Home page

Geological and Earth Sciences


Geological and earth sciences programs teach people about the physical makeup and history of Earth.

Geological and earth science programs include topics such as:


In geological and earth science programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Many community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in geological and Earth sciences. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. Students may work as a lab technician with an associate degree, or transfer to a college or university for further study.

Most colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in geological and Earth sciences. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study. With a bachelor's degree, students are prepared for entry-level work as a field technician or research assistant.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in geological and Earth sciences. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree. A PhD degree is required for most research positions and some government agencies.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

Other Careers Related to this Program of Study

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor’s degree in geology or a related science, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

No matter where you go to school, you're likely to take a set of "core" courses similar to the list above. Once you've completed those courses, you can take advanced courses that focus on a specific area of geology.

Graduate Program Courses

Geology is a broad field. Graduate students usually focus on one area of study. Typical courses vary by specialty. A list of common graduate requirements is below:

Things to Know

Many schools offer or require a summer field camp. This is an opportunity to get hands-on experience in mapping, sampling, and field geology. Some schools also require an independent research project.

Many jobs in this field require a lot of writing and clear communication. Taking writing and speaking courses will develop your communication skills.

Knowledge of a second language can be helpful, as many jobs require foreign travel.

Some geoscientists spend a large part of their time conducting field research in remote locations. Others work in labs or offices.

Some states require professional licensing or registration.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Walla Walla Community College

Washington State University - Pullman

Wenatchee Valley College

Whitman College

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Cascadia College

Edmonds Community College

Everett Community College

Green River College

Highline College

North Seattle College

Seattle Central College

Shoreline Community College

South Seattle College

University of Washington - Bothell

University of Washington - Seattle

Kitsap Area

Olympic College

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Spokane Community College

Spokane Falls Community College

Whitworth University

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

Pierce College Puyallup

Tacoma Community College

University of Puget Sound

University of Washington - Tacoma

Tri-Cities Area

Columbia Basin College

Vancouver Area

Clark College

West Side Area

Centralia College

Evergreen State College, The

Grays Harbor College

Lower Columbia College

Peninsula College

Skagit Valley College

South Puget Sound Community College

Western Washington University

Whatcom Community College

Yakima Area

Yakima Valley College