Geology

The Earth is your classroom as a Geology major! You will learn in the field, side-by-side with your professors, travel across the U.S. and Canada, and develop skills that are valued by employers and necessary for professional licensure.

Program Snapshot

Program Type Format Credit Hours
Major, Minor On Campus 122 (18 for minor)

Why Study Geology at Wilkes?

As a geology major, you’ll work closely with professors to analyze sedimentary rocks to reconstruct past climate conditions, investigate water resources and their impact on communities, discover and map natural hazards, and utilize advanced technologies to examine subsurface materials and structures to characterize pollution and environmental site conditions.

Our Geology program is designed to prepare students for professional licensure. Built on a foundation of diverse coursework, our curriculum provides an excellent foundation in a variety of Geology subdisciplines. You will be prepared to address societally relevant topics, such as climate change, water resources, soil/water contamination, and the exploration and sustainable extraction of mined resources while using modern techniques that include data analytics.

Curriculum  Admission Requirements   Faculty & Staff

What Will You Learn as a Geology Student?

  • Learn to identify Earth materials and analyze forces that act within the Earth to produce major features of the Earth’s crust, and understand the processes that sculpt the Earth’s surface.
  • You’ll know how to identify and recognize resources that are vital to modern societies and apply this knowledge to solve industrial and societal problems.
  • In addition to traditional Geology courses, the curriculum includes topics such as hydrogeology, paleoclimatology, climate modeling, applied geophysics, geographic information Science, remote sensing, and more.
  • Mapping, topography, watersheds, natural hazards and more are taught using physical models, such as a stream table, or a 3D augmented reality sandbox — a dynamic educational tool that uses motion sensors and specialized software to map elevation contour lines onto the sand in real-time.
  • You will use the scientific method (observation, data collection, analysis and interpretation) to solve Earth system issues.
  • Develop skills to effectively communicate with different audiences through a diverse range of communication methods, learn problem-solving skills and interdisciplinary thinking, and the ability to recognize patterns and understand complex systems.
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Program Highlights

Field Experiences

Travel near and far to learn about the Earth, applying what your knowledge in a real-world environment, as you will in your future career. To attain professional licensure, you’ll travel to Newfoundland, Canada, as part of a required field course.

Co-curricular Activities

The Geo-Explorer Club travels to geologically interesting locations such as Hawaii, the southwestern United States, Pacific Northwest, etc. The club also engages in community service activities and explores the geology of state parks, nature preserves and mines.

Research Opportunities

You can participate in summer research mentoring opportunities, or active faculty research projects for course credit. You’ll participate in a capstone senior research project, select a project, and begin work in your third year of study.

What ultimately made me pursue my majors in environmental science and geology were the professors and my advisor.

Hannah Thornton '20 - Geology and Environmental Science

The Geology program and resourceful professors provided me the skills to excel in industrial disciplines such as geophysics, geotechnical drilling, mining and solid waste management.

Joshua Foust ' 21 - Geology and Environmental Science

The experiences and knowledge I received while at Wilkes formed the bedrock of my 28-year career in geosciences. One of the most memorable elements of my time at Wilkes was the one-on-one interaction and mentorship I received from professors and deans. They instilled in me a desire to learn and cultivated my passion for Earth sciences.

Jason Sheasley '93 - Earth and Environmental Science
8

average class size

2-5

trips in the field taken per course

$94k

2020 median pay per the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Geology Field Camp

Wilkes University offers a Geology field camp experience to Newfoundland, Canada. This experience is required to attain professional licensure.

Explore the Field Camp

Field Camp

Careers & Outcomes

Careers

  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Geologist
  • GIS Analyst
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Mineralogist
  • Paleontologist
  • Regulatory Geologist
  • Seismology
  • Volcanologist

Employers

  • ARM Group LLC
  • Barry Isett & Associates
  • Kimley-Horn Associates
  • T-Kartor USA

Graduate Schools

  • Syracuse University
  • Penn State

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