Earth Science (Composite Teaching): BS, BA
The earth science composite teaching major prepares students to teach earth science in secondary schools. Coursework integrates geology, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and physics in the study of our natural surroundings. As students study these areas, they will understand the science that examines the planet Earth, its composition, history, and structure and prepare to teach earth science in schools.
Requirements for the earth science composite major meet the standards of the National Science Teachers Association.
Students receive a BS by completing all required courses in the major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.
In order to obtain a secondary teaching license for grades 6-12, students must complete the 35-credit Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. This program is administered by USU’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Student must apply to the School of TEAL the semester before taking STEP courses. This is usually the fall of their junior year. Students learn subject content through the Geology Department, and spend the last year or two studying education techniques through the STEP program.
Students in the earth science (composite teaching) program do not need to have a minor because the program provides students with knowledge in several subject areas, therefore, expanding their career options.
With a degree in earth science, students will be qualified for the following careers:
- Earth science teacher in middle school or high school
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the earth science composite teaching program has additional requirements:
- Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
- Transfer students: Transfer students from other institutions need a 2.2 total GPA for admission to this major. Students transferring from other USU majors need a total GPA of 2.0 for admission to this major.
STEP Requirements: In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following:
- Complete 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75
- Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
- Complete a speech and hearing test
- Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
- Provide an unofficial copy of your transcript
- Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
American Geophysical Union: The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to furthering the geophysical sciences through the individual efforts of its members and in cooperation with other national and international scientific organizations.
Geological Society of America: Established in 1888, the Geological Society of America provides access to elements that are essential to the professional growth of earth scientists at all levels of expertise and from all sectors: academic, government, business, and industry.
National Earth Science Teachers Association: The National Earth Science Teachers Association is a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to facilitate and advance excellence in earth and space science education. Members have access to seminars, field trips, and discussion sessions.
Geology Club: The Geology Club holds regular meetings and activities, including field trips with professors and students, museum tours, geology displays for public school students, and more.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.
Institute for Natural Systems Engineering: The INSE is a recognized leader in the development, testing, and application of multi-disciplinary assessment methods for aquatic ecosystems and instream flow assessment methodologies.
Utah Center for Water Resources Research: The UCWRR facilitates water research, outreach, design, and testing elements within a university environment that supports student education and citizen training.
Utah Water Research Laboratory: The UWRL works on nearly 250 water-related projects a year and has projects in all of Utah’s 29 counties and more than 40 countries. The lab is one of the go-to places that addresses the technical and societal aspects of water-related issues, including quality, quantity, and distribution of water.
Water Initiative: Utah State University supports a broad community of students and faculty engaged in water education, research, and outreach. The USU Water Initiative provides an overarching umbrella for the activities of this community aimed at fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and collegial sharing of ideas related to water across the departments and colleges of USU.