Geological Sciences (BS, BA)

Program Overview

At Binghamton University the geological sciences program prepares students to understand and solve some of the most important problems on Earth. How will we provide for our future energy needs? What are the causes and effects of global warming? How do we clean up past and present instances of environmental pollution? What causes natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and floods, and how can we survive them? How can organisms survive under extreme conditions? Is there life on other planets?

The Department of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies offers both BS and BA degrees in geology, a number of minors, and a combined, five-year BS/MS program in geological sciences. Degree offerings in environmental studies are described separately.

The BS is designed to satisfy the entrance requirements and expectations of the top graduate schools in the country. The BS is also the appropriate choice for a student seeking immediate employment as a geologist.

The BA in geological sciences is designed as a more flexible degree and provides a well-rounded liberal arts education in the physical sciences. It is often combined with other interests, such as science journalism, education, or political science.

Degrees Offered

  • BS in Geological Sciences
  • BA in Geological Sciences

Internships, research opportunities and more

Beyond course work, our department offers amble opportunity to participate in research. Whether that be assisting a graduate student or professor in the laboratory or field setting, or conducting an independent study culminating in a senior thesis, students who participate in research tend to stand out among their peers on job and graduate school applications. While undergraduate research is not required, it is highly recommended and completion of such a project may qualify you for departmental honors upon graduation.

Current areas of research include:

  • watershed-scale soil and water pollution studies
  • effects of climate change, floods and dams on rivers and their flood potential
  • paleoclimatology and paleoceanography
  • field and experimental petrology (the chemistry and physics of minerals and rocks)
  • basin-scale sedimentology and mountain building
  • sedimentology and stratigraphy along glaciated margins
  • remote sensing
  • seismology of convergence zones
  • geomicrobiology of extremophiles
  • microbes in salt crystals

Coursework

Some courses to consider in your first year:

After You Graduate

Most students graduating with a BS or BA in geological sciences either continue their education in graduate school or enter the job market in a variety of earth science fields, including:

  • Environmental consulting
  • Energy
  • Government regulatory or planning
  • Teaching, primarily earth science

Accelerated/4+1 Degrees

You may also be interested in our accelerated/4+1 degree programs which allow students to complete their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just 5 years: