Geology in the US for International Students

Geology is a science of the earth that comprises studying of ground structure, materials of which it is composed, phenomena connected with it as well as the organisms for which the earth serves as a natural habitat. Even though this science is not the most popular one among international students, it is an option that is definitely worth your attention.

Why Should I Study Geology?

If you have not made your mind regarding the major to pursue as an international student in the US yet, you should treat geology as a viable choice. Of course, there is a common stereotype that it is dead boring since one has to study rocks and mud. However, it is about much more, for instance, continents, atmosphere, oceans, gravitation, the Earth’s magnetic field, etc., meaning that this science combines physics, chemistry, biology, history, and even meteorology. Only an ignorant person would say that it is only about rocks.

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Moreover, studying geology is a way to help our planet. Geologists examine different ground properties and surface features, investigate the cases of deformation and erosion to prevent them in future and, thus, save plants, animals, and people living nearby. It requires strong analytical and reasoning skills, ability to develop hypotheses, search for information, sort it, and make conclusions.  All these skills, which will prove indeed helpful in any situation, are gradually developed in the course of studying geology as a major.

What does Geology Major Imply?

Pursuing geology major, you will study the earth, forces influencing it, materials of which it consists, namely gasses, liquids, and solid particles. Moreover, you will study many other sciences that are directly connected with geology, for instance, chemistry, physics, and biology. You will have to spend approximately three to four hours a week in a lab. Additionally, there will be an opportunity to visit national, regional, and local sites that are significant from a geological point of view. In introductory courses, apart from the basic concept of this science, you will be able to learn to distinguish between different types of minerals, fossils, and rocks.

What Courses Will I Have to Enroll in?

If you are to study geology as an international student in the US, the main classes you may expect to attend are as follows:

  • Biology
  • Paleontology
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Mineralogy
  • Physical Geology

How Can I Choose a Geology Program?

The choice of the program depends completely on your interests. Still, there are some criteria that may help decide. Only few universities and colleges offer programs that might fully meet them. Therefore, check whether:

  • field instruction and trips are included in every course;
  • there will be a possibility to spend sufficient time in a lab;
  • access to equipment is provided;
  • professors of geology have practical experience outside the academic setting;
  • there is a chance to concentrate on a specific subject in geology, for instance, exploration seismology or hydrogeology.

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What are Careers Prospects in Geology?

There is a number of career path available for geology major graduates. They include but are not limited to:

  • Geographic specialists. There professionals apply sophisticated computerized equipment and satellites to map and measure the globe. In addition, they assist people willing to construct something with choosing an appropriate spot.
  • These scientists study the atmosphere. You may become a famous meteorologist on weather channels and news or work at the National Weather Service.
  • These people study the earth as well as its composition and structure. A geoscientist usually has a narrow specialization. For instance, one may work as an oceanographer, who investigates the chemistry, biology, and, of course, geology of oceans, or a hydrologist, who studies waters on and below the surface of the earth.
  • Mining and geological engineers. If you are interested in planning mines, creating tools and developing techniques of bringing minerals to the surface, or solving environmental issues related to mines, this profession is for you.

Overall, geology rocks! Those who study it have many doors open and opportunities to seize. Do not waste your chance. Our planet is to be yet fully explored. Choose geology and make sure the next discovery is yours.