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Geology - B.S.

About this Degree

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program involves a broad curriculum that prepares students for employment immediately after graduation or for more advanced graduate study in the geosciences. For those students that pursue advanced degrees in geoscience, the undergraduate major prepares them for a wide range of fields, including hydrology and environmental geology, geochemistry and biogeochemistry, igneous and metamorphic petrology, structural geology and tectonics, stratigraphy and sedimentary geology, paleontology, economic geology, geophysics, and archaeological geology.  Because many of the requirements are the same for the B.S. and A.B. degree, if a students starts in the A.B. program and decides at a later time to switch to the B.S., this is generally easy to do.

Lab and Field Exercises

Core classes involve extensive lab work that provides crucial hands-on experience. Field exercises are standard in most core classes and form an indispensable link between lectures and real world observations and analyses. Students may examine coastal processes and organisms on Georgia's barrier islands, the outstanding mineral assemblages at Grave's Mountain in the Inner Piedmont, major fault systems in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the rich fossil assemblages and ancient depositional environments preserved in rocks of the Valley and Ridge and Cumberland Plateau.

Summer Field Courses

Some courses take place entirely in the field, including the department's six-week summer field school (required for the B.S. and the A.B. degree), based in Canon City, Colorado. Projects include field mapping in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, pollution monitoring of streams in the Colorado Plateau, and field trips to Utah and New Mexico. Students gain valuable experience with traditional and computer-based mapping tools, with GIS, and with geochemical analyses. Other, optional, summer field programs include the Honors Interdisciplinary Summer Field Program in Geology, Anthropology, and Ecology, and the study-abroad program in Argentina.

What you will learn

Undergraduate Students

The Geology Department offers a broad curriculum that prepares students for more advanced graduate study in the geosciences and for employment immediately after graduation. Most of our students go on to graduate school or directly enter careers in environmental, mining, and petroleum. Our undergraduate program is hands-on, with opportunities for field work and undergraduate research. For many students, the highlight of their undergraduate experience is the department's six-week summer field school based in Canon City, Colorado.  Follow this link to more information or contact an advsior.

The Department of Geology offers graduate degrees at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels. Our departmental research interests are wide-ranging and include these research areas. Our faculty and students are engaged in research in diverse settings, including Italy, Kamchatka, the Bahamas, the Antilles, the Cordillera, as well as in the southeast.  For futher information contact our Graduate Coordinator or Graduate Coordinator Assistant.

Other Degrees/Programs Offered:

The Department of Geology offers three degree tracks, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree, and the Geology Minor.

The Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) program is designed for students who desire a more flexible program of study than is provided by the B.S. degree. It may be used by those seeking a more liberal education or a background in geology for use in other fields. It is also a popular choice for students wishing to pursue Geology as a second major. The A.B. degree is not intended to prepare a student for professional or graduate work in geosciences unless the student takes the additional courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics required for the B.S. degree. Because many of the requirements are the same for the B.S. and A.B. degree, if a students starts in the A.B. program and decides at a later time to switch to the B.S., this is generally easy to do.

The geology minor is intended for students who wish to supplement their major field with additional background in selected areas of geoscience, depending on the interests of the student. The minor is ideal for students pursuing careers in other fields that benefit from additional understanding of earth resources, natural hazards, and the environment, such as anthropology, biosciences, business, education, geography, journalism, law, or public policy.


Geologists study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, minerals, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the Earth's internal composition, atmospheres, oceans, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, paleontologists, stratigraphers, geodesists, and seismologists.


Geological oceanographer 



Civil engineer 


Computer engineer 


Computer Services Specialist 


Metallurgical engineer 

Construction consultant 

Energy engineer 

Mine Geologist 

Engineering Technician 

Mining engineer 

Environmental scientist 

Nuclear engineer 

Field equipment specialist 

On-sight Environmental 


Particle physicist 

Petroleum geologist 

Planetary scientist 

Quaternary Geologist 

Research scientist 

Sedimentary Geologist 


Soil scientist 

Vector Geologist 



Beals and Thomas, Inc. 

BHP Billiton 

Consortium GCS 

Consolidated African Mining 

Earth Surface Processes Team 

Kinross Gold Corporation 

Earth Watch 

Enscicon Corporation 

Engineers Epoch Well Logging 

Offshore Sea Exploration 

Exploration Geology Corps 

Kaiser Engineering Group 

PRC Environmental Management 

Kemron Petroleum companies 

Kennecott Ridgeway Mining Co. 

Glenwood Group 

Nexen Inc. 

Occidental Petroleum 

NTH consultants 

Newmont Mining 

National Geospatial Program 

Quaternary Paleoclimatology 


U.S. Department of the Interior 

United Carbide 

Winzler & Kelly Consulting 

Rettew Associates 

Remote Sensing Clearinghouse 

Tropical Prediction Center 

National Wetlands Research Ctr. 

Hurricane Impact Researcher 

UN Office of Boundaries 

U.S. Geological Survey 

Montana Bureau of Mines & Geology 

Fossil Invertebrates Field Museum 


General Research Information:
  • Petrology
  • Paleobiology
  • Geochemistry
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Environmental Geosciences
  • Structural Geology and Tectonics
  • Sedimentary Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Economic Geology

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