In the Department of Earth Science, we study the Earth environment through an integrated synthesis of geology, oceanography, and meteorology.
We emphasize experimental studies, field work, and applications. Curricula are individually planned to provide a broad basic training in earth science and to prepare students for further graduate study or careers in the environmental, energy, and mineral fields. We have a strong tradition of student research.
Degree options include Bachelor of Science and Master of Science, as well as a minor in Earth Science. Students can focus their coursework in the areas of environmental geology, hydrogeology, and petrology/mineralogy.
What Can I Do With a Major in Earth Science?
Become a geologist, hydrologist, environmental scientist, environmental lawyer, geotechnical engineer, geochemist, geophysicist, meteorologist, seismologist, oceanographer, paleontologist, volcanologist—opportunities abound. For professional geoscientists, the median annual salary is $90,890, and employment growth outlook is 16%, faster than the average for all occupations. The American Geological Institute provides more career information.
How to Become an Earth Science Major or Minor
To declare a major or minor in Earth Science, contact the undergraduate advisor, Dr. Elisabet Head, at E-Head@neiu.edu.
Our department is housed on the first floor of Bernard Brommel Hall. We have equipment for petrologic, petrographic, and X-ray diffraction analysis; ground water modeling by physical, field, and numerical methods; field studies involving hydraulic testing and ground water and soil sampling, including campus monitoring wells; thin sectioning and rock preparation; soil and sediment size analysis; and a student computer lab.
Earth Science Student Club
The Earth Science Club organizes speakers, field trips, service activities, museum trips, and social events with a geological purpose. On their annual Spring Break trip, students go camping in geologically fascinating areas. Recent field trips have included Mammoth Cave, Death Valley, and the Ozark Mountains.
Student Center for Science Engagement
Earth Science students and faculty work closely with the Student Center for Science Engagement. The Center supports students in the sciences and mathematics by providing advising, tutoring, and specialized workshops focused on career success skills and preparing for graduate school. The Center enriches your preparation for a scientifically-driven career by providing you with the support you need to advance into post-graduate study or another professional option that leverages your scientific training.