Save the world, one rock at a time
Do you love the outdoors? Do you want a career making the world a better place for humans and nature alike? Environmental geology might be the field you’re looking for!
Environmental geology is an applied science utilizing the principles of geology to solve environmental problems. Rather than seeking out the history and treasures of the Earth, this field focuses on the interaction between humans and the geologic environment, fixing and preventing damage, and understanding how the past affects the present.
Careers that improve lives
The work of environmental geologists has a direct effect on human life and industry all across the globe, reducing both the impact of humans on the environment and the impact of the environment on humans.
A degree in environmental geology from SFA can open the door to careers in many different fields.
Get out of the classroom
At SFA, our undergraduate geology students don’t just sit in a classroom until they are ready for field camp. You’ll enjoy trips to local and regional sites for fieldwork and hands-on outdoor learning, as well as opportunities to participate in actual research alongside professors. Smaller class sizes allow us to offer a more direct and personal educational experience than other universities and to get students more actively involved at an earlier stage in their degree programs.
Undergraduate programs and requirements
A bachelor’s degree with two unique tracks
The geology major features two primary course track options: general geology or environmental geology. Before or shortly after completing 45 hours of university credit, you should choose one of the two geology options and pick a minor.
Students who choose the environmental geology option must complete the following courses in addition to the required geology curriculum:
- The core plus GOL 420 and GOL 449 (for new majors)
- Two to three additional courses from the following: GOL 330, 303, 435, 450, 451, 350
- MTH 233 and MTH 220
- CHE 133, 133L, 134 and 134L (and possibly 330, depending on which year they start)
- PHY 131, 131L, 132 and 132L or BIO 131, 131L, 133 and 133L
Popular minors associated with environmental geology include forestry and geography. Geographic information systems provide a useful skill set for environmental studies that is highly valued in the job market.
A unique “second major” in geology
If you are majoring in environmental sciences with the environmental geology option (Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture) or in geography with a geology minor, you can complete a second major in geology during the normal four-year period for the bachelor's degree. Contact the Department of Geology for advising.
For more information on environmental geology course offerings, please visit the 2017-2018 Academic Year General Bulletin.
Graduate programs and requirements
The Master of Science in Geology
Students interested in a master's in geology may pursue a thesis or non-thesis option:
The thesis option requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate coursework, including:
- 18 hours of graduate geology coursework from at least three different major fields of geologic study (i.e. hydrogeology, geochemistry, geophysics, petrology, sedimentology, stratigraphy or structural geology)
- Three hours each of thesis research (GOL 589) and thesis writing (GOL 590)
- Six hours of additional coursework as approved by the graduate committee, which may include coursework from other university programs
The non-thesis option requires a minimum of 36 hours of graduate coursework, including:
- 30 hours of graduate geology coursework from at least five different major fields of geologic study (i.e. hydrogeology, geochemistry, geophysics, petrology, sedimentology, stratigraphy or structural geology)
- Six hours of additional coursework as approved by the graduate committee, which may include coursework from other university programs.