Why choose geology?
  1. Are you interested in travel?
  2. Do you enjoy the outdoors?
  3. Do you find nature interesting?
  4. Are you concerned about the environment?
  5. Are you concerned about global climate change?
  6. Are you interested in oil or minerals, or the money associated with them?
  7. Do you like to know how and why things work?
  8. Have you ever wondered about the history of the Earth or Moon?
  9. If you answered, "Yes" to many or all of the questions above then geology might be the major for you.
What do geologists do?
  1. Environmental Geology is the fastest growing field in geology. Environmental geologists study threats to the environment and develop solutions to environmental problems. Topics include flooding, pollution, urban and sustainable development, and natural hazards.
  2. Hydrogeology is one of the largest branches of geology. Hydrogeologists study how water moves through streams and rocks. Quite often hydrogeologists seek to increase water availability and minimize the spread of pollutants.
  3. Paleontology is a fascinating area of geology that explores the history of life on Earth. Paleontologists investigate the relationship between organisms and their environment, how organisms cope with environmental changes, and their evolutionary relationships. Paleontologists help us understand how life has changed through time and how it will continue to change given global climatic changes.
  4. Marine Geology is a fascinating field. Marine geologists study interactions between geology, marine biology, and oceanography. Imagine a career where you spend time on beaches, boats, and submersibles.
  5. Planetary Geology is a growing field that focuses on such topics as meteor craters, volcanism on other worlds, possible life in icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and planet and moon histories.
  6. Economic Geology is a large and lucrative field. Economic geologists seek profitable deposits of oil, gas, and minerals; and economic geologists determine how best to extract those valuables from the subsurface. Economic geologists perform investigations that involve many aspects of geology and they work all around the world.
  7. Petroleum Geology is a large and lucrative field. Petroleum geologists identify oil and gas reserves, and they are deeply involved in the study of sediment deposition in oceans, folding and faulting of rocks, and Earth history. This field ties together all aspects of geology.
  8. Paleoclimatology and Paleoceanography are two of the most important branches of geology because they provide insight into how the Earth might respond to global climate change. We can prepare for the future and lessen the effects of global climate change if we can understand how the Earth's climate and oceans have behaved through time.
  9. Geomorphology is dedicated to the processes that sculpt the Earth's surface. Geomorphologists seek to understand how streams, landslides, glaciers, and wind sculpt the Earth's surface. They work in such diverse places as the Himalayan Mountains, Antarctica, and tropical jungles of South America.
  10. Engineering Geology is another large and lucrative field. Engineering geologists examine the factors that influence man-made structures and certain hazards such as landslides. Engineering geologists may pave the way for construction of highways, dams, buildings, just about anything else you can think of.
  11. There are many other branches of geology, which focus on such diverse topics as caves, fossils, volcanoes, glaciers, earthquakes, geophysics, rock and water chemistries, and minerals!
General Information About Our Program
  1. Currently, there are too few geologists to go around. As a result, 100% of our undergraduates land jobs or go on to graduate school.
  2. All of our graduated M.S. students land jobs (100%)! In fact, a student who received his BS and MS from OU recently moved on to an entry-level $95,000/yr job with Exxon.
  3. We regularly receive job announcements from alumni who work for businesses in need of more geologists.
  4. The vast majority of geology graduate students are paid to go to graduate school. They do not foot the bill thanks to teaching and research assistanceships.
  5. Our professors welcome opportunities to work with undergraduates on research. In fact, we encourage all undergraduates to pursue research.
  6. Our student body is split roughly 50-50 between males and females.
  7. Many of our students have switched from other majors and we consistently graduate such students on time.

Mapping Geology in Dublin Hills
Southern California
Credit: Dr. Keith Milam