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Geology Undergraduate Program Overview

Geologists gather and interpret data about the Earth to better the quality of human life. By nature, geology is a multidisciplinary study of Earth's processes, materials, and history. Geologists often work in the field, quantify in the lab, travel, puzzle-solve, and have a deep appreciation and understanding of the physical world around us. Below are just a few tasks of the professional geologist:

  • locate and recover natural resources (water, energy, minerals)
  • address environmental problems related to sustainability, urbanization, pollution, and waste disposal
  • reduce loss associated with Earth hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, and landslides.
  • describe global cycles that impact climate, ecological systems, and resource supplies

Academic Information

GeoprobeThe Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences offers several degree options with multiple emphasis areas within the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Geology. Please review the Student Handbook for additional information.

BS Geology
BS Geology with Concentration in Environmental Science
BS Geology with Concentration in Hydrogeology

We also offer a Minor in Geology that requires GEOL 1010, 1020, 1030 and 12 additional credits in geology, at least nine of which must be drawn from 3000- and 4000-level geology courses.

Course Requirements

The Geology B.S. degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours (an average of 15 credit hours /semester), with coursework from four main areas.

  • General education requirements: All Clemson University students must complete these.
  • 3 credit hours to comply with the REACH Act (2021). All Clemson students must complete this.
  • Field experience: Because geology is a field-based discipline, all students are required to take one or more courses (six credits) that provide them with field experience (see pg. 16).
  • Research requirement: All Geology majors participate in a multi-semester research program that provides them with hands-on experience conducting geologic research (see pg. 17).
  • Electives: The Geology degree is flexible, enabling students to choose additional classes from approved lists so they can tailor the degree to their specific interests and career goals.

Geology Curriculum

Basic Geology Curriculum
Hydrogeology Curriculum
Environmental Science Curriculum

Career Outlook

Regional, national, and international job opportunities in the Earth sciences exist. Organizations that employ geologists include energy companies, federal and state governmental agencies (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service), colleges and universities, museums, national laboratories, and environmental consulting firms. As of 2016, starting median salaries for Geologists are around $45,300 with mid-career pay over $83,300. Forbes recently ranked Geology at 7th in the list of the 15 most valuable majors (2016).

Career Opportunities


For general information on admissions contact the Clemson Admissions Office.

For specific information related to the undergraduate program in Geology, please contact:

Alan Coulson

Or, come visit our Main Office at 445 Brackett Hall.