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Earth and Environmental Sciences

BSc undergraduate program


This program combines traditional disciplines in geosciences such as geochemistry, geophysics, oceanography, and environmental sciences, and connects these to social sciences, economics, and management. Students learn about the sustainable exploration and management of natural resources, the evolution of the Earth’s crust, climate, and oceans, and about the anthropogenic impact on natural systems. Practical, international field excursions, involvement in ongoing research projects, and internships are integral parts of the program. 2018 the Jacobs Geoscience program was top ranked in the CHE Rankings - for the 4th time!

Excursion to Helgoland 2018



Program Structure and Content

Year 1
Take 3 CHOICE Modules, at least one free selection
General Earth and Environmental Sciences
This module offers introductory lectures and practical courses in Earth and Environmental Sciences to build the theoretical and practical cornerstones of Earth, Ocean, Climate and Planetary Sciences, on which the anthropogenic impact on the natural (near-)surface environment of Planet Earth can be recognized and quantified. In two lectures “Introduction to Earth and Environmental Sciences” and “The Earth-Ocean System and its Evolution”, the students familiarise with the different compartments of Planet Earth and the endogenic and exogenic processes that shaped them and that controlled their evolution since the Earth formed some 4.5 billion years ago. Early exposure to remote-sensing and in-situ Earth data is provided in the practical course “DataLab: Introduction to Earth System Data”. During a three-day excursion and the accompanying lectures of the course “FieldLab: GeoEnvironmental Systems and their Chemistry” students are offered an introduction to basic techniques of field geology and field geochemistry using geology, water chemistry and environmental problems in the old mining district of the Harz Mountains, Germany, as examples.
Year 2
Take 3 CORE Modules, at least 2 from study program
Fundamental Earth and Environmental Sciences
The module “Fundamental Earth and Environmental Sciences” is comprised of essential geoscience courses that represent the backbone of a sound university education in the geosciences. Core courses on Sedimentology, Structural Geology, Volcanism and Metamorphism are complemented by applied courses in environmental and resource geoscience. If relevant, both marine and terrestrial systems are discussed. A key element of these courses are on-campus practicals during which the students are introduced to geological methods and techniques. These essential practical skills are further expanded upon and applied in a real-world scenario during a five day off-campus geological field camp.
Earth, Ocean and Environmental Chemistry
The module “Earth, Ocean and Environmental Chemistry” is comprised of fundamental geochemistry courses that represent the backbone of a sound university education in geochemistry and geochemistry-focussed environmental and resource science. Core courses on igneous and aqueous (trace) element geochemistry and introductory courses on stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry are complemented by a course on the biogeochemical aspects of environmental and resource science and an off-campus field camp focusing on environmental sciences. All courses address terrestrial as well as marine systems.
Earth, Ocean and Environmental Physics
The module “Earth, Ocean, and Environmental Physics” covers topics and methods that are essential in geophysics and physical oceanography. Emphasis will be on the quantitative assessment of physical processes and structures in terrestrial and marine systems. Important concepts are introduced and studied in lectures, and then applied and consolidated in practical courses such as field trips and computer labs on remote sensing and data analysis. The module constitutes one of the CORE pillars of the Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) program and in general may complement the education of students interested in a physics-based presentation of fundamental EES topics.
Year 3
Take CAREER Modules, choose between World and Campus Track
1. World Track
5th Semester:
  • Program-specific Internship / study abroad
6th Semester:
  • Program-specific Project / Thesis Module
  • Program-specific Specialization Module
  • Exemplary course offering:
    • Resources and Environmental Behaviour of Critical High-Technology Metals
    • Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences Field Lab
    • Current Topics in Earth and Marine Sciences
    • Current Topics in Resource and Environmental Sciences
    • Theoretical and Computational Physical Oceanography

2. Campus Track
Students who do not enter the World Track follow the Campus Track
5th and 6th Semester:
  • Program-specific Project / Thesis Module
  • Program-specific Specialization Module (please see World Track for exemplary course offering)
  • Additional CORE Module
For further information, please see the program website: