Gain the analytical, technical and communication skills you need to take on complex environmental issues with a geoscience degree online from Southern New Hampshire University. Our bachelor’s of science in geosciences gives you a strong foundation in the physical sciences with a focus on geography, geology, earth systems science, physics, chemistry and spatial awareness. You can also elect a concentration in geospatial technology or natural resources and conservation and explore more deeply the field that interests you most.
Not available for students outside the continental U.S.
In the geoscience degree online, you’ll learn how to analyze data and utilize the latest technology to study all aspects of the earth and present your findings. The skills and experience you obtain from our bachelor’s in geosciences program will equip you to step into the professional world ready to go with these skills:
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission – to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your bachelor’s in geosciences at SNHU include:
The demand for educated geoscience professionals will intensify over the next few decades due to our rapidly growing population and the need for energy, environmental protection, and land and resource management. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for geoscientists will grow 14 percent by 2026, faster than the average growth for all occupations.*
Among the roles in greatest demand are:
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the Internet, at Geoscientists (viewed online November 6, 2017). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
The BS in Geosciences gives you a solid foundation in the physical sciences with a focus on geography, geology, earth systems science, physics and chemistry. Through our instructor-led lab courses, you'll gain valuable hands-on experience.
An introductory, general education course for the non-science major emphasizing the contribution of chemistry in our everyday lives. This course will enable students to look at various aspects of the world around them through the lens of chemistry. It will introduce basic concepts and applications of chemistry as well as chemical topics and their relationship to matters of societal concern.
This course will use laboratory techniques to study the fundamental principles of chemistry. Topics such as the mole, chemical equilibria, chemical and physical properties, solutions, kinetics, etc., will all be covered along with other topics important to chemistry.
This course will explore disasters due to natural phenomena such as climate change, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, asteroid/comet impacts, and mass extinctions. Each type of event will be considered in terms of its origin, evolution, warning potential, range of significant environmental impacts and possible mitigation strategies, as well as key historical cases of these geohazards.
Principles of Physics is an algebra based course that explores the major topics in physics, such as motion and forces, gravity and projectiles, energy and work, thermodynamics, vibrations and waves, electricity and magnetism, solids and fluids, light and optics, and atomic and nuclear physics.
This course will use laboratory techniques to study the fundamental principles of physics. Topics such as motion and forces, gravity and projectiles, and energy and work will be covered along with other topics important to physics.
Earth Science presents the basic dynamics of cycles and processes of the Earth, including an overview of the origin of the planet, its physical and chemical composition, and geological and chemical interactions. The course culminates in a discussion of the current health of the planet and examines related environmental issues and evidence.
This course will introduce students to the Earth's structure and composition, minerals and rocks, surface processes, elementary petrology, and the principle of plate tectonics. Additionally, historical geology, including paleontology, glaciation, earthquakes and seismology, rivers and drainage, and groundwater will be discussed.
This online laboratory course component will allow students to integrate and apply theory based knowledge related to the study of rocks, minerals, and geologic mapping.
This course will focus on the fundamental principles of the physics, chemistry, and fluid dynamics underlying weather and climate. Additionally, the continual movement of weather and its associated elements, and the development of climate change will be addressed.
This course will examine the study, use, and design of map formats and specialized products such as fence-diagrams and cross-sections, as well as symbology, coordinate systems, and how maps record the historical patterns of human behavior. The course will also review maps as a tool to analyze human activity and societal development, and include important aspects of map data collection, processing, the Global Positioning System (GPS), quantitative mapping, and GIS-based mapmaking techniques. Additionally, students will review how humans process the concept of space.
This course will review geostatistical methods for their use in the spatial analysis of geological and environmental data. Students will explore the application of geostatistics for the description of spatial patterns and identification of scales of variability, spatial interpolation, and stochastic modeling of environmental attributes, and the creation of risk maps and their use in geoscientific decision making.
This course will explore the scientific methodology, empirical reasoning, and specific application of research methods in the geosciences. Students will explore key instrumentation and their application in laboratory settings, as well as survey techniques, sample collection, and elementary modeling.
