Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science
College of Arts and Sciences

Geology is the study of the origin, composition, structure and history of the Earth as revealed by rocks and fossils. The principles of geology are also used to investigate the origin and evolution of living organisms and to study the moon and other planets in the solar system.

Career Opportunities

Geologists are employed in such areas as environmental sciences, oil and gas exploration, metallic and nonmetallic exploration and mining, federal and state geological surveys, and university teaching. Concern for the quality of the environment provides career opportunities in water supply, waste disposal and avoidance of geologic hazards.

The demand for energy and mineral resources continues to provide jobs in coal, petroleum and mineral industries. Careers in geology also provide opportunities to travel and work in a variety of interesting and exciting locations around the world.


The geology major leads to either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree.

The bachelor of arts degree program is ordinarily selected by students who wish to combine geology with another career. Combinations with economics or business have proven quite practical. Students have also successfully combined geological training with skills from art, foreign language and English for work in graphics and publishing.

The bachelor of science degree program is chosen by students planning for a professional career or graduate study in geology. It includes a core curriculum in geology and allied sciences. Students have the opportunity to focus on environmental geology, geochemistry, geospatial science or paleobiology. This program provides preparation for a varied choice of professional careers in geology.

Many students elect to complete a master of science degree. The master’s program provides a higher level of job entry skills that are widely considered to be essential for a career as a professional geologist.

For students interested in teaching earth and space science at the high school level, a program is available through the College of Education and Human Development.

The department has a large number of scholarships for undergraduates. Internships are available with several business and government agencies.

Special Features

The geology department maintains a variety of specialized laboratories that include facilities for studies in computer mapping (GIS), remote sensing, geochemistry, geophysics, paleontology, hydrogeology, sedimentology, mineralogy, petrology and mineral synthesis. Analytical instrumentation includes a UV-VIS and an XRD. The department recemtly acquired an ICP-Optical Emssion Spectrometer with a laser ablation system and a microwave digester to rapidly determine the concentration of major and trace elements in geologic samples. Scanning and transmission electron microscopes are available to aid students in their investigations. State-of-the-art computer facilities include student microcomputer labs, UNIX workstations, and digitizing, plotting and scanning facilities.

The geology major emphasizes both laboratory and field experience. There is a required five-week summer field course held in New Mexico and Colorado, and the department periodically offers trips to the Appalachian mountains, the upper peninsula of Michigan, and the Ohio-Indiana area.

GeoJourney is a nine-week field trip/camping trip/road trip across the United States to many national parks and monuments for a full semester of college credit. The course content taught as a part of the GeoJourney field program includes geology, environmental studies and Native American studies.

Preparation for College

Students planning to major in geology should have a solid background in science and mathematics. It is particularly important that students have courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology.

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent for preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Geology, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: