Geology (BS)

On Campus

Study the Earth, its oceans, and its life. Conduct research, travel to field sites, and learn about the environment, geologic resources, water resources, and related geology topics.

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Why Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology at Indiana State?

The Geology BS program at Indiana State provides a comprehensive understanding of Earth’s physical processes, resources, and environmental challenges. It offers opportunities to contribute to sustainable resource management and environmental stewardship or build a career in natural resource exploration, environmental consulting, and research.

Learn About the Planet

As a geology major at Indiana State, you will prepare for a career in research or industry science. Through coursework, labs, internships, and field trips, you will develop crucial research skills for understanding the earth, its oceans, its life, and the influence of humans on the environment.

In our program, you will have the option to personalize your elective courses to cover a broad spectrum of geology topics, or to focus more closely on classes specific to your chosen discipline. For instance, you may choose to specialize in environmental geosciences, water resources, geochemistry, geoarchaeology, or physical geology.

Learn From Our Excellent Faculty

Our dedicated professors bring their industry and scholarly experience in geology and environmental research to every course. They teach traditional geology disciplines, and also delve into more specialized research areas including environmental geology, geochemistry, quaternary sciences, paleoceanography, paleoecology, and limnology, among others. Professors at Indiana State have conducted research around the world on topics including:

  • Heavy metals in urban soils
  • Modern and ancient lake levels
  • Changes in paleovegetation
  • Marine and lake food webs
  • Paleocirculation in the world’s oceans
  • Geochemistry of coal-related acid mine drainage systems
  • Water resources in East Africa
  • Paleoproductivity in the Southern Ocean
  • Tropical speleothems
  • Use of tree-rings to reconstruct environmental variables, including fire history, insect outbreak, and climate.

You may have a chance to participate in faculty-led research projects and fieldwork trips. Small class sizes ensure that your professors are able to provide personalized feedback and one-on-one mentorship as you move through the program.

Receive Expert Assistance in Our Labs

Learn more about geology, sustainability, and related topics while conducting research in seven laboratories inside the Department of Earth and Environmental Systems:

  • Atmosphere and Ocean Systems Laboratory
  • Biogeochemistry Laboratory
  • Geospatial and Virtual Archaeology Laboratory and Studio
  • Dendrochronology Laboratory
  • Paleoecology and Micro-Archaeobotany Laboratory
  • Paleolimnology Laboratory
  • Visualization Classroom

What You’ll Learn in the Geology Program

The Geology BS provides a solid foundation in chemistry, physics, and mathematics, with an emphasis on laboratory and field experiences. You will be required to participate in a six-week field experience at a remote location to learn mapping and direct observation techniques from professional geologists. You can complete our geology bachelor’s degree program in four years of full-time study.

You can also complete an internship to gain experience in geoscience, environmental science, and environmental management work for public and private organizations and agencies. The internship requires a written report and an evaluation by the employer.



Transfer Credit

Indiana State University accepts credit from regionally accredited colleges and universities within the United States, and from selected schools located outside the United States. Credit also may be granted for military training and experience. Previously earned college credit can be applied toward completion of the program per Indiana State's transfer guidelines.

Transfer Guidelines

Career Possibilities for Geology Majors

Geologists work for a range of industries and government agencies to address environmental and resource problems affecting human populations, locate energy and mineral resources, identify hazards associated with earthquakes and other natural disasters, and work with engineers to build safe roads, dams, and other structures.

Our graduates are employed by oil companies, mining and exploration companies, environmental and engineering firms, and federal and state agencies. Many of our students also pursue graduate study following graduation.

A white female student in a white lab coat looks towards the camera in a lab.

Saving Wild Rice Through Geology

Through internships and research projects in the Geology program, Indiana State alumna Elynor Head, ’23, helped to save a species of wild rice from extinction.

Read about Elynore Head’s field experiences.


Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Higher Learning Commission