General Description

Geology (from the Greek "ge " for "earth" and "logos", "study") is the science and study of the solid Earth and the processes by which it is shaped and changed. Geology provides primary evidence for plate tectonics, the history of life and evolution, and past climates. In modern times, geology is commercially important for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration, is publicly important for predicting and understanding natural hazards, plays an essential role in geotechnical engineering, and is a major academic discipline.

Transfer Preparation for Geology

Geology majors are highly recommended, at a minimum, to take the following courses before transferring:

  • GEOL 100, 101, 104
  • PHS 101, 110
  • GEOG 150 

Other Course Recommendations

BIOL 100, 101, CHEM 200, CHEM 210, MATH 130, MATH 250, MATH 251, MATH 252, PHYS 270, PHYS 271, PHYS 272, PHYS 273, PHYS 274, PHYS 275 

Major Branches of Geology and Career Options

Economic Geologist

Economic geologists help locate and manage the Earth's natural resources, such as petroleum and coal, as well as mineral resources, which include metals such as iron, copper, and uranium.

Mining Geologist

Mining geology consists of the extractions of mineral resources from the Earth. Some resources of economic interests include gemstones, metals, and many minerals such as asbestos, perlite, mica, phosphates, zeolites, clay, pumice, quartz, and silica, as well as elements such as sulfur, chlorine, and helium.

Petroleum Geologist

Petroleum geologists study locations of the subsurface of the Earth which can contain extractable hydrocarbons, especially petroleum and natural gas. Because many of these reservoirs are found in sedimentary basins, they study the formation of these basins, as well as their sedimentary and tectonic evolution and the present-day positions of the rock units.

Engineering Geologist

Engineering geology is the application of the geologic principles to engineering practice for the purpose of assuring that the geologic factors affecting the location, design, construction, operation and maintenance of engineering works are properly addressed.

In the field of civil engineering, geological principles and analyses are used in order to ascertain the mechanical principles of the material on which structures are built. This allows tunnels to be built without collapsing, bridges and skyscrapers to be built with sturdy foundations, and buildings to be built that will not settle in clay and mud.

Other Career Options for Geology

In addition to the above, here are some other career options: soil engineer, teacher/professor, park ranger, land use planner, geochemist, astrogeologist, planetary scientist, marine geologist, volcanologist, seismologist.

Geology Faculty

Geology Courses

  • GEOL 100 Principles of Geology
  • GEOL 101 General Geology Laboratory
  • GEOL 104 Introduction to Earth Science
  • GEOL 110 Introduction to Oceanography
  • GEOL 115 Dinosaurs and The Story of Earth
  • GEOL 115L Dinosaurs and The Story of Earth LAB
  • GEOL 295 Selected Topics in Geology
  • GEOL 299 Independent Study