Earth Science, Vassar College
Information for this profile was provided by Jeff Walker in 2009. Information is also available on the program website.
Vassar College is a private four-year institution, primarily undergraduate .
Overview and Context
This is our only purely geoscience curriculum.
With our colleagues in geography, we also offer the interdisciplinary major "Earth Science and Society." Students in Environmental Studies will sometimes complete a 5-course sequence in Earth Science as part of their multidisciplinary major.
The curriculum was designed to allow earth science students a maximum amount of choice in designing their major. It also allows the faculty to offer a wider variety of courses because we only need to offer the required courses, of which there are three, annually. All other courses are offered on an every-other-year, or every-three-years, basis.
Goals and Assessment
The goal of this curriculum is to prepare students for a wide range of post-graduate possibilities including graduate school, teaching, consulting, etc.
We assess our program through exit interviews with seniors and keeping track of the careers of our graduates.
Courses and Sequencing
Entry into the program
- Earth, Environment and Humanity (required)
- The History of Earth and its Life (required)
- Earth Materials (Prerequisite: Earth, Environment and Humanity)
ElectivesStudents are required to take 8 units (usually 8 courses) of electives, selected from the list below:
- Sediment, Strata, and Environment
- Soils and Sustainable Agriculture
- Geomorphology: Surface Processes and Evolution of Landforms
- Global Geophysics and Tectonics
- Geophysical Investigations
- Structural Geology
- Stable Isotopes in Environmental Science
- Continental Margins
- Environmental Geology
- Modeling the Earth
- Optional senior thesis