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Geological Sciences

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College of Science and Mathematics




B.S., Geology

Option I: Geology

Option II: Environmental Geology

Option III: Secondary Teaching

Option IV: Geophysics

Minor in Geology


M.S., Geology

M.S., Geology, Geophysics Option

The Major

Geologists play an important role in society. They apply their skills and knowledge to solve complex problems related to how humans interact with natural systems and hazards, as well as the exploration for water, petroleum and other natural resources. They share their unique knowledge of Earth systems through teaching and public outreach on such topics as understanding earthquake hazards. Geology majors gain scientific knowledge of past and present planetary processes and laboratory and field skills that prepare them for post-graduate study and professional careers in such diverse fields oceanography, paleontology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrogeology, engineering geology and teaching.


Careers in geosciences are rewarding in every sense. Jobs in geosciences are in high demand and pay well. A wide variety of job opportunities in both private industry and government service are available to geology graduates. Engineering geologists evaluate sites for homes, commercial buildings, highways and dams. Environmental geologists conduct environmental impact studies and evaluate the pollution distribution and remediation of contaminated sites. Hydrogeologists evaluate the development and quality control of ground water resources. Economic geologists explore for earth resources such as oil, gas, coal, precious and semi-precious metals and uranium. Agencies in all levels of government—city, county, state and federal—employ geologists for regulatory, inspection and monitoring activities. Additionally, a degree in geology is excellent background for preparing to teach physical science and Earth science at the secondary-school level and, for those with an M.S. Degree, at the community-college level. Finally, the B.S. Degree serves as excellent preparation for entry to graduate programs. Many students go on to earn advanced degrees, and the Department’s majors have been accepted by some of the nation’s best graduate programs in the geosciences.

Academic Advisement

Undergraduate and graduate majors must be advised each semester by the appropriate advisor in their Degree Program in order to register for classes.

Department Programs

The Department offers the B.S. and M.S. Degrees, and Minor in Geology. There are four B.S. Degree Options:

Option I: Geology

This Option provides the most flexibility, preparing students for a full range of technical careers in geoscience and for advanced studies in graduate school. It can be specialized toward different branches of geosciences by the appropriate choices of elective courses.

Option II: Environmental Geology

This Option provides specific focus on problems related to environmental issues. Students with this background may be better positioned to obtain an entry-level job in the environmental industry.

Option III: Secondary Teaching

This Option provides the skill sets needed by those planning to teach Earth sciences in secondary school. Students also pursue basic course work in a broad range of sciences.

Option IV: Geophysics

This Option provides the necessary preparation in mathematics and physics to succeed in geoscience applications that require a strong background in these associated disciplines. Students that complete this option will be well prepared for graduate studies in geophysics or an
entry-level position in geophysics.

The Master of Science Program has two Options: Geology and Geophysics. These programs are designed to: 1)train individuals with the competence required by the geological profession for employment in industry and government agencies; and 2) Enable promising students to attain a level of knowledge and research ability required for admission to a Ph.D. program; and 3) provide basic course work and research requirements for students planning to teach geology at the community-college level.

A Minor in Geology is designed for students interested in the Earth, but with a major in another Department. For example, majors in other sciences, mathematics, engineering, urban planning and business often find employment in environmental and energy-related industries. For these majors, the Geology Minor broadens the individual’s background and competence in the Earth sciences.


Terry Dunn, Mari Flores, Dave Liggett, Mike Tacsik, Perla Vielma