Undergrad Prospective Students

Undergraduate Program 

The undergraduate program in DEES provides an understanding of the natural functioning of our planet and considers the consequences of human interactions with it. Through Columbia College and the School of General Studies, our historic department offers undergraduate majors and concentrations in both Earth Science and Environmental Science.

Our department is close-knit, with students and professors alike coming together at seminars and weekly colloquium on our Lamont campus, as well as a host of undergraduate events on our Morningside campus. Our Earth and Environmental Science Club plans monthly seminars and talks, as well as more casual events like bad geology movie nights. 

Sign up for our email list! 

Italy Field Trip (2019)

Prospective students seeking to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in our department should apply to either Columbia College or the School of General Studies (for returning and nontraditional students).


For more info on admission:

Columbia University Undergraduate Admissions

School of General Studies Admissions

You will need a department signature in order to declare a major or concentration in earth or environmental science. Find info below from Columbia College and General Studies about the major and concentrator declaration process. 

Declaring a Major/Concentration - Columbia College 

Declaring a Major/Concentration - General Studies

You will want to start planning your courses as early in your undergraduate career as you can. Please refer to our Degree Requirements for guidance on courses, and contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies or Undergraduate Program Manager with any questions. 

  • DEES Undergrad Brochure: the brochure provides a general overview of basic info about our department and our undergraduate program. 


  • DEES 2023 Undergrad Guide: updated annually, the guide includes in-depth information about the department and all aspects of the undergrad program.

Use the chart below to compare and contrast our three majors, 

  • Earth Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Climate System Science

alongside the major in Sustainable Development, which you can find more info about on their department website.  

Major comparison chart

A degree in Earth, Environmental, or Climate System Science provides an excellent foundation for those planning to enter the professions of environmental consulting, earth science research, oceanography, resource and carbon management, law, business, environmental policy/advocacy journalism, data science/analysis, and more. At the same time, the program provides sufficient depth so that graduates will be prepared for graduate school in the earth and environmental sciences.

Take a look at our Alumni Careers page to see positions held by recent graduates of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Careers in Climate, Environment, Earth Science