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What Is Geology?

Geology is an earth science focused on the planet’s composition, structure, physical properties and history, as well as the processes that shape the Earth. Geologists help to locate and manage the earth’s natural resources, including fossil fuels, metals, gemstones and a variety of minerals.

Why Study Geology?

Geology-based careers include protecting the environment, exploring for fossil fuels, monitoring earthquakes, mapping floods, controlling landslides, predicting volcanic eruptions and analyzing the evidence of climate change. To be successful, geologists should have an aptitude for science and math and a desire to better understand the planet.

A note on pathways: A pathway is an advising guide to help students prepare for their intended bachelor’s degree major. By following the course of study outlined in the appropriate Associate of Arts or Associate of Science pathway, students will have the necessary prerequisite courses to continue in their chosen disciplines. A pathway is not a major and will not be represented on the diploma.

Geologists and geoscientists work in a variety of settings. They plan and conduct field studies, test materials in the laboratory, collect water, soil or rock samples. They analyze maps, satellite imagery and well logs, prepare reports and present their findings. Geologists work for companies that locate and extract natural resources and clean up the environment. Jobs also are available in government agencies and in education. The American Geological Institute estimates there will be a shortage of 135,000 geoscientists by 2022, indicating strong demand for geology and geoscience graduates in the workforce. Strong opportunities exist for geoscientists who speak a second language and are willing to work abroad. A bachelor's degree is required for entry-level employment in geology. Geologists often earn master’s degrees and doctorates. Career opportunities include: [row][col]

    • Climatologist
    • Economic geologist
    • Educator
    • Engineering geologist
    • Environmental consultant
    • Environmental geologist
    • Exploration geologist
    • Geo-chemist
    • Geophysicist/seismologist
    • Hydro-geologist
    • Marine geologist
    • Mineralogist
    • Mining engineer
    • Museum curator
    • Oceanographer
    • Paleontologist
    • Petroleum geologist
    • Regional planner
    • Scientific writer
    • Soil scientist
    • Volcanologist
    • Water quality specialist
    • Well-site geologist
    • Mud logger
[/col][/row] For additional salary and job information for geology, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Check out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for salary and job information on all occupations.

9050 Geology Pathway

Associate of Science, Pathway – Geology

Areas A-E of the Core Curriculum (42)


Area A:

  • Required course: MATH 1112 College Trigonometry (3) or MATH 1113 Precalculus (3) or higher level MATH course.

Area D:

  • Required course: MATH 2201 Calculus for Life Sciences I (4) or MATH 2211 Calculus of One Variable I (4) or a higher-level mathematics course.
  • Recommended courses:

Area F: Courses Appropriate to the Pathway (18 hours)

  1. Carry over from Areas A and/or D (1-2):
    • Students will carry one additional credit hour over to Area F for each 4-credit-hour mathematics course taken in Area A and/or Area D.
  2. Required Courses (if not taken in Area D) (11):
  3. Select additional elective courses to complete 18 hours in Area F:
  • Students intending to pursue the B.S. in Geosciences at Georgia State University-Atlanta should choose courses appropriate to their intended concentration. Please consult with your academic advisor for additional guidance.
  • All separate lecture and lab course combinations (e.g., BIOL 2107 and BIOL 2107L; CHEM 1211 and CHEM 1211K) are commonly offered as a combined course at Georgia State University-Atlanta (e.g., BIOL 2107K; CHEM 1211K. The combined (K) courses and separate lecture and lab (L) courses cover the same subject matter and are considered equivalent courses.


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