Welcome to the Faculty of Geosciences and Environment

| Dean's Message | Geosciences and Environment | Studies | Research


Dean's Message

The mission of the Faculty is to advance research, to teach and to ensure academic training in the geosciences and environmental sciences. Benefiting from a vibrant environment, our Faculty strives to move existing boundaries between the natural, human and social sciences.

The Faculty is divided into three research institutes : the Institute of Earth Sciences, the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics and the Institute of Geography and Sustainability. Our researchers work on significant fundamental questions about, for example, the impact of major environmental changes on Earth and society, the origin of life, dynamics of volcanoes, species evolution, urban planning, mountain evolution, water management, glacier dynamics, soil development and evolution, river and lake dynamics, structure and dynamics of the earth, waste management and sustainable development.

To achieve excellence, we have established state-of-the-art analytical facilities, high performance computing facilities and high-end field analysis techniques. The Faculty also works in close collaboration with the most renowned Swiss and international research centers. Our funding comes mainly from the Canton of Vaud, the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research and European funding agencies.

The Faculty makes it a point of honor to strengthen the equality of people and genders in the academic world.

The breadth of our courses is extensive and close to our research themes. We offer a Bachelor's degree in Geosciences and Environment and Masters in Geology, Geography, Environmental Science, Biogeoscience, Tourism Studies and Sustainability Foundations and Practices.

Frédéric Herman


Geosciences and Environment

The disciplines of the geosciences and the environment are developing at the frontiers of the exact, experimental and social sciences; they are, fundamentally, interdisciplinary and, for some of them, transdisciplinary.

Geology is a natural science. Geography is at the interface of the natural and social sciences, due to its physical and societal orientations. Within these disciplines, the Faculty of Geosciences and Environment is interested in the co-evolution of people with their environment, at scales ranging from the nano- to the planetary, with a particular focus on Alpine environments and urban metropoli. The effects on human, animal and plant species are also part of the Faculty’s research fields. Such developments can only be achieved through a grounding in fundamental research undertaken at the very highest level. The Environment considers all the fields of geosciences, ranging from issues of environmental philosophy, to the concerns of ecotoxicology while also considering the analysis of environmental risks.

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Service Activities



The Faculty offers a fully comprehensive education in the three disciplines: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, from the first year of the Bachelor and Master to the PhD. These courses are part of the "Bologna Process" European programs. The Faculty delivers PhDs in Geosciences and Environment with specific honors and proposes postgraduate studies in the form of a Master of Advanced Studies for professional purposes.

The FGSE courses prepare students for careers as practitioners and researchers in industry and public services. The courses also prepare students to teach Geography in secondary schools I and II.

Continued education is also one of the FGSE’s goals.

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Teaching curricula

Master studies

Study Advice

Mobility IN



The Faculty’s research is structured around a suite of laboratories and institutes equipped with cutting-edge technology. The research is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, by local, national and European foundations as well as by private industry. The Faculty also undertakes in educational outreach and research in emerging countries.

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Research institutes

Doctoral schools

Geoblog, the scientific blog of the FGSE (in french)


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