Many students are already familiar with Geosciences through what is commonly called "earth science" in high school. Geosciences covers our Planet Earth - its soil, minerals, climate change, magnetic fields, earthquakes, water, plants, fossils, volcanoes and more.

Geoscience minors at UWM can organize their electives around a particular area of interest if they wish:

  • Hard Rock - the study of structural geology, mineralogy, petrology, volcanology and tectonics
  • Hydrogeology - the study of water resources
  • Paleontology - the study of evolutionary patterns in history
  • Sedimentary Geology - the study of rocks, fossils, and landforms in the context of the biological and chemical make-up

Geosciences touches on all aspects of the other natural sciences including chemistry, biology, mathematics and physics, so the ideal student for Geosciences loves all types of science and is curious about how they interrelate. Most Geosciences students also love the outdoors and traveling off of the beaten path.

For the minor, outdoor field work is not required but is recommended as preparation for jobs with environmental and water resource management; energy and mineral industries; and government agencies. 

UWM students often participate in research abroad in places as diverse as Iceland, Turkey, South America, Ireland, and New Zealand. Others gain hands-on experience in the dirt of Montana, the hills of South Dakota or the swamps of Florida.


The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA on all credits in the minor attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including any transfer work. The minor consists of a minimum of 18 credits in geosciences courses, including the following:

GEO SCI 100Introduction to the Earth3
GEO SCI 102Principles of Historical Geology3
Select 12 credits at the 200 level or above, with at least 9 of them at the 300 level or higher taken in residence at UWM12
Total Credits18

Letters & Science Minor Advising

Advising for the minor takes place within the department by a faculty member or staff member. Follow the steps using the "Declare a Minor" button on the department’s website which may include instructions on how to select a faculty advisor if there is more than one to choose from.

Students who already have an L&S college advisor because their degree plan is in L&S can discuss the minor with them as well since they will be familiar with any minor in L&S. Students who are working on a degree from a UWM college other than the College of Letters & Science will not need an L&S college advisor for just a minor and one will not be assigned. These students should work with the faculty or staff advisor they receive as part of the minor declaration process or contact the department directly for assistance.

Applicants who have not started classes at UWM yet who wish to declare a minor should wait until they are registered for their first UWM classes and then can declare the minor using the “Declare a Minor” button on the program’s website. If you have questions about the minor before then, contact