The science of geology is the study of the Earth: its composition; the various physical and chemical changes that occur on its surface and in its interior; and the history of the planet and its life forms from its origin to the present. Geology majors learn about and research mineral and energy resources, the ecology and evolution of life, plate tectonics, water supplies, environmental protection and preventive planning for natural disasters.
Students are encouraged to pursue hands-on experience. Laboratories associated with geomorphology, structural geology, sedimentology, paleontology, mineralogy and other areas accompany the courses.
Field studies are stressed, providing students with opportunities for geologic mapping in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana; studies of sedimentary geology in Spain, Ireland and the Florida Keys; and examinations of processes acting on the Earth’s surface in West Virginia. Departmental and College assistance is available for the Geological Field Camp.
The Geology Program maintains a partnership with the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, which is located in Morgantown. We have established strong ties with both the energy and environmental industries to train marketable students and produce research relevant for industrial needs.
Geology majors receive a broad education in several areas of the discipline so they may make an informed decision concerning specialization if a graduate degree is sought. Flexibility in seeking employment in a variety of geology specializations is possible because the student has a broad base of knowledge in all areas of geology. During the senior year, undergraduates may use their geology electives to begin a specialization.
Approximately 300,000 geoscientists are employed in the United States. Four percent of geoscientists hold geology, geophysics and oceanography faculty positions in colleges and universities. Nearly 70% of all geoscientists are employed by energy and environmental companies. Many others geologists work for consulting firms and business services, especially engineering firms, which often provide services to oil and gas companies. The federal government employs approximately 10,000 geologists, geophysicists, oceanographers and hydrologists.
Sample Course Schedules
Wondering what your typical day might be like? We used students’ real course schedules to create these examples.
Freshman YearMATH 153 Calculus 1a with Precalculus WVUE 191 First Year Seminar GEOL 102 Planet Earth Laboratory GEOL 101 Planet Earth CHEM 111 Survey of Chemistry
Senior YearGEOL 472 Petroleum Geology GEOL 469 Applied Hydrogeology Seminar GEOL 365 Environmental Geology PHIL 100 Problems of Philosophy THET 101 Introduction to the Theatre
English Proficiency Requirements
All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.
WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.