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Geology is the scientific study of the processes, composition and history of terrestrial planets.

The field has a broad variety of applications, from geographic information systems to environmental science to the examination of other planetary bodies. At JMU, we urge students to go beyond the classroom and into the real world to explore their scientific interests. Whether our students are interested in local projects in the Shenandoah Valley or international projects in locations like Ireland, our faculty strive to engage majors in field-based research. Because our geology department consists entirely of undergraduate students, our majors receive more individualized instruction from our professionally recognized faculty. We also have a research requirement for majors, which means our students are prepared for their future career goals and also often emerge from our program with professional publications and presentation experience. Our majors are more than just students—they are scientists.

Learn More:
Our geology major is composed entirely of undergraduates.
Majors receive individualized study with professors via research requirements.

The major is a part of the Department of Geology and Environmental Science, an academic unit within the College of Science and Mathematics.

The Geology major offers specialized study focusing on earth materials, internal and external earth processes, analysis of earth history and appreciation of geology to environmental and engineering issues. The program provides a strong theoretical background in geology while allowing students flexibility in choosing courses to prepare for a specific career in the geological sciences. Graduates have attained employment as geologists and environmental scientists, as well as entry into prestigious graduate schools.

The major prepares students to collect data in the field and laboratory on minerals, rocks, fossils, landforms and structures; properly use field and laboratory equipment; and construct accurate geologic maps and displays of geologic data. Geology Title use geologic data to write interpretive geological reports and histories of regions; solve environmental and economic geological problems, and critically evaluate the theories and conclusions of other earth and environmental scientists. Students will have the opportunity to engage in research with a diverse and professionally active faculty.

Geology
  • Degrees Offered: 
    • B.S.
  • Concentrations:
    • Environmental and Engineering Geology
    • General Geology
    • Life, Ocean and Climate
    • Solid Earth and Tectonics
  • Minors:
    • Geology

Declaring the Major

New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Students should declare the Geology and Environmental Science major when they register for orientation.

Currently Enrolled Major Changers 
Students should submit a "Change or Declaration of Major" form to the Geology and Environmental Science department head in Memorial Hall, room 7125.

Progressing in the Major

Remain in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.


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Career Planning

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