As professionals, students will be expected to use their knowledge and skills to enhance understanding of Earth for the well-being of society and the environment. As such, this course will focus on leadership and ethics as it relates to the practice of the geosciences. Topics will include project management techniques related to scheduling and budgeting projects, group dynamics, organizational behavior, and compliance.
This is the pre-capstone course for Geosciences majors. Through the emphasis in this course on the acquisition and integration of geoscientific research, students will learn to synthesize knowledge and skills from prior program coursework to develop a research project in a chosen area of specialization. This course focuses on helping students propose a topic for research, conduct preliminary research, and develop a capstone research proposal. This course prepares students for the formal capstone submission in the following course, Geosciences Capstone.
This capstone course is the culminating experience for the B.S. in Geosciences program. The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout their coursework, rather than introducing new concepts. This course extends students' research proposals created in Geoscientific Research Methods into a formal capstone project and is structured to support student success in fulfilling program requirements.
Select four of the following or a concentration:
This course will provide an overview of the technology by which aircraft and satellite images of the Earth are produced as well as hands on experience manipulating and interpreting remote sensing data. Students will gain practical experience in environmental analysis using satellite imagery and commonly used sensors and analytical methods for the Earth sciences.
This course will investigate geospatial statistical analyses that aim to provide students with the background necessary to investigate geographically represented data. The specific focus will be on spatial data analysis, such as the analysis of autocorrelation, principles of geostatistics and analysis methods that are relevant in the fields of public health, environmental/earth science and social science. The focus of this course will be to gain hands-on experience in applying these techniques with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial analytical software, and essential methodological and practical issues that are involved in sophisticated spatial analyses.
This course is designed to introduce the student into the exciting new world of mapping software. Mapping software has found many uses throughout government, universities, business, as well as in the public policy arena. Students will learn how to use mapping tools that are available with data driven web sites, as well as learn how to create their own maps with mapping software. Students will learn how to work with different kinds of data sets and how to incorporate them into customized maps for analysis and presentation.
This course will provide the fundamental skills necessary for geospatial programming. Topics will include calling geographic processing tools, batch processing, performing file input/output in an external computing language and building, graphical user interfaces, and displays. To support these tasks, students will learn basic object-oriented programming concepts.
This course is designed to introduce students to the basics of public administration and set context around contemporary political, social, economic, and administrative realities. It explores public service organizations, governance, public policies, and institutional-based programs. It also examines, from a multidisciplinary perspective, those essential competencies, values and issues important to public policy at the local, state, national and international levels.
This course will examine the underlying theories of public administration and their impact on community goal achievement. Students will examine supervisory and leadership behaviors in public administration and consider the ethical implications of public administration.
This course will examine the functions, hierarchy and management of various local government departments. Students will learn the interrelationship of various community departments as well as the roles of leadership and community boards within local government.
This course will analyze methods of securing public funds, the process of budget makings, and the techniques used by government and public administration in managing public funds.
This course will examine government and community behaviors, responses and recovery efforts following emergencies and disasters. Specific emphasis will be place of service delivery models and strategies, coordination of assistant services, and the dynamics of the recovery process.
This course introduces students to the field of public health: its historical evolution, fundamental theories, concepts and practice in the US, and its core values and ethical principles. The structure of the public health system, the ten essential services, and the core knowledge areas (epidemiology, biostatistics, social and behavioral sciences, environmental health, and healthcare policy and administration) are outlined in order for students to comprehend the breadth of complex factors impacting health and the tools available to protect and promote health.
How do we build a society fit for living? This course looks to the field of environmentally sustainable community development (ESCD) for answers to this question. Students explore the principles and practices of ESCD using pattern-mapping of community needs, site visits, and other experiential learning tools that turn communities into classrooms, and bring the challenge of building environmentally sustainable communities to life. In the process, students identify assumptions that lead to unsustainable social practices, and develop the skills necessary to help create livable local landscapes and sustainable local futures through individual and community action.
Free Elective Credits: 24
Total Credits: 120
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30 percent tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
*Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...