Programs of study offered by the Department of Geology are designed for individuals seeking a career as an earth scientist. Challenging and rewarding career opportunities occur in three main areas: environmental geoscience, engineering geology, and exploration for natural resources (especially coal, oil, gas).
There are lots of reasons to study geology at Marshall, but here are three good ones:
Firstly, Geology is Fun.
Many students are initially attracted to geology because of a love for the outdoors. Students can often expect to go on some of their firsts field trips during their first year of study. Imagine finding marine fossils that are many millions of years old on a local field trip! One departmental tradition is to go on a week-long trip to Big Bend National Park, in west Texas. See these links to view pictures and information from some of the many geology field trips Marshall students have taken in recent years.
Many students also enjoy geology because of the hands-on experiences that they get examining rocks, minerals, soils, sediments and maps in the lab. The opportunity to work together in both the lab and in the field means you get to know your fellow geology students well, which often results in a tight-knit group of classmates.
Secondly, our department is small and personable.
Our department consists of four faculty members and approximately 25 geology majors. This small amount of both faculty and students results in a number of advantages that include, but certainly not limited to, students and their professors building personal relationships. These relationships allow for questions to easily be raised in class, on trips, and during presentations. The small department also allows for students to get well acquainted, as previously mentioned, and as a result often makes studying a much more manageable task.
Lastly, employment, even in the current recession, is strong and growing.
Both Forbes and the Bureau of Labor Statistics list Geology and Geosciences as a growing job market with expected growth to be around 20% in the following years. These afore mentioned sources also list the median pay for geoscientists, with a bachelor's of science, to be greater than $80,000 a year. This salary is 32% higher than the national average for household income during the year 2010.
High school students interested studying geology at Marshall are advised to take one year of chemistry, one year of physics or biology, and mathematics through at least geometry, algebra, and trigonometry as part of their high school curriculum. Courses in physical, earth science or environmental sciences are also highly recommended.
Current Marshall students interested in geology are encouraged to contact one of the academic advisors in the College of Science, the Geology Department, or the Geology Chair, Dr. Niemann.
Full admission to the College of Science, and the geology program, require certain scores to be met on either the ACT or SAT. The required score for the ACT is a minimum composite score of 21 with a minimum mathematics score of 21, and the SAT is a minimum composite score of 1000 with a minimum mathematics score of 500.
Students who wish to pursue a degree in geology, but who do not meet the aforementioned criteria, can still do so by enrolling as either an undecided or pre-science major and completing the following requirements:
After the completion of the above requirements the student will then be fully admitted and will then be allowed to declare geology as his/her major.