Prospective Students

The School of Geosciences offers undergraduate majors in three programs that focus on human-environment interactions: Geology, Geography & GIS, and Environmental Science & Policy.   Our programs focus on the grand environmental and social challenges that humanity faces, such as resource depletion, natural hazards, environmental change, and social justice.  Each of our majors offers students a chance to specialize in the different aspects of the Earth’s physical and human environment.  Our programs prepare students for both immediate employment in the workforce and continuation onto graduate degree programs in geosciences.   Our students find employment with government agencies, NGOs, private corporations, environmental firms, and other organizations.  Which geosciences major is right for you?


Geology students measure and observe geologic features in the field.

Geology is the study of the Earth and its materials, including minerals, rocks, soil, and water. Geologists study the composition, structure, and function of those materials over space and time. USF Geology majors take courses in hydrology, coastal geology, paleontology, minerology, geochemistry, volcanology, seismology, and more. Our program offers unique field and lab experiences that support hands-on learning, both in coursework and field camps, that prepare students for graduate school and employment.  

Geography and Geographic Information Systems

Geography student surveys a site of interest.

Geography is the study of the Earth’s physical features, human activity, and their interactions with one another. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer system that captures, stores, displays, and facilitates the analysis and modelling of data related to the Earth and its inhabitants. USF Geography & GIS students take courses in human geography (e.g. economic, cultural, economic, political, urban, and regional geography), physical geography (geomorphology, karst, wetlands, water, climate), environmental geography (nature and society, human impacts, wildlife), and GIS (GIS, remote sensing, spatial analysis). Our program focuses on using GIS and geographical perspectives for solving the pressing problems facing Earth and society, preparing students for both graduate school and the workforce.

Environmental Science & Policy

Environmental scientists sample surface water in the field

Environmental Science is the study of the physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the Earth and how they interact with humans and other organisms. Environmental policy refers to the measures taken by governments, corporations, or other organizations regarding the effects of human activities on the environment. Our ESP major uniquely focuses on the connections between society and the environment. Our majors take courses on environmental regulations, natural hazards, hydrology, environmental change, global conservation, sustainability, wetlands, wildlife, meteorology, and more. Our program offers opportunities for students to gain practical lab, field, and GIS skills through both coursework and internships, preparing students for both graduate school and the workforce.