Geology BS (includes Paleontology)
Geologists study geologic processes shaping Earth today and through its history to find natural resources, protect the environment, and mitigate geologic hazards. The geology (GEOL) program provides a strong background in the basic sciences and geosciences with an emphasis on technical training, research opportunities, and a broad range of field experiences. Courses available use the magnificent geologic setting of the Black Hills and adjacent Badlands, and the extensive fossil and mineral specimens in the Museum of Geology. The GEOL degree includes both a geology field mapping course and a two-semester senior research experience. Students majoring in GEOL will earn a BS degree in Geology. GEOL students train for careers in the geosciences including environmental applications, mineral and petroleum exploration, governmental agencies, museums, academic fields, teaching, and entrepreneurship.
GEOL students may take electives in four focus areas that include:
- Paleontology: study of ancient organisms and environments. Graduates in this focus area will often attend graduate school to develop research and teaching careers, but career opportunities also are available in museums, governmental agencies, or with consulting firms that survey and preserve fossil resources.
- Environmental Geology: protection and management of natural resources. Graduates may work for environmental firms, or could do environmental work for petroleum and mineral companies. Many government agencies also hire graduates with these skills.
- Resource Geology: exploration and development of petroleum and minerals. Graduates may explore for oil or mineral resources, assist with extracting these resources, or develop new types of resources such as coal bed methane or oil shales.
- Geospatial Technology: managing spatial data using GIS, GPS, and remote sensing. Graduates may work in traditional petroleum, mining, or environmental companies, for government agencies, or within the geospatial industry that provides and manages maps and imagery to the world.
Undergraduate degree programs
Find forms and checklists for undergraduate programs here.