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College of Arts and Sciences

Geological Sciences

Geology is the science that studies the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change.  Geology can also refer to the study of the solid features of any celestial body (such as the Moon or Mars). Geology provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates. 

Today, geology is important for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and use, and for evaluating water resources.  Geology is also vital in predicting natural hazards, ameliorating environmental problems, and providing insights into past climate change.

The Department of Geological Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology.  There are two tracks for this degree:  a General Major and an Intensive Major.   Our large, diverse faculty has expertise in many areas, including earthquakes, volcanoes, groundwater, climate change, and coastal oceans.  All professors have research labs where students work together on research projects sponsored by federal, state, or private agencies. Many summer internships are available with state and federal agencies and environmental firms.

Career opportunities in the field of geology have never been better because of growing national and international attention to energy, climate change, and the environment.  Students with an undergraduate degree in geology can find employment with oil and mining companies, in environmental consulting, with federal and state agencies, with national laboratories, and in K-12 education.

For additional information, contact:

Dr. Gwendelyn Geidel, Undergraduate Director, Geology and Geophysics, 803-777-7171,

Visit our department's page.