Academic Tracks

The interdisciplinary study program ‘Earth and Environmental Sciences’ (EES) at Jacobs University has been designed to create a holistic view of planet Earth. Field excursions are an essential part of our study program. Students can participate in up to 37 days of (inter)national excursions. Students gain a broad understanding of the Earth, its processes and anthropogenic impacts by conducting fieldwork in locations such as Sweden, Iceland, Ireland, Italy and onboard research vessels. Please see here some impressions from our field trips.

The new EES program offers a specifically tailored training in mathematics and physics for our students during the first year. The Mathematics taught by EES faculty (teacher of the year award) is an accessible, student-friendly introduction to the essential mathematics required by our students. Clearly structured throughout, this course carefully guides our students step by step through the mathematics they will encounter. The course, additionally supported by tutors and help desks, will provide numerous applied examples throughout to enhance students understanding and to place each mathematical technique into the context of ESS study. If in the past a student has encountered trouble with Mathematics, they should not worry unduly that they will not make it through this course. EES faculty fully understands the importance of first year classes in Mathematicss and Physics and we do our utmost to guide students through this introductory course.





Take 3 CHOICE Modules, at least one free selection

Inorganic Chemistry and Environmental Systems The bifunctional module “Chemistry and Environmental Systems” provides an introduction to (inorganic) chemistry and to the anthropogenic impact on the natural (near-)surface environment of Earth. Two introductory lecture courses (“Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry” (focus on the elements of the PSE, molecular compounds derived from them, redox reactions) and “Earth and Environmental Systems” (focus on Geodynamics, Petrography, Soil Science, Oceanography, Hydrogeology, Geomorphology, and anthropogenic impact on the (near-)surface environment) are complemented by an on-campus laboratory course (Inorganic Chemistry Lab) and an off-campus field-lab (excursion) to develop fundamental practical skills.

Physics of Natural Systems Physics of Natural Systems provides an introduction to the physical description of natural phenomena and covers fundamental topics in physics and earth and environmental sciences (EES). Important concepts from mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, atoms and nuclei are introduced and applied to essential processes in Earth, marine, and planetary sciences. Structure and dynamics of natural systems are studied with moderate use of mathematics. Practical sessions will cover important experimental techniques and tools. This module provides a foundation for the higher level EES and Physics modules Earth, Ocean, and Environmental Physics, Physics and Technology, Theoretical Physics, and Physics of Matter.

Take 3 CORE Modules, at least 2 from study program

Fundamental Earth and Environmental Sciences The module “Fundamental Earth and Environmental Sciences” is comprised of essential geoscience courses that represent the backbone of a sound university education in the geosciences. Core courses on Sedimentology, Structural Geology, Volcanism and Metamorphism are complemented by applied courses in environmental and resource geoscience. If relevant, both marine and terrestrial systems are discussed. A key element of these courses are on-campus practicals during which the students are introduced to geological methods and techniques. These essential practical skills are further expanded upon and applied in a real-world scenario during a five day off-campus geological field camp.

Earth, Ocean and Environmental Chemistry The module “Earth, Ocean and Environmental Chemistry” is comprised of fundamental geochemistry courses that represent the backbone of a sound university education in geochemistry and geochemistry-focussed environmental and resource science. Core courses on igneous and aqueous (trace) element geochemistry and introductory courses on stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry are complemented by a course on the biogeochemical aspects of environmental and resource science and an off-campus field camp focusing on environmental sciences. All courses address terrestrial as well as marine systems.

Earth, Ocean and Environmental Physics The module “Earth, Ocean, and Environmental Physics” covers topics and methods that are essential in geophysics and physical oceanography. Emphasis will be on the quantitative assessment of physical processes and structures in terrestrial and marine systems. Important concepts are introduced and studied in lectures, and then applied and consolidated in practical courses such as field trips and computer labs on remote sensing and data analysis. The module constitutes one of the CORE pillars of the Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) program and in general may complement the education of students interested in a physics-based presentation of fundamental EES topics.

Take CAREER Modules, choose between World and Campus Track

World Track 5th Semester :
Program-specific Internship / study abroad

6th Semester:
Program-specific Project / Thesis Module
Program-specific Specialization Module Exemplary course offering

  • Earth and Ocean Field Lab
  • Dynamics of Marine Systems
  • Climate Change
  • Geophysical methods for oil and gas exploration
  • Marine Resources
  • Geoecology and Sustainability
  • Energy: From Fossil Fuels to Renewables
  • Earth’s Surface Environments: Soil and Freshwater Systems
  • Environmental Physics

Campus Track 5th and 6th Semester
Program-specific Project / Thesis Module
Program-specific Specialization Module (please see World Track for exemplary course offering)
Additional CORE Module