Requirements

Earth and Oceanographic Science (EOS) Major

The major consists of ten courses.

Select one of the following:1
EOS 1105
Introducing Earth
EOS 1305
Environmental Geology and Hydrology
EOS 1505
Oceanography
Required courses:3
EOS 2005
Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change
Select two earth and oceanographic science electives at the intermediate (2000–2969) or advanced (3000–3999) level. a
Select one of the following:1
BIOL 1102
Biological Principles II
BIOL 1109
Scientific Reasoning in Biology
CHEM 1092
Introductory Chemistry and Quantitative Reasoning II
CHEM 1102
Introductory Chemistry II
CHEM 1109
General Chemistry
CSCI 1101
Introduction to Computer Science
MATH 1300
Biostatistics
MATH 1400
Statistics in the Sciences
MATH 1800
Multivariate Calculus
MATH 1808
Biomathematics
2000-level math course
PHYS 1140
Introductory Physics II
Select one Solid Earth course with a laboratory:1
EOS 2115 Volcanology
EOS 2125
Field Studies in Structural Geology
EOS 2145
The Plate Tectonics Revolution
EOS 2155
Geomechanics and Numerical Modeling
EOS 2165 Mountains to Trenches
EOS 2225
Structural Geology and Analysis
Select one Earth Surface Processes course with a laboratory:1
EOS 2335
Sedimentary Systems
EOS 2345
Geomorphology: Form and Process at the Earth's Surface
EOS 2365
Coastal Processes and Environments
Select one Oceans course with a laboratory:1
EOS 2525
Marine Biogeochemistry
EOS 2565
Coastal Oceanography
EOS 2585
Ocean and Climate
Select one research experience course:1
EOS 3115
Research in Mineral Science
EOS 3165
Research in Earth and Oceanographic Science: Topics in Petrotectonics
EOS 3515
Research in Oceanography: Topics in Paleoceanography
Select one senior seminar:1
EOS 3020
Earth Climate History
EOS 3140
Tectonics and Climate
EOS 3525 Coastal Dynamics & Ecosystems

Earth and Oceanographic Science (EOS) Minor

The minor consists of five courses.

Required Courses
EOS 2005Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change1
Select four additional courses meeting the following criteria:4
no more than one introductory course numbered 1100–1999
at least two courses must be lab courses; and
at least three courses must be at the 2000 level or above.

Additional Information and Department Policies

  • First-year writing seminars do not count toward the major or minor requirements.
  • Only one course numbered 1100–1999 in EOS may be counted toward the major requirements.
  • Students may opt to begin the major with EOS 2005 Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change having previously taken BIOL 1102 Biological Principles II or BIOL 1109 Scientific Reasoning in Biology; or CHEM 1092 Introductory Chemistry and Quantitative Reasoning II, CHEM 1102 Introductory Chemistry II, or CHEM 1109 General Chemistry. Such students may substitute an intermediate EOS laboratory course (2000–2969) or research experience course (EOS 3115 Research in Mineral Science, or EOS 3515 Research in Oceanography: Topics in Paleoceanography) for introductory EOS (1100–1999).
  • Independent studies and honors projects do not count toward the major or minor requirements. Honors research requires two semesters of work. Additional details about honors are located here.  
  • All courses counted toward the major or minor must be completed with a C- or better.
  • Courses taken to fulfill major or minor requirements must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail).
  • Normally, one course taken at another college or university may be counted toward the EOS major requirements with departmental approval.
  • Courses taken at other institutions or study away programs may not be counted toward the EOS minor.
  • Students coordinating their EOS major with environmental studies may only double-count two cross-listed courses. Minors may double-count an unlimited number of cross-listed courses with another department or program. 

Postgraduate Study

Students planning postgraduate study in EOS should note that they might present a stronger application if they take additional courses in the department and in the contributing sciences: biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics. It is strongly advised that students consult with faculty on the design of their major and discuss the options of research projects through independent studies, fellowship-funded summer research, and honors projects.

Interdisciplinary Majors

Interdisciplinary majors at Bowdoin are distinct from the coordinate majors with digital and computational studies, education, and environmental studies. The department does not explicitly participate in formal interdisciplinary programs. However, the Departments of Earth and Oceanographic Science and Physics have identified major and minor pathways for students interested in majoring in EOS with an interest in physics (EOS major/physics minor), and students interested in majoring in physics with an EOS application (physics major/EOS minor). Students interested in an EOS major/physics minor with a focus in the solid earth discipline would be best served by selecting their optional physics courses from:

Solid Earth Discipline
PHYS 2130
Electric Fields and Circuits
PHYS 2150
Statistical Physics
PHYS 2230
Modern Electronics
PHYS 2250
Physics of Solids
PHYS 2510
Astrophysics
PHYS 3000
Methods of Theoretical Physics
PHYS 3010
Methods of Experimental Physics
PHYS 3020
Methods of Computational Physics

Students interested in an EOS major/physics minor with a focus in the surface earth discipline would be best served by selecting their optional physics courses from:

Surface Earth Discipline
PHYS 2130
Electric Fields and Circuits
PHYS 2220
Engineering Physics
PHYS 2230
Modern Electronics
PHYS 2810
Atmospheric and Ocean Dynamics
PHYS 3010
Methods of Experimental Physics
PHYS 3020
Methods of Computational Physics

Students interested in an EOS major/physics minor with a focus in the oceanography discipline would be best served by selecting their optional physics courses from:

Oceanography
PHYS 2130
Electric Fields and Circuits
PHYS 2150
Statistical Physics
PHYS 2230
Modern Electronics
PHYS 2240
Acoustics
PHYS 2810
Atmospheric and Ocean Dynamics
PHYS 3000
Methods of Theoretical Physics
PHYS 3010
Methods of Experimental Physics
PHYS 3020
Methods of Computational Physics
PHYS 3120
Advanced Mechanics
PHYS 3130
Electromagnetism

Information for Incoming Students 

Faculty and students in the Department of Earth and Oceanographic Science (EOS) at Bowdoin investigate fundamental questions about our planet’s past, present, and future. We sample rocks, sediments, and shells to reconstruct Earth’s geologic history and past climates; collect water and deploy sensors to discern patterns in properties and processes in the Ocean; and use satellites and scanning electron microscopes to study Earth’s systems, from global to microscopic scales. From tracking how a harmful algal bloom develops along a coastline to learning how supervolcanoes form deep within Earth, studies in EOS open up a world of possibilities.

EOS 1020 Archives of Earth: Past and Future is a recently developed first-year writing seminar that explores Earth’s vibrant history and considers our role in shaping the future of Earth.

EOS 1105 Introducing Earth, offered in the fall, is an introductory course aimed at first-year students. 20 seats are reserved for first-year students. The Earth is a dynamic system that has been shaped in part by geologic processes (ex: earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain building). Classes and weekly laboratories introduce students to Earth and place tectonics through accessible field experiences along the Maine coast, rock and mineral specimens, images and models.

EOS 1505 Oceanography, offered in the spring, is an introductory course cross-listed with environmental studies. Registration priority is given to first-year students. Topics include: tectonic evolution of the ocean basins; the record of ocean history preserved in deep-sea sediments; global ocean circulation, waves, and tides; ocean ecosystems; the ocean’s role in climate change. Classes and weekly labs examine these principles in the setting of Casco Bay and the Gulf of Maine.

Other useful information
No placement tests are required for EOS courses. EOS is a popular coordinate major with environmental studies. Either EOS 1105 Introducing Earth or EOS 1505 Oceanography meets the introductory science course requirement for environmental studies.  


This is an excerpt from the official Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook. View the Catalogue