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The most fundamental “Earth” science

Geology is the study of the composition, history and physical processes of the Earth. From microscopic minerals to mountain ranges to mantle convection, geologists work at every scale in every environment from the laboratory to the lunar surface. In fact, the first scientist to walk on the moon was geologist Harrison Schmitt.

If you’re looking for a career that combines the best of modern technology with good old-fashioned detective work, you’ve turned over the right stone! The SFA Department of Earth Sciences and Geologic Resources is a place where you can challenge your mind AND your feet.

Careers that build a strong foundation 

If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “from the ground up,” you know that everything from smartphones to skyscrapers is either made from Earth materials or stands upon it, and geologists are there first. Whether you go into oil and gas exploration or save the world from earthquakes, a geology degree from SFA will give you an excellent foundation for a great career. Starting salaries are very good, and career satisfaction is high – geologists love their jobs.

Learning out in the real world

At SFA, our undergraduate geology students don’t just sit in a classroom until they’re 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.

One of the unique resources SFA provides for students interested in petroleum exploration is our extensive core repository, donated by the East Texas Geological Society – the repository draws scientists from across the state and nation. Thousands of feet of real drill cores offer some of the best hands-on experience possible, with tools of the trade you won't find in most other undergraduate facilities.

Undergraduate programs and requirements

Bachelor of Science in Geology - general geology option

Students majoring in geology have the option to focus on environmental geology, using the principles of geology to understand the relationship between humans and the environment and how to repair and prevent damage.

Minoring in geology

If you are pursuing a geology minor, you must complete a minimum of 18 semester hours of geology coursework of which at least nine hours must be advanced. GEOL 4406 (Earth Science Activities) cannot be used to satisfy these requirements, and no more than two hours of GEOL 4171 (Special Topics in Geology) are allowed.

A fully online geology minor is available. Online course options currently available for the fully online minor include:

GEOL 1301 & GEOL 1001: Fundamentals of Earth Science w/ Lab (3 hours)


GEOL 1303 & GEOL 1103: Introductory Geology w/ Lab (4 hours)

Plus any five of the following courses:

GEOL 1304 & GEOL 1104: Historical Geology w/ Lab (4 hours)
GEOL 3303: Oceanography (3 hours)
GEOL 3342: Planetary Geology (3 hours)
GEOL 3350: Environmental Geology (3 hours)
GEOL 4350: Cave and Karst Systems (3 hours)
GEOL 4320 & GEOL 4020: Geochemistry w/ Lab (3 hours)

Contact the Department of Earth Sciences and Geologic Resources for advising.

A unique “additional major” in geology

If you are majoring in environmental science with a geology minor (Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture) or in geography with a geology minor, your required geology courses have been arranged to make it possible for you to complete an additional major in geology during the normal four-year period for the bachelor's degree. Contact the Department of Earth Sciences and Geologic Resources for advising.

Graduate programs and requirements

The Department of Earth Sciences and Geologic Resources offers graduate degree programs for students interested in earning a Master of Science.



Department of Earth Sciences and Geologic Resources

Physical Address:
Miller Science Building 
Room 301

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13011, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962