For Prospective Undergraduates
The Department of Geology and Geophysics, the largest in the College of Geosciences, with 34 faculty and around 650 students, offers unparalleled, unique and immersive learning opportunities for your consideration all over the world. Geology and Geophysics are two fields of study for those who enjoy solving scientific mysteries, exploring the outdoors, leaning more about the world around you and having a variety of meaningful career options. Our program takes an integrative approach to our Earth systems and includes topics such as natural energy resources and sustainability, climate change, tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes, environmental science and geochemistry. Global science issues fall in to the purview of today's geoscientist and geologists and geophysicists are leaders in developing solutions to the issues we face today and preparing for our needs tomorrow.
The field of geology includes the scientific study of all aspects of the solid Earth, from fundamental processes that shape it to knowledge that benefits society. The undergraduate curricula in geology foster critical thinking, and the application of scientific skills to the study of Earth materials (rocks, minerals, fossils, structures, landforms and subsurface fluids) and geologic processes. Courses provide a broad background in geology, emphasize knowledge transfer from other sciences to geologic problems and promote application to practical problems in petroleum exploration, environmental management and civil engineering.
The Department of Geology and Geophysics offers two undergraduate programs in geology, the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science. The BS program is appropriate for students seeking careers as geologists or preparing for graduate school in geology, whereas the BA program is designed for students wishing to combine geology with other disciplines, and includes less rigorous mathematics and physics. Details of the two programs are given below along with specialty options and tracks.
Graduates must pass two Writing Intensive courses within their major. This requirement is described in Requirements for a Baccalaureate Degree. GEOL 311 and any geology or geophysics class with a 9xx section number meets the requirement. To remain in satisfactory academic standing, students must maintain a 2.0 or better GPR in all technical courses (geology, geophysics, chemistry, math and physics). Some courses in geology require field trips. Students are required to pay expenses incurred on such trips.
Geophysics includes all areas of scientific inquiry that deal with the physical state of Earth and other planets and the dynamic processes, which act on and within planetary bodies. The Department of Geology and Geophysics offers the Bachelor of Science in Geophysics for students who wish to combine a proficiency in mathematics with an interest in Earth. The objective of this program is to develop a physically-motivated approach to the study of Earth phenomena, through treatment of physical and geological principles and development of mathematical tools. Graduates will be well-prepared for careers in the energy and environmental industries, and for advanced study at top-ranked graduate programs. Minors in Geology and Geophysics
The Department of Geology and Geophysics offers minors in three separate programs: Geology, Geophysics and Earth Sciences. Minors provide opportunities for broadening a student's background and tailoring the curriculum to specific career goals. For example, a minor in Geology or Geophysics may be especially beneficial to students majoring in fields that deal directly or indirectly with geological processes. These include agriculture, anthropology, archaeology, architecture, business, law, biology, chemistry, recreation and parks and soil science, to name a few.
The Departments of Geology and Geophysics, and Geography offer a minor in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST). GIST is concerned with the collection, analysis and display of spatial information using geographic information systems, remote sensing, global positioning satellites and field mapping. The minor combines courses in computer science, mapping, geodesy, geographical information systems and remote sensing. GIST is used to solve problems associated with land administration, environment and natural resource management, planning and population studies in addition to traditional surveying and mapping applications. This minor represents a focused course of study, which can be combined with traditional areas of study in geology and geophysics, geography, and other areas of science and policy studies.
Now that you've decided to be a geologist or a geophysicist, consider this: the number of available jobs in the geosciences will grow by 22% in 2016 as compared to 10% growth in all other careers; as of 2005, the average starting salary for a geoscientist was $74k per year and that's nearly 10% higher than it was in 2004; in 2013, the average salary of a petroleum geoscientist with a B.S. Degree was around $96k per year and around $104k per year for a petroleum geoscientist with an M.S. It's a vital and viable career strategy! You'll find career opportunities in the energy industry, or an engineering firm, government agency, or private consulting. After you graduate, you'll have background and skills that are highly valuable and unique to Texas A&M geoscientists. The faculty's deep ties to the energy sector help place students with major oil companies as well as with independent operators, national labs and even universities.
For Transfer Students
Many students transfer into the College of Geosciences from other universities and from the General Studies program or other colleges at Texas A&M. Admission criteria for specific majors is listed below. For more information contact the Associate Dean for Academics in the College of Geosciences.
Be sure to check out A&M's Transfer Day, a day specifically designed for transfer students from around the world!