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Bachelor's Degree...Which Degree is Best for You?

The Department of Geological Sciences offers both the BS and BA degrees in Geology, a number of minors, and combined, five year programs leading to the MAT degree in Earth Science education as well as either a BA or BS in Geology.

Most careers in Geology, like the other physical sciences, require a graduate degree. The BS in Geology is designed to provide a rigorous and complete basis in Geology and the cognate sciences, to satisfy the entrance requirements and expectations of the top graduate schools in the country. It involves a core sequence of courses, a choice of three specialist tracks, a year each of Physics, Chemistry and Calculus, and a summer field experience course taken at another university. The BS is also the appropriate choice for students seeking immediate employment as a geologist.

The BA in Geology is designed to be more flexible. It is the appropriate choice for those desiring a good liberal arts education in the physical sciences. It is often combined with other interests, such as science journalism or Political Science. It is sometimes chosen as a second major, for example with Environmental Studies or Biology. Its flexibility sometimes makes it the choice of transfer students or students who change their major.

In addition to the Geology BS and BA majors, there are Minors in Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry.

The 3/2 combined degree (fast-track) programs for BA or BS in Geology/MAT in Earth Science are designed for students who know they want to become Earth Science teachers. The full requirements of the separate BA or BS and MAT programs are met, but some course work is counted towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students are therefore able to receive both degrees after 5 years.

Please contact the Geology Undergraduate Program Director, Dr. Peter Knuepfer, for further information about any of the programs in Geology.

Last Updated: 9/12/18