Department of Physical Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Geology

Major Options

The science of geology seeks to develop an understanding of the Earth’s physical and chemical processes, environmental systems, and natural resources. Geologists work in a variety of areas, discovering new sources of fossil fuels, minerals, and economically important rocks. Volcanoes, earthquakes, landforms, surface and subsurface water, earth history, and fossils are all subjects for study.

Geologists may work as members of an interdisciplinary team in planning construction projects, sanitary landfills, mine land reclamation, and other environmentally-oriented projects. Employment opportunities for geologists exist in private industry, state and federal government agencies, and teaching at all levels.

Geology students may follow programs designed to prepare them for entry into graduate school, employment in the geotechnical field, or secondary school earth science teaching. The best opportunities exist for students who continue their education and complete the master’s or doctor’s degree in geology. Major oil and gas companies generally require the master’s degree for an entry-level position. Also, excellent employment opportunities are available in the environmental geotechnical field.

The geology major will study for a bachelor of science degree. This degree requires a minimum of 120 semester hours with a minimum of 43 semester hours in geology (professional option), or a minimum of 36 semester hours in geology (environmental option). Students interested in teaching as a profession should follow the Physical Science for Teacher Licensure curriculum listed under teacher licensure curricula, College of Education. Additional departmental courses and related courses may be specified for geology majors following particular emphasis programs, and for some emphasis programs, substitutions of the above list may be required. Strongly recommended are calculus and/or statistics.

The geology program is fully interdisciplinary, and the student and his/her advisor can “build” an academic program through selection of appropriate electives to suit the special needs and interests of the student.