The Department of Earth System Science awards honors to students who have completed a customized year-long research program in their senior year.  ESS Honors Students engage in advanced research, alongside faculty, research staff, and graduate students within well-equipped laboratories in Earth System Science.  The program involves both conducting original research and communicating scientific findings. 

The Honors Program in Earth System Science provides an opportunity for selected students majoring in Earth System Science or Environmental Science to pursue research with faculty in the Department during their senior year. Admission to the program is based on an application normally submitted by the sixth week of the spring quarter during the junior year.

To be considered for the Departmental Honors, a student must have satisfied the following requirements:

  1. completion of all mathematics, chemistry, and physics requirements for the major
  2. completion of ESS 51-53-55 or ESS 60A-B-C
  3. achievement of an overall GPA at UCI of at least 3.3
  4. achievement of a GPA in Earth System Science courses of 3.4

Students must also demonstrate potential for carrying out research of honors quality, as judged by the Earth System Science faculty member who will supervise their research.

Once admitted to the program, students will enroll in Honors Research in Earth System Science (H199A-B-C) and Honors Thesis in Earth System Science (H198).

In the Honors Research series, students will commit 10-15 hours a week to conduct research with an ESS faculty. At the end of each quarter, a written report is required.

In the Honors Thesis course, students will prepare and submit a seminar, poster, and written thesis describing their research. The thesis will be written in the style of a scientific manuscript, with separate abstract, introduction, methods, results and discussion sections. If the thesis is deemed honors quality by the ESS faculty and the student's final accumulative GPA is above 3.3, the student will graduate with Departmental Honors.


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By clicking submit, you are indicating that you have discussed the opportunity to complete the honors program with a specific faculty in the UC Irvine Department of Earth System Science. The sponsoring faculty listed on this application will be asked to approve your honors program application.

In addition to this application, you will need to submit a H199 or H198 application each quarter you enroll.