The Geology/Geoscience Program Homepage

Coming Fall 2024, the Geology Program will be implementing updates to our program to support the lithium industry in Arkansas as well as other critical and emerging resources (e.g. rare earth elements, carbon sequestration, etc). We will become the Geoscience program with new options to focus on these rapidly developing industry needs in the state. Check back soon for more details and don't hesitate to contact any of our fantastic faculty to hear more!

Geology/Geoscience Program

News related to the upcoming program update:
 We are actively working on altering our our program and curriculum to emphasize emerging resources. Look for updates throughout 2024 and 2025. In the meantime, check out this article information about new industry opening up in Arkansas: 



The science of geology involves Earth's physical and chemical processes, environmental systems, and natural resources. Processes that produce landforms, cause earthquakes, generate volcanism, form rocks and minerals, govern the movement and residence of surface and ground waters are all subjects of geological interest, as well as the history of Earth and the record of life on Earth, as preserved in fossils.

This program is for those who like studying Earth, monitoring natural resources, problem solving, hands-on learning, and working outside, in the lab, or on computers.

Learn about specific goals of the Geology Program

OUR degree Options


The Geology Program at ATU is a Bachelor of Science program designed to give students a broad background in geology for flexibility in career goals. Graduates from the program have found employment opportunities in private industry, state and federal government agencies, or continued education at all levels. 


The Environmental option focuses on human-environment interactions and minimizing environmental impact.

Created for students interested in environmental issues.




The Professional option focuses on mineral resources, mapping, and subsurface interpretation for application in industry investigations.

Created for students interested in obtaining a broad background in geology.




The Petroleum option focuses on ancient environments, and subsurface correlation and interpretation for application to the oil and gas industry.

Created for students interested in oil and gas exploration and development.



We have a strong emphasis and a successful history in preparing students for field geology. The geographic setting of ATU in Arkansas provides an exceedingly rich opportunity to see examples of a wide variety of geological features covered in basic geology curriculum.








 Research Interests

- Volcanoes and earthquakes

- Geophysics

- Climate

- Geochemistry

- Paleontology and Stratigraphy


 Ongoing Research in the region

- Detection of abandoned wells

- Analysis of ancient environments

- Fossil content of local outcrops






field trip 1

Class Field Trips

Geology classes from 1000-level to 4000-level travel to locations in the region for field problems. Lab periods range from 2 to 4 hours allowing for significant time out in the field. Some field trips are weekend field trips.


Geology Club

The ATU Geology Club has members of Geology majors and non-majors. They have frequent meetings where they plan weekend field trips to locations of interest around the region.

meeting poster

Events and Meetings

Geology students have successfully presented research at local, state, and regional meetings that other Universities attend. During the school year major meetings that students may attend include a major academic meeting in the fall and spring, meeting with state agencies in the fall, and monthly meetings for geology professionals.

Graduates / Alumni

Graduates work in a wide variety of positions in the oil, gas and mining industries and environmental positions in both industry and government. Government positions include jobs with the US Geological Survey.



Scholarships and Funding


Scholarships are available to students interested in the program, additionally assistantship opportunities are available. Look for announcements in the Fall and Spring semester for these funding opportunities. More information can be found by following the link below and the Geology Jobs link above.


Regional Geology


Various geological features are within an hour's drive from Arkansas Tech. The link below lists field areas that classes travel to as well as anyone local to the Arkansas River Valley.


For geological information please visit the Arkansas Geological Survey (AGS) webpage:

 Some of our professors have produced field trip manuals that anyone can use to learn about local geology!


Locally, in the River Valley

Roadside Geology Series:

Mt. Nebo Geology:


Guides to other regions of the River Valley and State



Two of our alumni work for the AGS and recorded a podcast for ATU Library about their field-based geology experience!


Geology in the Nation and World

The ATU Geology Program holds a week-long field trip every Summer out to the Rocky Mountain Region. Announcements and details on the field trip are provided in the Spring semester. The trip is held the first week of Summer Break and is free for students.

Geology majors in the Professional and Petroleum options attend Geology Field Camp, a six credit hour summer field course that teaches geology in other areas of North America, and times of its formational history. Students complete field camp in the summer of their Junior or Senior years after passing the Field Techniques course.


Events and news

USGS Realtime Earthquakes Map