Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Earth Sciences Degree

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Earth Sciences Degree

The best earth sciences liberal arts colleges are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best earth sciences degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding earth sciences faculty.

A bachelor’s degree in earth sciences is an excellent starting point for a career in meteorology, environmental conservation, renewable energy, and many other innovative fields. As an earth sciences major, you’ll study the Earth, its atmosphere, the materials and substances that compose them, and the processes that produce weather patterns, climate shifts, geological events, and more. Your earth sciences degree will incorporate four primary sub-disciplines–geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy, as well as foundational courses in subjects such as mineralogy, climatology, hydrology, paleontology, agriculture, conservation, and preservation. The best schools for earth sciences are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of earth sciences concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Frequently Asked Questions About Earth Science Bachelor’s Degrees

Scientific careers tend to involve specialized, challenging, and well-paying jobs, and earth sciences is no different. Whether as an environmental scientist, geologist, or atmospheric scientist, landing a job in a branch of earth sciences can lead to a big paycheck.

Whether studying minerals, crystals, and magma deep within the Earth, or measuring patterns of atmospheric change, earth science majors lead interesting careers full of discovery, investigation, and problem-solving opportunities. Today, top influencers in earth sciences are bringing new light to volcanology, climate change, sustainability, and much more.

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Earth sciences is a great major if you aspire to positively impact the earth and environment. This versatile degree gives you the opportunity to contribute to advances in sustainability, alternative energies, environmental conservation, agriculture, food production, and more. Your degree in earth sciences could put you in a position to produce findings, technology and innovations that could solve some of the world’s greatest challenges from global hunger to climate change.

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Once you’ve declared your major in earth sciences, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of STEM-related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized earth sciences electives, there are several common courses that most earth sciences majors will be required to take, including:

  • Earth Materials
  • Earth Processes
  • Earth Climate and History
  • Paleontology
  • Geology
  • Climatology
  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology
  • Atmospheric Thermodynamics
  • Sedimentation and Tectonics
  • Atmospheric Instrumentation
  • Hydrology

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With such a wide range of specialization options, earth science majors have an equally wide selection of career paths. Keep in mind, your major specialization largely determines your professional specialization, so if, for instance, you want to work as a geologist, we would recommend specializing in geology; if you plan to become a climate scientiest, specialize in meteorology. With the right focus, your earth sciences major can lead to a wide range of career opportunities, including these top jobs:

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Related: How to Major in Earth Sciences

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Earth Science Degree Programs

If you think a research university may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best research universities for a bachelor’s in earth sciences.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Earth Sciences Degree

  1. #1

    Pomona College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    Pomona College Earth Sciences Major:

    • Geology

    Pomona College Earth Sciences Major Concentrations:

    • General
    • Environmental Earth Science
    • Earth, Planetary and Space Science
    • Geochemistry
    • Public Policy
    Source
  2. #2

    Middlebury College

    Middlebury , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    22%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/33

    Middlebury College Earth Sciences Majors:

    • Environmental Studies
    • Geology
    Source
  3. #3

    Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    Swarthmore College Earth Sciences Major:

    • Environmental Studies
    Source
  4. #4

    Amherst College

    Amherst , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    12%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

  5. #5

    Williams College

    Williamstown , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    15%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

  6. #6

    Bowdoin College

    Brunswick , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    Claremont McKenna College Interdisciplinary Earth Sciences Major Concentrations:

    • Environment, Economics & Politics (EEP)
    • Economics-Engineering
    • Neuroscience (Behavioral, Cognitive, and Philosophy Tracks)
    • Science Management (Natural Science Tracks)
    Source
  8. #8

    Wellesley College

    Wellesley , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

  9. Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1350/29

    USNA Earth Sciences Majors:

    • Oceanography
    • Polar Science & Technology
    Source
    Source
  10. #10

    Colgate University

    Hamilton , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    27%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

  11. Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1305/27

    What is United States Coast Guard Academy known for?

    United States Coast Guard Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    USCGA Earth Sciences Major:

    • Marine and Environmental Sciences

    USCGA Earth Sciences Major Specializations:

    • Environmental Science
    • Marine Science
    • Marine Environmental Physics
    Source
  12. #18

    Vassar College

    Poughkeepsie , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

  13. #20

    Haverford College

    Haverford , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

  14. #22

    Hamilton College

    Clinton , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/33

    Hamilton College Earth Sciences Majors:

    • Environmental Studies
    • Geoarchaeology
    • Geosciences
    Source
  15. #23

    Oberlin College

    Oberlin , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1380/31

Go to all Liberal Arts Colleges for Earth Sciences programs

The Best Earth Sciences Schools in Your State

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