Bachelor in Earth Sciences
Earth Sciences is the right subject for students interested in the structure and development of the Earth. Students experience a virtual journey through time and space as they trace the development of Earth’s atmosphere, lithosphere and oceans.
The Bachelor's programme (BSC) places its main focus on the following questions: How and under what environmental conditions did life develop (sedimentology, palaeontology and palaeoecology)? How do mountains and oceans form and disappear (tectonics)? What happens in the Earth's interior (petrology, volcanology, geophysics)? Apart from these fundamental issues, there is also ample opportunity for practical applications, e.g., assessing building ground, processing raw materials or detecting natural hazards.
Earth Sciences at the University of Fribourg places particular emphasis on students acquiring personal experience of what they have learned. Accordingly, the study programme includes field trips and excursions (at home and abroad) and an introduction to the scientific use of technical instruments.
Profile and study programme
A journey through time and space
Geology, and in the wider context earth sciences, is concerned with the structure, composition, and past and future development of the earth. Students of geology are transported on a fascinating journey through time and space. They trace the development of the earth, the atmosphere and the oceans, from the very beginnings 4 billion years ago to the present day. A key stop on this journey is the origin and evolution of life. Students follow processes which on the one hand take place on an atomic scale and on the other cause the formation of entire mountain ranges. Knowledge of the structure and the history of the earth provides students with the necessary tools to make predictions about the future development of our planet.
The study of earth sciences at our university covers a very broad spectrum. The Bachelor's programme introduces all the key areas of earth sciences. Focal points here are the development of life and environmental conditions on the earth (sedimentology, palaeontology and palaeoecology), the dynamics of the earth's surface, which cause the formation and disappearance of mountains and oceans (tectonics), and the dynamics of the earth's interior, which are responsible for volcanism and the occurrence of earthquakes (petrology, volcanology, geophysics). Apart from these fundamental aspects of earth sciences, the curriculum also provides plenty of opportunities for the practical application of geology, such as assessing building land (engineering geology), locating and processing raw materials, or detecting natural hazards and initiating countermeasures. Special emphasis is placed on on-site work at the study-object, i.e. students put what they have learned in lectures into practice on field trips and excursions to nearby areas, as well as to more distant locations (Sardinia, Cyprus). Besides fieldwork, practical training also includes an introduction to the key analytical methods and instruments used in earth sciences. Earth sciences is closely linked to geography, and together they form the Department of Geosciences. This gives students unrestricted access to lectures in fields related to earth sciences such as glaciology or geomorphology in the geography subsidiary programme.
Academic and professional openings
After successfully completing your studies in earth sciences you will have acquired extensive skills and knowledge which will open the door to a wide array of career opportunities. You can work as a professional geologist on construction sites such as the new Gotthard Base Tunnel, or investigate polluted locations to assess the environmental risks they pose. You can search for deposits for international oil and mining companies and accompany extraction processes. You will have the ability to take charge of a cement plant in the minerals industry. You will find employment possibilities with federal and cantonal agencies as a specialist for environmental hazards. You will be able to evaluate the threats arising from earthquakes, landslides, rockfalls and floods and launch the appropriate countermeasures. If you feel drawn to research, you can continue your studies by pursuing a doctoral programme. With a Ph.D. you can continue your career in the academic world, or work in a research laboratory in industry.
Organisation and Admission
The following Swiss school-leaving certificates grant admission to Bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg:
- Swiss academic Maturity Certificate
- Swiss professional Maturity Certificate in conjunction with the supplementary exam certificate from the Swiss Maturity Commission
- Bachelor Degree from a Swiss university, from an accredited Swiss university of applied sciences (HES/FH) or from a Swiss university of teacher education (HEP/PH)
A complete list of all further recognized Swiss school-leaving certificates is to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities (in French and German only)
Check the list
Foreign upper secondary school-leaving certificates are recognised only if they correspond substantially to the Swiss Maturity Certificate. They must qualify as general education. Foreign school-leaving certificates are considered to be general education if the last three years of schooling include at least six general education subjects, independent from each other, in accordance with the following list:
- First language (native language)
- Second language
- Natural sciences (biology, chemistry or physics)
- Humanities and social sciences (geography, history or economics/law)
- Elective (an additional language or an additional subject from category 4 or 5)
The general admission requirements to the Bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg for holders of foreign school-leaving certificates as well as the admission requirements for individual countries are to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities: Admission Countries
In addition, foreign candidates must present proof of sufficient language skills in French or German.
The assessment of foreign school-leaving certificates is based on the «CRUS Recommendations for the Assessment of Foreign Upper Secondary School-Leaving Certificates, 7 September 2007» CRUSThe admission requirements are valid for the respective academic year. The Rectorat of the University of Fribourg reserves the right to change these requirements at any time.
Also offered as a minor study programme (60/30 ECTS credits).
Choice of Minor Study Programmes
Minors at the Faculty of Science and Medicine
Study Programme ECTS Mathematics 30 | 60* Informatics 30 | 60*
30^ | 60* Chemistry 30 | 60* Earth Sciences 30 | 60 Geography 30 | 60* Special Biology (for Biologists and Biochemists) 30 Biologie A 30 Biologie B
Biologie E (LDM)
30 | 60
Neurosciences 30 Environmental Sciences 30 | 60 Sport Sciences and Motor Control 30 | 60*
^ Mathematik als zweites Zusatz-/Nebenfach empfohlen
* Dieses Studienprogramm auf Bachelorstufe, ergänzt durch das entsprechende Studienprogramm auf Masterstufe, gibt im Rahmen des Lehrdiploms für Maturitätsschulen (LDM) Zugang zur pädagogisch-didaktischen Ausbildung im entsprechenden Unterrichtsfach.
Minors at all Faculties