Geology/Earth Science, General
About the Geology/Earth Science Major
There is so much more to geology and earth science than just rocks. As a geologist, you'll study the Earth's composition, minerals, resources, natural processes, and use that knowledge to unlock its secrets. If you love solving a good mystery, enjoy the outdoors, and want to help man use the planet's vast resources more wisely, majoring in geology might be a good option for you.
Before you arrive at college, you should think about what your level of study will be. Although a bachelor's degree in geology/earth science will ensure that you will indeed have work opportunities after graduation, an advanced degree will give you the chance to work in research positions or teach at a college. If you chose to pursue an advanced degree, you will need to choose from one the many specialties in geology, such as volcanology, oceanography, seismology, paleontology, mineralogy, and hydrology, among others.
Once your undergraduate studies begin, you'll discover that the geology/earth science major is not a traditional college major. A geologist lives in three worlds: the classroom, the lab, and the field. As a student, your courses will include petrology, geology, mineralogy, and many other topics. You will spend time in the lab using spectrophotometers, magnetometers, and other tools to analyze the specimens you gathered and analytical/scientific software to record the results. You may also use computer-aided design, map creation, graphics/photo imaging, or database/query as part of your work. In lab classes, you may have the opportunity to participate in field trips where you will extract real samples for further analysis in the lab.
Although a bachelor's degree in geology and earth science can lead to work opportunities, an advanced degree will open up research or teaching positions. If you have a particular specialty you'd like to focus in, advancing your education will allow you to gain more knowledge in this area.