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Gain the analytical, technical and communication skills you need to take on complex environmental issues with a Bachelor of Science in Geoscience degree online from Southern New Hampshire University. Our program gives you a strong foundation in the physical sciences with a focus on geography, geology, earth systems science, physics, chemistry and spatial awareness.
"The significance of the geoscience field lies in the possibilities of what geoscientists can do to help protect our planet and predict what the future might hold," said Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter, technical program facilitator for science at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).
In the geoscience degree online, you’ll learn how to analyze data and use 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 can equip you to step into the professional world – whether you want to make your mark in the field or in the lab.
Learn how to:
Master geospatial tools and technology in our online Bachelor of Science in Geosciences degree with a concentration in Geospatial Technology.
"The geospatial technologies concentration incorporates geographic information system (GIS), remote sensing and global positioning system (GPS) to construct maps and solve authentic problems," said Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter, technical program facilitator for science at SNHU. Those issues may involve "studying land cover and deforestation, mapping and managing natural resources, and assessing and monitoring natural disasters like floods, wildfires or coastal erosion."
Throughout the program, you'll gain practical experience in geospatial analysis using geographic information systems, satellite imagery, sensors and analytical methods for the geosciences. You'll also explore how the acquisition, integration and analysis of geospatial data can apply to a wide range of environmental issues.
As a graduate of the geosciences degree program with a concentration in geospatial technology, you'll be prepared to pursue or advance your career in a variety of roles, including:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for environmental scientists and specialists, including those in health fields, will grow 8% by 2028 – faster than the average growth for all occupations.2
Demand for geospatial experts cuts across a wide range of industries, from finance and insurance to healthcare, law enforcement and national security.
Courses may include:
Learn how to manage, conserve and remediate hazards to natural resources in our online Bachelor of Science in Geoscience degree with a concentration in Natural Resources and Conservation.
"The natural resources and conservation concentration focuses on ways in which humans and human activities are threatening earth’s natural processes and impacting our environment," said Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter, technical program facilitator for science at SNHU. "It also highlights ways in which sustainable practices can be utilized to help reduce environmental impact and preserve our natural resources."
The coursework covers climate change, alternative energy, sustainability and more of today's most important environmental challenges. You'll gain the skills and experience to meet intensifying demand for geoscience professionals specialized in energy, environmental protection, and land and resource management.
As a graduate of the program, you'll be prepared to pursue or advance your career in a variety of roles, including:
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 6% by 2028.2
Among the roles in greatest demand are:
The median pay in May 2018 for those in geoscientist roles was $91,130, according to the BLS.2
Based on median annual wages, the top industries employing geoscientists in May 2018 were2:
At SNHU, you have the ability to shape your skill set for your career by using your elective courses to your advantage. Maximize the potential of your program by choosing subjects that compliment your core courses.
"Students wishing to focus their careers in more of an environmental arena can bring in courses in biology, environmental science, sustainability and environmental compliance," said Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter, technical program facilitator for science at SNHU. "Those wishing to be involved in policy and decision making might want to consider courses in data analytics, management and public administration."
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, Southern New Hampshire University has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
As an Southern New Hampshire University student, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 peers, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate your industry. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
See why 96% of students would recommend SNHU.*
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
Test scores are not required as part of your application.
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.
The program emphasizes geoscience data for their uses in problem solving and establishing policies that support public health and safety, effective resource management and environmental protection.
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
Due to shipping laws, lab courses requiring lab kits must be completed within the contiguous United States. New students living outside the lower 48 states may be eligible to transfer in lab credits from accredited institutions. If a currently-enrolled student moves outside of the contiguous U.S., they may petition to take the labs at another institution for credit.
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% 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)
While geoscience and geology have some overlapping components, they are not entirely the same.
Geoscience is an interdisciplinary field that covers a broad spectrum of disciplines – like earth science, atmospheric science, geology, geography, physics and chemistry. It allows you to study the dynamic nature of the earth, understand its history to predict current and future changes, and find ways to manage our natural resources in a sustainable way.
On the other hand, geology is a subdiscipline of earth science, that specifically focuses on the history of the earth, the rocks and minerals that compose it and the processes that act upon it.
Yes. Students can earn their BS in Geosciences online because the program's coursework easily translates to a virtual environment.
SNHU began offering courses online in 1995. By developing online general education courses that would be needed for programs – like English, math, social science and the humanities – SNHU has been able to expand degree offerings, including STEM programs like geoscience.
You'll take science classes like chemistry, physics and geology – and you get the hands-on experience you need through lab kits mailed to your home. And you'll finish up your bachelor's degree with geoscientific research methods and capstone courses, giving you the opportunity to develop a research project in a chosen area of specialization.
Geoscience is an excellent major choice if you're interested in working in a growing STEM field. If you have a passion for our planet, earning a geoscience degree is one way to study its past and protect its future.
According to a survey done by the American Geosciences Institute, graduates in the field are often motivated by intellectual engagement, interdisciplinary nature and solving societal issues.3
The same survey cited that, in 2017, those with undergraduate geoscience degrees were employed in:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for geoscientists will grow 6% by 2028.2
Geoscientists can help mitigate natural disasters like earthquakes, floods or landslides. They can provide scientific counsel and advice on ways to preserve the environment or sustainably manage natural resources. They can work with geospatial technology to prepare maps, analyze geographic data and study issues like climate change, disaster relief and resource management.
With such a diverse field of study, career opportunities abound for geoscientists. Geoscientists can work in all sectors, including nonprofit, government, industry, academia and research, and jobs can include a combination of field, laboratory and office work – or all of one and none of the others.
"It just depends on what you want to do and where you end up working," said Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter, technical program facilitator for science at SNHU.
Geoscientists can pursue careers in a multitude of areas and disciplines, including:
Thrippleton-Hunter also offered suggestions for careers that you could be positioned for with a geoscience degree:
Some of these roles may require additional education or training beyond a bachelor's degree.
Earning a bachelor's degree is essential to becoming a geoscientist. Some in the field go on to earn their master's degree, as well.
Employers require a specific skill set learned through coursework and hands-on training at universities. Desirable qualities for geoscientist, according to BLS, include2:
The skills you build when you earn a geoscience degree are appealing in a wide range of industries. Because of that, geoscientists are employable all across the workforce.
The American Geosciences Institute lists dozens of professions – some expected, some unexpected – in which geoscientists are employed4:
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
*According to a survey of over 12,000 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2018.
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
3 American Geosciences Institute, Occupations of Terminal Geoscience Degree Recipients in 2017, on the internet, at https://www.americangeosciences.org/geoscience-currents/occupations-terminal-geoscience-degree-recipients-2017 (viewed Dec. 11, 2019)
4 American Geosciences Institute, Workforce Infographic, on the internet, at https://www.americangeosciences.org/workforce/ workforce-infographic (viewed Nov. 13, 2019)