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Earth Science Education

Why Major in Earth Science Education?

The Unified Earth Science Education major at Northwest is designed for students wanting to teach in rural schools. This major allows students to teach entry level courses in earth science, chemistry, biology and physics in grades 9-12.

Earth science is the broad study of the interrelated systems that comprise the Earth. It includes the processes of operating within the Earth's interior, at the surface, and within the Earth's atmosphere. Faculty focus on geology, the study of the formation of materials and processes involving the solid Earth; meteorology, the study of the Earth's atmospheric processes; and geomorphology the study of processes of change on the Earth's surface, caused by the interaction of geologic and atmospheric phenomena.

Minor in Earth Science Education

A minor in earth science education teaches students the foundations of dynamic and synoptic meteorology, general earth science, historical geology, teaching in laboratories and physical oceanography. After taking the required courses, students can customize their minor from a list of approved electives. For a list of required courses, visit the academic catalog. This minor requires the completion of 22-23 credit hours.

Career Opportunities

placement rate

100% of students who graduate with a degree unified earth science education obtain employment or continue their education within six months after graduation.

*Based on self-reported data in recent years.

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

Faculty at Northwest are committed to providing students with profession-based learning experiences. A few examples are:


Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area (MOERA) – more than 320 acres of land dedicated to providing experiential learning opportunities for students including a small astronomy observatory and outdoor telescope viewing area.

Content practicum is a semester-long required practicum during which students prepare labs for instructors and teach two lab classes at Northwest.

Education practicum courses are "clinical hours" in a high school where students observe, teach and assist high school teachers. One semester of observation occurs at a high school of the student’s choice.

Student teaching is a semester-long placement in grades 9-12 during a student’s senior year. During this time, they observe teachers and professionals, prepare lesson plans and teach consecutive lessons.

Learning Resources

Horace Mann

Horace Mann Laboratory School is a clinical teaching environment for students to gain profession-based opportunities and skills without leaving the Northwest campus. 

Study Abroad

Study Abroad

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their academic development. Faculty members provide short-term study programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available: faculty-led and traditional study abroad.

The traditional program may be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.

For more information about study abroad opportunities »

The Northwest Difference

The Northwest Difference

Founded in 1905, Northwest is a traditional campus with more than 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in the middle of everywhere, Maryville is two hours from Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri and 2 ½ hours from Des Moines, Iowa.

Textbooks and Laptops Included

Save more than $7,200 over four years through our textbooks and laptop program.

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19 million money for you

More than $19 million in scholarships and grants awarded annually.

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Career Ready. Day One.

Students organizations, internships and profession-based learning experiences ensure students are Career Ready, Day One.

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Graduation Rate: 89th percentile

Graduation Rate: 89th percentile of Northwest's national peer group.