Earth and Space Exploration (Astrobiology and Biogeosciences), BS


At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No
  • Math Intensity: Substantial program math intensity substantial
  • Initial Math Course: MAT 265 - Calculus for Engineers I

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How do "living worlds" work? Explore the complex connections between life and planetary systems. Learn how astronomy, biology, geology and chemistry combine to shape the habitability of planets and Earth's extreme environments. Discover how to detect life on other planetary bodies or in remote environments on Earth.

Program Description

Astrobiology and biogeosciences are closely related: biogeosciences inform the exploration for life on other worlds, while astrobiology motivates exploration of life's limits on Earth.

The astrobiology and biogeosciences concentration in the BS program in Earth and space exploration teaches students a strong and rigorous foundation in geology, biology, chemistry and astronomy. Participants develop the systems-thinking perspective needed to:

  • contribute to the search for life on other planets
  • study how the integrated Earth-life system evolves and responds to global environmental challenges
  • understand the complex and evolving diversity and distribution of life on Earth

In addition to the guidelines in the Concurrent Program Options section below, students interested in pursuing concurrent or second baccalaureate degrees in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are advised to visit The College's website for more information and requirements.




Admission Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

Freshman Transfer International Readmission


Transfer Options

ASU is committed to helping students thrive by offering tools that allow personalization of the transfer path to ASU. Students may use the Transfer Map search to outline a list of recommended courses to take prior to transfer.

ASU has transfer partnerships in Arizona and across the country to create a simplified transfer experience for students. These pathway programs include exclusive benefits, tools and resources, and help students save time and money in their college journey. Students may learn more about these programs by visiting the admission site: https://admission.asu.edu/transfer/pathway-programs.


Change of Major Requirements

A current ASU student has no additional requirements for changing majors.

Students should refer to https://changingmajors.asu.edu for information about how to change a major to this program.


Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

Exploration Systems Design (Instrumentation)

Prepare for your professional or academic career with a program that combines the strengths of science and engineering. You can work with faculty in the natural sciences and engineering to design instrumentation for exploration, including digital systems and circuits, computer-controlled systems, analog-to-digital converters and solid-state electronics.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

Exploration Systems Design

Become a part of the next generation of researchers --- those who are capable of inventing and implementing the next generation of scientific experiments, instruments and missions for Earth, and planetary and space explorations.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

Exploration Systems Design (Sensor Networks)

Combine your interests in exploration systems design and sensor networks with the strengths of science and engineering to prepare for a professional or academic career. Study computer networks, Earth systems engineering, multidimensional signal processing, and information and random signal theory with faculty who specialize in the natural sciences and instrumentation design.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

Astrophysics and Astronomy

Prepare yourself to discover new planets, explore cosmology, and build space-flight hardware and instruments for telescopes and satellites. You can work with world-class faculty on NASA- and NSF-funded space missions, and seek answers to questions about how our universe began and how it continues to evolve.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

Exploration Systems Design (Systems Engineering)

Prepare for a professional or academic career through a program that combines the creative strengths of science and engineering. You can study artificial intelligence, human factors engineering, smart materials and structures, and robot modeling with faculty specializing in the natural sciences, instrumentation design and systems engineering.

Website | Locations: TEMPE


Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

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Career Outlook

Graduates of the astrobiology and biogeosciences program are well prepared for graduate studies in two rapidly advancing fields. They are also well suited for careers in earth sciences, environmental sciences and space sciences. More broadly, the program provides training across a range of sciences and a "systems thinking" perspective, giving students a strong background for careers in biomedical or sustainability areas, as well as science education, writing or policy.

Career opportunities include:

  • astronomer
  • data analyst or scientist
  • ecologist or natural resource manager
  • environmental monitoring and exposure assessor
  • environmental or sustainability consultant
  • environmental protection or remediation scientist, consultant or manager
  • geoscientist
  • hydrogeologist
  • science policy consultant
  • science teacher

Career settings include:

  • educational institutions
  • environmental consulting firms
  • environmental engineering firms
  • federal, state and local government agencies
  • museums or planetariums
  • NASA and NSF facilities
  • national laboratories
  • nonprofit organizations
  • observatories
  • space industry organizations

For more information, please see the career opportunities page on the School of Earth and Space Exploration website.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Chemistry Teachers, Postsecondary


  • Growth: 3.5%
  • Median Salary*: 80720

Climate Change Policy Analysts


  • Growth: 6.1%
  • Median Salary*: 76480
  Bright Outlook

Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health


  • Growth: 6.1%
  • Median Salary*: 76480
  Bright Outlook

Environmental Restoration Planners


  • Growth: 6.1%
  • Median Salary*: 76480
  Bright Outlook

Environmental Science Teachers, Postsecondary


  • Growth: 4.2%
  • Median Salary*: 83040

Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers


  • Growth: 5.1%
  • Median Salary*: 87480
  Bright Outlook

Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary


  • Growth: 3.6%
  • Median Salary*: 97770

Natural Sciences Managers


  • Growth: 4.8%
  • Median Salary*: 144440
  Bright Outlook

Water Resource Specialists


  • Growth: 4.8%
  • Median Salary*: 144440
  Bright Outlook

Industrial Ecologists


  • Growth: 6.1%
  • Median Salary*: 76480
  Bright Outlook

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).



Global Opportunities

Global Experience

Space exploration is an international endeavor, and an international experience provides students opportunities for cross-cultural engagement and improvement of language and communication skills. Global Education programs allow students to take relevant classes while living in another country. Each of the more than 300 Global Education program options provide an opportunity for students to develop a valuable skill set that can give them an advantage in their career and personal enrichment. Whether in a foreign country, in the U.S. or online, Global Education programs encourage students to build communication skills, challenge them to adapt and persevere, expose them to differences across the world and increase their ability to work with diverse groups of people.



Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.