Undergraduate Programs

What is Geological Sciences?

About the program

The Geosciences Program has three major parts: (1) solid-earth geological sciences, such as rocks, minerals, and deformation of the earth's crust, (2) earth proceeses over the last 10,000 years, such as active faulting, hydrogeology and water resources, geologic hazards, and surface processes, and (3) interdisciplinary environmental geosciences and hazard mitigation.

Field, laboratory, and computer skills are essential to students studying the geosciences. We now offer a new interdisciplinary Environmental Geological Sciences degree. Research in the geosciences is active and varied, with faculty and students interacting closely. A Bachelor of Sciences and Bachelor of Arts are offered in Geology.

The B.A. Geology major satisfies the criteria for an endorsement in Earth science teaching at the high school, middle, or junior high levels. Students who seek a teaching endorsement are required to complete the Professional Education Program requirements offered through the Department of Educational Foundations and Curriculum.

Minors in Geology and Earth Sciences are also available to supplement careers in other fields.

Is it for you?

The Geological Sciences major is an ideal choice for the student who is interested in science as well as the out-of-doors, but it also affords many laboratory research and management opportunities.

Geological Sciences is a challenging and interpretive science and the geoscientist is constantly called upon to read clues found in the earth's atmosphere, water, and crust and use them to understand geological processes. Students learn to communicate their findings to other investigators or to the public.

Faculty concentrate on teaching undergraduate majors about geology and engaging students in investigating geologic questions. Juniors and seniors often assist with faculty research and teaching some of the laboratory courses.

Our department provides personalized instruction in small classes resulting in an excellent undergraduate education in geological sciences. Since 1980, about 50 percent of the department's graduates have attended graduate school to pursue M. S. and Ph.D. degrees. Experience has shown that students who excel as Geological Sciences majors, and later in geoscience careers, generally have good backgrounds in mathematics, a variety of science courses, and English composition, as well as a desire to work outdoors and to work on projects of significant societal and economic importance.

Geological Sciences Faculty

Information about the department faculty, with links to their home pages for their research and teaching, is available at the Faculty & Staff page.

Opportunities for Employment

The areas of employment for the Geosciences major are many and varied. Geoscientists are employed in environmental consulting, water resources, assessing geologic hazards including volcanic and seismic risk, naturalists in state and national parks and forests, in oceanography, geophysics, geochemistry and engineering geology, oil and gas exploration, and searching for new mineral deposits. Employment opportunities for women are good. In addition, geoscientists have many chances for extensive travel or employment in foreign countries.

Questions and Inquiries

Click here, if you have questions about enrolling in the undergraduate program or transferring to CWU from a community college.