Graduates' Decision Points for Majoring in the Geosciences, Spring 2013

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Monday, October 7, 2013
AGI’s National Geoscience Student Exit Survey measures the relevant experiences in school and the immediate career plans upon graduation of recent geoscience degree recipients. In spring 2013, AGI distributed this survey nationally and received 428 responses from 71 geoscience departments. This Currents examines the results from questions focused on the survey participants’ reasons for majoring in the geosciences and the point in which they chose their major.
The majority of graduates at all degree levels chose to major in the geosciences at some point during their undergraduate education, as evidenced by the gure below, which highlights the importance of undergraduate geoscience courses to the recruitment of majors and future graduates. However, students cited dierent reasons for why they chose a geoscience major. As the most mentioned reasons for choosing the geosciences, 13% of graduates expressed enjoyment of an outdoor or eld experience, 11% of graduates found their entry level course to be stimulating, 11% cited a life-long interest in the subject matter, and 11% chose the major because of the career opportunities. Other cited reasons include the inuence of the department faculty or fellow students, a desire to better understand earth processes and research related to these discoveries, and a desire to make an impact on society.
Check out the Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates, 2013 report for more data from AGI's Geoscience Student Exit Survey.  The report can be accessed at