Course Planning

EaES Major Course Requirements

Core and Selective Courses

The minimum required courses within EaES are composed of a set of core and selective courses. Note that these are minimal requirements for graduation; additional courses are not formally required, but we strongly advise you explore more topics within the discipline to help you prepare for entering a geoscience career.

Core Courses – 20 hours

There are 6 core courses that all EaES students must complete at the introductory level. These courses will give students a strong foundation in the geosciences.

Selective Courses (Groups I-IV) – 19 hours

Students will need to take an additional 5-6 upper level selective courses (groups I-IV) totaling at least 19 hours. Groups I-IV cover different sub-disciplines, like geochemistry and geophysics, to provide students extra training. At least one course from each of the four groups is required. Once a course is taken from each of the four groups, the 19 hour requirement can be met by taking either additional courses in the department or outside the department, with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

A detailed description of EaES courses can be found at


Core Requirements (20 hours)

EAES 101 – Global Environmental Change (4 hrs)
EAES 111 – Earth, Energy, and the Environment (4 hrs)
EAES 200 – Fieldwork in Missouri (2 hrs)
EAES 230 – Earth Materials (4 hrs)
EAES 285 – Earth Systems (4 hrs)
EAES 290 – Current Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences (2 hrs)

Solid Earth Materials

EAES 320 – Mineralogy (4 hrs)
EAES 422 – Crystal Chemistry (3 hrs)
EAES 430 – Petrology (3 hrs)
EAES 473 – Soils and the Environment (4 hrs)

Surface Environments and Processes

EAES 350 – Sedimentary Environments (3 hrs)
EAES 470 – Environmental Geomorphology (4 hrs)
EAES 475 – Hydrology/Hydrogeology (3 hrs)

Geochemistry and Geobiology

EAES 360 – Introduction to Paleontology (4 hrs)
EAES 415 – Environmental Geochemistry (4 hrs)
EAES 416 – Organic Geochemistry (3 hrs)
EAES 418 – Introduction to Biogeochemistry (3 hrs)
EAES 460 – Earth System History (4 hrs)

Geophysical and Mathematical Methods

EAES 440 – Structural Geology and Tectonics (3 hrs)
EAES 444 – Geophysics (3 hrs)
EAES 448 – Plate Tectonics (3 hrs)
EAES 480 – Statistical Methods in the Earth and Environmental Sciences (3 hrs)
EAES 484 – Planetary Science (3 hrs)

Non-EaES Selective Courses

If you decided to take additional selective courses outside the EaES department, you will need permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Examples of additional course options outside the department:

Biological Sciences (BIOS)

BIOS 230 – Ecology and Evolution, BIOS 350 – Microbiology

Chemistry (CHEM)

CHEM 232 – Organic Chemistry, CHEM 305 – Environmental Chemistry

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS)

EOHS 400 – Principles of Environmental Health Sciences, EOHS 405 – Environmental Calculations, EOHS 432 – Air Quality Management, EOHS 472 – Management of Solid and Hazardous Wastes

Geography (GEOG)

GEOG 442 – Environmental Hazards and Risks, GEOG 469 – Geographic Information Systems for Planning (same as UPP 461), GEOG 477 – Remote Sensing of the Environment, GEOG 481/482 – Geographic Information Systems I, II

Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)

LAS 493 – Topics in Sustainability and Energy

Collateral Science and Math

For a well-rounded undergraduate education in Earth and Environmental Sciences, the required courses in Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics or Biological Sciences should be considered as important as courses taken within the Earth and Environmental Sciences department. Basic skills and concepts learned in chemistry, mathematics, and physics, are often expanded on in upper level EaES courses. Furthermore, a strong performance in general science and math courses will help students distinguish themselves as attractive job and graduate school applicants.


CHEM 122/123 and 124/125 or 130 are required. The Chemistry department offers a placement test to help students assess which chemistry course and/or sequence may be right for them. In some instances, it may be recommended for students to complete CHEM 101 prior to taking CHEM 122/123. Note that many of the upper level courses in Earth and Environmental Sciences require CHEM 122/123 or 124/125 as prerequisites; we thus urge students to complete the chemistry requirement as soon as possible.


We require 2 semesters of Calculus (MATH 180 and 181). Note, that Calculus makes heavy use of algebra and trigonometry. The Mathematics Department gives placement tests to determine a student’s prepardness for Calculus. Sometimes it may be recommended for a student to take MATH 121 (Precalculas Mathematics) prior to enrolling in MATH 180 and 181.

The Calculus sequence is a foundational component to any science education and we advise working on this requirement early in your degree program. If you are interested in attending graduate school, please note that calculus is often viewed as a strong indicator of your overall mathematical ability and your promise as a scientific researcher.

Physics and Biology

We require at least 8-10 hours of Physics and/or Biological Sciences. There are various options for satisfying this requirement:

One year of Physics – the PHYS 131-132 or the PHYS 141-142 sequence. Calculus-based Physics (PHYS 141-142) is strongly recommended to help students become versatile scientists and attractive job and graduate school applicants. It is often beneficial to take your calculus courses in the same year as your Physics sequence. The Physics 131-132 sequence does not require calculus as a prerequisite.

One semester of Physics and one semester of Biological Sciences. The Physics course can be either 131 or 141. The Biological Sciences course can be either 110 or 120.

Note that we strongly urge students to complete the entire year’s sequence in Physics, whether or not they take a course in Biological Sciences.

EaES Minor Course Requirements

Students who want to minor in Earth and Environmental Sciences must take 18 credit hours, chosen with approval of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences undergraduate advisor. A maximum of 10 credit hours may be at the 100 level. At least 9 credit hours must be taken at the 200 level or above.

100/200 Level – 18 hours (min)

Recommended courses: EAES 101, EAES 111, EAES 230, EAES 285

Field Work in Missouri

The EaES field trip (EAES 200 – 2 hrs) is required for all majors and minors.

Earth and Environmental Sciences minors must consult the Undergraduate Advisor of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The advisor can help you choose the courses most appropriate to fulfill your objectives and most appropriate to complement your major. Please refer to the undergraduate catalog to ensure you meet all college requirements for minors.