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Bethanie Thomas, online bachelor's in geosciences student and future graduate of the 2023 class, using her laptop on a park bench.

Online Geoscience Degree Bachelor of Science

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Register By: October 22 Classes Start: October 24

Earn Your Geoscience Degree Online

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

Geoscience Degree Online 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.

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 lab or in the field.

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

SNHU's online geoscience program also partners with SNHU’s campus Arboretum to provide a unique integrated learning experience. SNHU’s Arboretum was even the proud recipient of the 2020 Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Effective Practice Award.

The Arboretum encompasses over 24 acres of wetland ecosystems and some of the last remaining native forestland near central Manchester. As a living classroom, the Arboretum aims to inspire and develop citizens and leaders dedicated to understanding, appreciating and sustaining our environment.

“The concept of the SNHU Arboretum has always been one of community education,” said Mike Weinstein, founder and manager of the project. “We’re fortunate enough to have the technology to extend that community to all of our learners, and maybe showcase to what extent the lines between a traditional campus and a virtual campus can be blurred.

“Additionally, by demonstrating how conserved land can directly benefit people who may be across the globe, this type of project just adds to the already priceless work of protecting natural spaces.”

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 7% by 2030.1

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.

The median pay in May 2020 for those in geoscientist roles was $93,580, according to the BLS.1

Based on median annual wages, the top industries employing geoscientists in May 2020 were1:

  • Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
  • Federal government, excluding postal service
  • Architectural, engineering and related services
  • Management, scientific and technical consulting services
  • State government, excluding education and hospitals

Mike Pinto with the text Mike PintoDepending 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 your career leads you is ultimately up to you.

"By obtaining my degree in geoscience, it has opened the doors to careers in geology, local water district companies and environmental engineering companies," said Mike Pinto '21.

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."

Wyatt Martensen '21 took advantage of that opportunity.

"The work that I do requires a pretty thorough background in the systems that we use, and thankfully enough, Southern New Hampshire University has those types of software that I use in my day-to-day workflow," he said. "It really gave me a head start with the career path that I've chosen."

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 its 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.

SNHU's online geoscience program gives you the opportunity to tailor your degree by adding a concentration or taking elective courses. After considering your interests, you might take courses in public administration, fiscal management or even public health. Through this geoscience degree, you'll get to drive the direction of your studies.

With interdisciplinary coursework, your assignments focus on real-world problems and skills that can then be applied outside of courses. Students also work with hands-on lab kits and may participate in volunteer, internship and experiential learning opportunities that can further enhance their experiences, skills and marketability.

Wyatt Martensen with the text Wyatt Martensen

"The biggest thing that helped me through college is understanding the programs that I now use in my day-to-day job," said Wyatt Martensen '21, who works in mapping as a cartographer. "Southern New Hampshire University has the same software programs that I use at my job to make sure that the maps and the charts are up to date for mariners."

You'll take courses designed by subject-matter experts in the field, and you'll learn from instructors who've worked in the industry.

"Each instructor did bring knowledge to the class based on their personal experiences and their specialty in that particular area of geoscience," said Mike Pinto '21. "My instructors were always there for help right away if I had any additional questions or if I didn’t have a clear understanding of course content. They also posted announcements a couple of times per week to further explain each assignment."

Bethanie Thomas with the text Bethanie ThomasThe convenience of the 24/7 online platform can help you succeed, as well.

"I am able to balance my school work and actual work in the military," said student Bethanie Thomas. "SNHU's flexible class schedules are key."

In addition, online learners benefit greatly from SNHU’s Arboretum partnership, which provides increased access to undergraduate research and learning opportunities through a living classroom on more than 24 acres of wetland ecosystems and native forestland on the SNHU campus.

Michael Weinstein writing on a chalkboard with the text Michael Weinstein“The students have access to a growing network of environmental sensors throughout the Arboretum space,” said project founder and manager Mike Weinstein. “This includes equipment that provides real-time data on weather, forest soil characteristics (such as water content and temperature), and wetland parameters including streamflow metrics.”

“Using real-world data provides our students with authentic learning opportunities that can help them practice their critical thinking skills and apply the scientific method,” adds Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter, technical program facilitator for science at SNHU. “They can utilize the arboretum data as a repository to collect specific data they may need to analyze and answer research questions that they pose and use those data to help explain real-world phenomena.”

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
  • 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.

Tuition & Fees

As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.

We also 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. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

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.

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