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A Geoscience student working on a tablet in a field with text Joshua Slusher '14

Online Geoscience Degree Bachelor of Science

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Register By: January 02 Classes Start: January 04

Earn Your Geoscience Degree Online

  • $320/credit (120 total credits)
  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • Learn observation and problem-solving skills
  • Work on real-world geoscience projects
  • Internship opportunities
  • Hands-on labs can be done at home

Online Geoscience Degree Program Overview

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:

  • Develop maps and products using geospatial data
  • Use tools, technologies and scientific principles to visualize and solve problems
  • Recognize occurrences and patterns through qualitative and quantitative data
  • Make ethically responsible geoscientific decisions 

Concentration Options

Career Outlook

From identifying petroleum extraction sites to predicting earthquakes, geoscientists perform valued – and often critical – functions. 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 2028.1

Among the roles in greatest demand are:

  • Geologist. Study the history of Earth, including materials, processes and formation.
  • Environmental specialist. Help improve lives through the protection and improvement of the environment.
  • Permit specialist. Prepare, review and issue permits in regards to pollution and contamination control.
  • Environmental inspector. Perform routine inspections of job sites to ensure all projects are in compliance with environmental laws.
  • Compliance manager. Analyze complex compliance issues as they relate to environmental laws and industry standards.
  • Geotechnician. Identify safe and ideal locations for construction through imaging and testing techniques.

The median pay in May 2019 for those in geoscientist roles was $92,040, according to the BLS.1

Based on median annual wages, the top industries employing geoscientists in May 2018 were1:

  • Architectural, engineering and related services: 28%
  • Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: 22%
  • Federal government, excluding postal service: 8%
  • State government, excluding education and hospitals: 8%
  • Colleges, universities and professional schools (state, local and private): 7%

Depending on the specific responsibilities of a job, you might find yourself working in an office, laboratory, in the field or a combination of the 3. If your position involves extensive research, you could end up traveling often and working outside of typical work hours. But where you career leads you is ultimately up to you.

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 complement your core courses.

Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter with the text Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter

"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."

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Geoscience Degree

Courses & Curriculum

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. You'll study topics such as:

  • Chemistry. Gain foundational knowledge in the composition, structure and properties of matter in the context of everyday life.
  • Physics. Examine topics like energy, motion, force, gravity, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics.
  • Geohazards. Explore the origin and evolution of disasters caused by natural phenomena such as tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions.
  • Geology. Learn about Earth's composition and structure by studying minerals and rocks, surface processes, introductory petrology and plate tectonics.
  • Atmospheric science. Understand weather and climate by applying fundamental principles in physics, chemistry and fluid dynamics.
  • Research methods. Become a better geoscience researcher by proposing research topics, conducting preliminary research and developing a research proposal.

With a combined count of 33 credits, the geoscience's major and free electives give you opportunity to pursue a concentration or gain career-specific skills. After considering your interests, you might take courses in public administration, fiscal management, disaster recovery and response, public health, sustainability or even sociology. Through this geoscience degree, the possibilities are truly endless.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

  • General education courses: All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
  • Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
  • Earn math credits for what you already know: Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment.

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.

Tuition & Fees

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.

Online Undergraduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 30 credits 
Degree/Certificates $960 $320 $9,600
Degree/Certificates
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)
$675 $225 $6,750

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.

Additional Costs
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

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.

References