The Washington State University Catalog

Earth Sciences

The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.

Earth Sciences (123 Credits)

A student may be admitted to the Earth Sciences major upon making their intention known to the School of the Environment.

A student maintains eligibility for the major by completing each of the following courses with a C or better by the start of the third semester in the major: SOE 101 or 102, SOE 110, and CHEM 101 or 105. The following courses must be completed with a C or better by the end of the fourth semester in the major: MATH 171, PHYSICS 101/111 or 201/211, and SOE 350. In addition, admitted students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

A student who does not meet these minimum requirements for maintaining eligibility in the major may be released by the School of the Environment after two semesters of failing to meet minimums. A student may be eligible to re-enter into the same major when minimum requirements are met.
First Year
First TermCredits
CHEM 101[PSCI] or 105 [PSCI]4
MATH 106 or electives13
SOE 101 or 1024
Second TermCredits
CHEM 102 or 106 4
MATH 108 or electives12
SOE 210 4
Second Year
First TermCredits
Humanities [HUM]3
PHYSICS 101 or 201 3
PHYSICS 111 or 2111
SOE 350 4
Second TermCredits
MATH 140 [QUAN] or 171 [QUAN]14
SOE 1104
Professional Electives2,36 - 8
Complete Writing Portfolio
Third TermCredits
Summer Session: SOE 207 43
Third Year
First TermCredits
STAT 360, 370, or 4123
Foreign Language, if needed, or Electives53 - 4
Professional Electives2,36
Second TermCredits
COM 102 [COMM] or H D 205 [COMM]3 or 4
ECONS 3523
SOE 315 or 4613
Foreign Language, if needed50 or 4
Professional Electives2,36 - 8
Third TermCredits
Summer Session: SOE 408 [CAPS] [M], if needed3,60 or 3
Fourth Year
First TermCredits
Arts [ARTS]3
SOE 300 or BIOLOGY 3723 or 4
Professional Electives2,310
Second TermCredits
Arts [ARTS], Humanities [HUM], or Social Sciences [SSCI]3
SOE 312 [DIVR]3
SOE 404 [CAPS] [M], if needed, or Professional Electives2,3,63
Electives/Professional Electives2,36
Exit Survey7

1MATH 106 and 108 are required courses. However, if students have tested into or taken MATH 140, 171, 172 or ALEKS with an 80% or better, MATH 106 and 108 will be waived. If waived, students may need to take additional credits to meet the University minimum requirement of 120 credits.
2Professional Electives: Students will complete a total of 31 credits of professional electives, 21 of which must be selected from one of three emphasis areas: 1) Solid Earth – approved courses include SOE 303, 320, 340 [M], 404 [M], 405, 498; SOIL SCI 374; 2) Earth Surface Processes, Soils, and Geography – approved courses include; BIOLOGY 469 [M]; SOE 303, 311, 320, 335 [M], 340 [M], 404 [M], 405, 408 [M], 412 [M], 416, 444; SOIL SCI 302, 374, 441/442; TCH LRN 487, or 3) Water and Climate – approved courses include BIOLOGY 469 [M]; CE 401, 402, 403; SOE 303, 311, 320 390, 408 [M], 412, 463, 465, 475; SOIL SCI 374, 414/415. The remaining 10 credits of professional electives can be 300-400-level courses chosen from any of the emphasis areas and may need to include an [M] course, or selected from a related field or sub-discipline and approved by the academic advisor. Course used to fulfill the [CAPS] requirement cannot be used to fulfill Professional Electives.
3The School of the Environment requires students to take three [M] courses. The [CAPS] course required for each emphasis fulfills one of the [M] courses. The remaining two [M] courses will be selected from the professional electives.
4SOE 207 is the approved Experiential Elective for Earth Science majors.
5Two years of high school foreign language or at least two semesters of college-level foreign language are required by the College of Arts and Sciences for graduation.
6University [CAPS] course required for each emphasis is as follows: 1) Solid Earth - SOE 408 [CAPS] [M]; 2) Earth Surface Processes, Soils, and Geography - SOE 404[CAPS] [M] or 408 [CAPS] [M]; and 3) Water and Climate - SOE 404 [CAPS] [M].
7Students must complete a School of the Environment exit survey, administered during the final semester.

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