley Large Animal Services
  • Fisheries Biologist, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
  • Program Director, Conservation Strategy Fund

Learn more about this program

Energy Resources Engineering

Energy Resources Engineering is the major for students interested in the changing energy landscape and challenges for future energy production. The program allows students to learn more about natural resources such as oil, gas, and geothermal reservoirs, renewable energy resources feasibility and technology, and the technology for managing carbon emissions. Coursework and research in ERE prepares students to work in the energy industry of today and gives necessary tools to make the energy transitions of tomorrow.

  • Degrees offered: B.S. M.S. Ph.D. Coterminal M.A../M.S. Minor
  • Units required: 120
  • Research opportunities are available.

Concentrations

  • Fluid Flow and the Subsurface
  • 3D Modeling of Subsurface Structures
  • Energy and Earth Systems

Sample Courses

  • Energy and the Environment
  • Renewable Energy Sources and Greener Energy Processes
  • Technology in the Greenhouse
  • Modeling Uncertainty in the Earth Sciences

Alumni Careers

  • Energy Investment Banking, TPG Growth
  • Petroleum Exploration and Production, PTTEP (Thailand)

Learn more about this program

Geological and Environmental Sciences

The geological and environmental sciences are naturally interdisciplinary and diverse. Students and faculty study mountain building and erosion, Earth's past climate, the evolution of life over time, volcanic eruptions past and present, the environmental effects of mining, and much more. Students spend significant class time in the field and in the lab. If you like to think big, applying chemistry, physics, and biology to the study of the Earth, then Geological and Environmental Sciences could be the field for you.

  • Degrees offered: B.S. M.S. Ph.D. Coterminal M.A../M.S. Minor
  • Units required: 85-106
  • Research opportunities are available.

Concentrations

  • Environmental Geology and Surface Processes
  • Structural Geology and Tectonics
  • Earth Materials and Geochemistry
  • Sedimentary Systems
  • Biogeosciences

Sample Courses

  • Introduction to Physical Geology
  • Evolution and Extinction: Introduction to Historical Geology
  • Forensic Geoscience: Stanford CSI
  • The California Gold Rush: Geologic Background and Environmental Impact
  • Soil Physics and Hydrology

Alumni Careers

  • Professor and Bestselling Author (Dirt), University of Washington
  • Geochronologist, Volcano Hazards, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Executive President, Cassidy & Associates
  • Science teacher, Los Gatos High School
  • Professor, Central Washington University
  • Senior Geochemist, Calera Corporation
  • Consultant, PG&E Pacific Energy Center
  • Herbert Hoover, United States President

Learn more about this program

Geophysics

Geophysicists use physical and mathematical methods to analyze the structure and dynamics of the Earth. The curriculum emphasizes the application of geophysical methods to studies in whole-earth geodynamics, natural resource exploration, natural hazards, and freshwater contamination. If you want to apply math, physics, and computer programming to the study of the Earth, geophysics could be the field for you.

  • Degrees offered: B.S. M.S. Ph.D. Coterminal M.A../M.S. Minor
  • Units required: 90
  • Research opportunities are available.

Concentrations

  • Whole-Earth Geophysics
  • Resources, Hazards, and the Environment
  • Numerical and Computational Methods
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

Sample Courses

  • Earth on the Edge: Introduction to Geophysics
  • Earthquakes and Volcanoes
  • Man versus Nature: Coping with Disasters Using Space Technology

Alumni Careers

  • Director of Business Intelligence, GlobalEnglish Corporation
  • Math and Physics Teacher, The Wheeler School
  • Senior Vice President of Investor Relations, Ballard Petroleum Holdings, L.L.C.
  • Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Assistant Public Defender, Alaska Public Defender Agency

Learn more about this program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last update: December 18, 2014 2:23 PM