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College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Geology

221 McGilvrey Hall
Tel: 330-672-2680


The Bachelor of Arts in Geology graduates have excellent opportunities for employment in a wide variety of careers where an understanding of the natural sciences is useful or critical for success. Geology can be a strong background for advanced study or career development in areas such as business, city management, regional development, planning, law, journalism and science writing. Requirements include courses concerning minerals, rocks, landforms, fossils, structural geology, geochemistry and field mapping. 

The Bachelor of Science in Geology is designed for those interested in a professional career in the field. Students must complete 51 credits of geology courses focusing on minerals, rocks, landforms, fossils, structural geology, geochemistry and field mapping, among others. Supplemental courses include introductory chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics. Students also select several upper-division geology electives that allow specialization in a variety of applied or theoretical areas of the science. The program features a 6-credit capstone summer field course in the Black Hills, South Dakota.

Within the Bachelor of Science, the Environmental Geology Concentration provides students with specialized training for careers in the well-established and growing field of environmental geology. Students must complete 51-52 credits of geology courses focusing on minerals, rocks, fossils, structural geology, geochemistry and field mapping. Students choose upper-division electives from a menu of courses focusing on hydrology, hydrogeology, engineering geology and environmental monitoring techniques. The program features a 6-credit capstone summer field course in Black Hills, South Dakota.

Career Opportunities

The Bachelor of Arts

In the coming decade, the need for energy, environmental protection and responsible land and water management is expected to increase employment demand within the geosciences, including employment in management, scientific and technical services, for which the B.A. in Geology provides academic preparation. 

The Bachelor of Science

Employment of geoscientists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. The need for energy, environmental protection, and responsible land and resource management is projected to spur demand for geoscientists.

New technologies allow for the extraction of previously inaccessible oil and gas resources, and geoscientists will be needed to study the effects such technologies have on the surrounding areas. As oil prices increase in the future, even more technologies will likely be introduced that expand the ability to reach untapped oil reserves or introduce alternative ways to provide energy for the expanding population.

Geoscientists will be needed to help plan the construction of wind farms, geothermal power plants, and solar power plants. Alternative energies, such as wind energy, geothermal energy, and solar energy, can use large areas of land and affect wildlife and other natural processes. In addition, only certain areas are suitable for harvesting these energies. For example, geothermal energy plants must be located near sufficient hot ground water, and one task for geoscientists would be studying maps and charts to decide if the site is suitable.

An expanding population and the corresponding increased use of space and resources may create a continued need for geoscientists.Job opportunities should be excellent for geoscientists, particularly those with a master’s degree. In addition to job growth, a number of job openings are expected as geoscientists leave the workforce through retirement and for other reasons.

Computer knowledge is essential for geoscientists. Students who have experience with computer modeling, data analysis, and digital mapping will be the most prepared to enter the job market.

Within the Bachelor of Science, the optional Environmental Geology concentration prepares students for careers that apply geology to environmental problems, including natural resource extraction, water supply, pollution, waste disposal and geologic hazards. Environmental geologists are employed on projects such as remediation of water and soil contamination, mitigation of geologic hazards, mining and extraction of oil, gas and water and analysis of data pertaining to environmental quality. Over the next decade, jobs within this field are expected to increase faster than average, growing by 10%.

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Admission Requirements

General Admissions for Freshman Students: Admission Requirements at the Kent Campus: The freshman admission policy at the Kent Campus is selective. Admission decisions are based upon the following: cumulative grade point average, ACT and/or SAT scores, strength of high school college preparatory curriculum and grade trends.

The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago. For more information on admissions, visit the admissions website for new freshmen.

For more information about admission criteria for transfer, transitioning and former students, please visit the admissions website.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 120 total credit hours and  42 upper-division credit hours. Minimum 2.000 overall GPA and 2.000 major GPA.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Understand and communicate to others: a. the nature of scientific investigation and evidence, b. the complex interrelationships of the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and the lithosphere through geologic time.
  2. Understand Earth materials and interpret geologic and environmental processes.
  3. Synthesize geologic information to understand and solve geologic and environmental problems.
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking skills and be able to work as a geologist in the field and in the laboratory.