Geology (B.S.)

FAST FACTS ›

  • Geology majors gain hands-on experience while working closely with professors, other professionals and classmates.
  • Our graduates have gone on to work for environmental agencies, energy and water authorities, and oil, gas and other mineral-producing industries.
  • In 2012, Forbes magazine ranked geology No. 7 on its list of top 15 most valuable college majors.
  • Our faculty are respected scholars who take a genuine interest in students’ success and are actively engaged in students’ research.
ABOUT.

Earth is the only home we have, so we must study and learn the Earth’s natural processes and how they impact our society. Environmental issues, water availability, energy resources, climate change and natural disasters all impact our health, our safety and our economy. As a geology major at Clemson, you’ll study all of these issues plus traditional topics including rocks, minerals and fossils, which reveal information about Earth’s history and provide the raw materials that our society and technology are built upon. This degree is designed to help you develop quantitative skills, while familiarizing you with the topics, technologies and resources needed to follow a career path in the geosciences. Geologists’ career paths can range from traveling and collecting data at field sites to working in high-tech laboratories using advanced software and technology.

CLASSES.

What you'll study:

To prepare you for the wide range of career options available to geology majors, Clemson’s program provides you with a well-grounded background in geology and related fields. In fact, we have built the curriculum around three critical themes:

  1. Appreciation for spatial and temporal scales
  2. Knowledge of earth materials and compositions of environmental systems
  3. Understanding of geological and environmental processes.

No matter the area of geology you’re interested in, we have a flexible curriculum plan that allows you to tailor your degree to your future goals. Within that, you can choose to do a general geology degree — which allows for more electives within a specific interest area such as geophysics, paleontology, sustainability and geological engineering — or a concentration in environmental science or hydrogeology. These two concentrations provide structured course work to help prepare you for a career in these areas.

Environmental Science Concentration: For students interested in learning how to collect and analyze environmental data, this concentration provides a solid introduction to environmental systems. You’ll graduate prepared for a career in natural resources, the environmental consulting industry and government agencies, or graduate studies in environmental fields.

Hydrogeology Concentration: Water is a resource everyone needs to access. This program focuses on understanding water availability and problems that could limit or restrict access to clean water. Graduates work for consulting companies, government agencies and natural resource management groups.

Curriculum:

Popular Minors:

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science and Policy
  • Geography
  • International Engineering and Science
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Natural Resource Economics
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM.

Geology majors have numerous opportunities to gain hands-on experience, apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations and network with professionals in earth science fields.

Internships and Research Projects:

GEOLOGY CLUB:
Join Clemson’s Geology Club and meet other students who share your interest in earth science. The club organizes field trips, invites professional speakers to campus and participates in service and outreach projects.
CAMP:
Geologists, hydrogeologists and scientists from other universities, the USGS and consulting companies join Clemson faculty to facilitate the Hydrogeology Field Camp. The trips and exercises provide insights into researching hydrologic issues.
RESEARCH:
Starting your sophomore year, geology majors take a sequence of courses to learn the basics of geologic research by participating in ongoing group projects. Faculty also mentor students on independent research projects.
SYMPOSIUM:
The annual Clemson Hydrogeology Symposium focuses on water issues in the southeastern U.S. It provides an opportunity for students to present their research and meet professionals and employers from around the Southeast.

Connect with Other Students:

CAREERS.

What are students doing at graduation?*

38%

Employed

37%

Grad School

25%

Seeking Employment

0%

Other

Where are students headed at graduation?*

Recent employers and job titles*

    Mid-Continent Well Logging Services — Petroleum Field Technician
    Northwind — Environmental Consultant
    British Petroleum — Sample Collection / Data Logger

Recent graduate schools and sought degree types*

    University of Wyoming — Ph.D., Geophysics
    South Dakota School of Mines — Master’s, Geoscience
    Clemson University — M.S., Hydrogeology

Common Career Areas**

  • Energy Resources
    • Structural Geology
    • Geophysics
    • Economic Geology
    • Paleontology
    • Fossil Energy
  • Mineral Resources
    • Mining Geology
    • Mineralogy
    • Geochemistry
    • Economic Geology
    • Paleontology
    • Stratigraphy
    • Sedimentology
    • Crystallography
  • Environmental Geology
    • Sedimentology
    • Hydrology
    • Geomagnetism
    • Earth Surface Dynamics
    • Coastal and Marine Geology
  • Geologic Mapping
    • Astrogeology and Space Sciences
      • Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Landslides, Floods
        • Seismology
        • Geomagnetism
        • Global Seismic Networks
      • For more details:
      *Represents Clemson University geology graduates who completed Michelin® Career Center surveys from 2011 to 2013.
      **Used w/permission from Univ. of Tennessee.
      FIND OUT MORE.

      Have more questions or want more information? Fill out the form below, which goes directly to the following department contact. If you’d also like to receive general University information from Clemson’s admissions office, please follow the link to the right and sign up to join our mailing list.

      Christopher Porter, CES Undergraduate Recruitment Director
      864-656-7870 — cporter@clemson.edu