Undergraduate Programs

Why Geology and Environmental Geosciences?

What do geologists and geoscientists do?

The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences offers three majors, two minors, and broad array of topical and interdisciplinary elective courses in the geosciences.

Students who complete a bachelor of science or bachelor of arts degree with a major in geology may tailor a program of study to better prepare themselves for a wide variety of career opportunities in:

  • Advanced graduate study – Our students have received graduate fellowships from universities throughout the U.S.
  • Industry and government using geospatial technologies
  • Environmental consulting firms and state or federal environmental regulatory agencies and hazard mitigation
  • Interdisciplinary careers such as oceanography, national intelligence, and resource management

Major in Geology, B.S.

The Bachelor of Science in Geology program provides students the opportunity to delve into Earth science through a strong foundation in core geology fields and related sciences. Beginning with Environmental Geology and Earth History, students then continue to advanced classes, such as mineralogy & petrology, stratigraphy & sedimentation, water resources, structural geology, and field studies. Students will have the opportunity to take specialized elective classes in marine geology, paleontology, remote sensing & GIS, planetary geology, and natural hazards as well as conduct research with faculty through independent studies and summer projects as they prepare for graduate school and careers. Graduates with a B.S. degree enter careers that include field work and data collection, laboratory analysis, geoinformatics, natural hazards, marine geology, spatial science, geological surveys, and more.

Major in Geology, B.A.

The Bachelor of Arts in Geology degree establishes a fundamental understanding of Earth science through required geology and science courses. The program begins with Environmental Geology and Earth History classes before advancing to specific fields such as stratigraphy, paleobiology, and structural geology. While not requiring the field studies course and higher-level mathematics classes, the Bachelor of Arts program allows for students to double-major in another field of interest, and prepares students for future careers in geosciences. Potential career paths for graduates of the B.A. program include environmental consulting, resource management, business, environmental law, geosciences education, and more. 

Major in Environmental Geosciences, B.S.

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geosciences incorporates a dynamic interdisciplinary lens to study the Earth and its processes. An understanding of Earth science is established through core geology courses that include Earth history, stratigraphy and sedimentation, and water resources, as well as classes in chemistry and either biology or physics. Specific topics of focus in this program include climate change, emerging pollutants, and sustainability science through courses such as Earth Systems Science and Critical Zone Science. The Environmental Geosciences major is ideal for students interested in careers and future studies addressing environmental and Earth system issues. 

Minor in Geology

This 20-credit minor has flexibility in the coursework program to complement any major in other departments. The GEOL 103/L and GEOL 105/L introductory sequence is required, and then students can choose 12 credits of elective courses based on their interests. 

Minor in Geoinformatics 

Geoinformatics brings together geosciences and computer science, providing students a background in geospatial science and data management and visualization. Core classes include geospatial science, database management, and computer programming. Elective options are remote sensing (drone programming and data processing), sustainable urbanism, seafloor mapping, spatial ecology, and more. Tracks include Marine Geology and Seafloor Mapping, GIS / Remote Sensing, and Geography and Planning. Geoinformatics complements majors in Geology, Environmental Geosciences, Urban Studies, Data Science, and others across campus.

Major and Minor Requirements

Bachelor of Science Geology Major

Bachelor of Arts Geology Major

Bachelor of Science Environmental Geosciences Major

Geology Minor

Geoinformatics Minor

How to Declare Your Major or Minor

Ready to choose geology as a major or minor? Here's what you need to do:

  1. Go to the POSM: Program of Study Management page for intstructions on declaring your major or minor in MyCharleston
  2. Declare your major or minor in Geology or Environmental Geosciences or minor in Geoinformatics
  3. The department will review your request and contact you about setting up an appointment to speak with an advisor about your class plan
  4. Be sure to keep checking your email once you submit a major or minor request because that's how we'll reach you to confirm your request

Helpful Links

Steps to Success in the First Year: Geology & Environmental Geosciences Advising

Program of Study Management (POSM)

Frequently asked questions about declaring a major

Academic Advising and Planning Center