Earth Systems, Minor

Program Code: EASYS_UMNR

Program Description

The recognition that environmental problems are global in extent, and impact many different components of the Earth system simultaneously, requires that we adopt a large-scale and interdisciplinary approach to questions of global change and the interactions of the physical and human environments. The Earth Systems minor follows such an approach and offers undergraduates the opportunity to study the Earth as an integrated system. The Earth Systems minor is a science minor offered through the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. It provides a wider interdisciplinary perspective for majors in the traditional Earth science disciplines (geography, geoscience, and meteorology), and provides an introduction to Earth sciences and a broad exposure to Earth systems/environmental studies for other science and engineering majors. Students may apply up to 6 credits from courses in the major department to satisfy the minor requirements.

What is Earth Systems?

Pursuing a minor in Earth Systems can help you build a better understanding of the complexly interwoven relationships within natural systems. Through this interdisciplinary minor, you will develop a comprehensive view of how Earth's systems—the processes driving atmospheric, oceanic, and land changes—interact with one another and how humans both affect and are affected by those processes. This minor would provide a useful complement to any student interested in environmental sciences, policy, or engineering.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You want to understand the big picture of how change happens to the Earth.
  • You are interested in the environment.
  • You like to contemplate the complexity of natural systems.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 18

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
EARTH 2The Earth System and Global Change Keystone/General Education Course3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6 credits of the following:6
Earth in the Future: Predicting Climate Change and Its Impacts Over the Next Century Keystone/General Education Course
Undergraduate Collaborative Research in Earth and Materials Sciences
Human Use of Environment
Earth History
Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits from the Earth Systems Committee's approved list of courses9

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Jacob Hoover
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
542 Deike Building
University Park, PA 16802


University Park

503 Deike Building
University Park, PA 16802