Courses, Curriculum, and Grading

Courses and Curriculum

The Department of Earth Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree with a major. The department offers 4 degree options, including:

You can find a complete list of courses offered in the Course Catalog.

Declare the Major

Introductory Sequences

The department offers two introductory sequences. The recommended sequence for majors is Dynamic Planet Earth (ERTH 201), Earth’s Surface and Environment (ERTH 202), History of Life (ERTH 203). The 100-level sequence—Exploring Planet Earth (ERTH 101), Exploring Earth’s Environment (ERTH 102), Exploring Earth History (ERTH 103)—may be substituted if the three courses are passed with grades of mid-B or better.

Group Requirements

Fourteen Earth Science courses satisfy university science group requirements. See the Core Education Courses section of the Catalog here.

Current Course Offerings

Course offerings and schedule information for current and upcoming terms are found in the UO Class Schedule. Visit the site and select the academic term you would like to view and choose "ERTH" for the "Subject" field. 


Grade Options and Standards

Undergraduate majors must take all courses required in their degree program for letter grades. The pass/no pass option will not be accepted. . Required courses must be completed with grades of C– or better. There are exceptions for honors students

Grading Criteria for Earth Science Courses

Letter GradeDescription
A+Only used in rare cases when a student’s performance and grasp of material significantly exceeds all requirements and expectations for the course.
AStudent demonstrates excellent grasp of material and strong performance across the board, or exceptional performance in one aspect of the course offsetting somewhat less strong performance in another.
BStudent demonstrates good grasp of material and good performance on most components of the course.
CStudent demonstrates adequate grasp of material and/or performance on significant aspects of the course, with some deficiencies.
DQuality of performance is at the minimal level necessary to pass the course, does not fully meet the course requirements. Subpar grasp of material on significant aspects of the course.
FQuality of performance does not meet the course requirements; unacceptable grasp of material and/or performance on significant aspects of the course.