The Geology Department offers a broad curriculum that prepares students for more advanced graduate study in the geosciences and for employment immediately after graduation. Most of our recent graduates have begun their careers with environmental consulting firms (often with multiple job offers); others are pursuing careers in mineral and petroleum exploration or working on more advanced graduate degrees.
Many undergraduate courses include field-based projects as an important component. Georgia's barrier islands, especially Sapelo Island, a National Estuarine Research Reserve, provide unique opportunities to observe coastal processes in an unspoiled natural environment. Other field destinations include the outstanding mineral assemblages at Grave's Mountain in the Inner Piedmont, major fault systems in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the rich fossil assemblages and ancient depositional environments preserved in rocks of the Valley and Ridge and Cumberland Plateau.
Many students enroll in the interdisciplinary Water Resources Certificate Program. Other interdisciplinary courses include the Costa Rica Spring Program, the summer Field Experience in Argentina, the Honors Interdisciplinary Summer Field Program, and the UGA Fall Semester Antarctica Program.
Students are encouraged to work on an independent research project during their senior year (Senior Thesis Project). Recent senior thesis topics, many of them field-based, have included studies of meteorite impact structures in the Georgia coastal plain, structure and tectonics of the Nevada Basin and Range, and the geomicrobiology of hot springs in Kamchatka, Russia. Support for undergraduate research is available through a variety of funding sources.
For many students, the highlight of their undergraduate experience is the department's six-week summer field school based in Canon City, Colorado. Projects include field mapping in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, pollution monitoring of streams in the Colorado Plateau, and field trips to Utah and New Mexico. Students gain valuable experience with traditional and computer-based mapping tools, with GIS, and with geochemical analyses.
The Department offers three degree tracks, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree, and the Geology Minor. The best strategy for planning your Geology Degree is to set up an appointment with a departmental advisor as soon as possible.
The Geology Club at UGA is a professional student organization that strives to build a community of individuals interested in geosciences. The club educates the public about geology, supports current students, connects with department alumni, promotes the department, and partners with other geoscience organizations. The club also serves as the UGA Chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon. Visit the Geology Club website for information about upcoming club meetings, educational and recreational events, networking opportunities, fundraising initiatives, and other ways you can get involved.
Read the brochure on our undergraduate program.