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administrative contact

Steven Kite
phone: 304-293-8919
fax: 304-293-6522

program contact

Jaime Toro
phone: 304-293-9817

Program Details

Program Description

The science of geology is the study of the Earth: its composition; the various physical and chemical changes that occur on its surface and in its interior; and the history of the planet and its life forms from its origin to the present. Geology majors learn about and research mineral and energy resources, the ecology and evolution of life, plate tectonics, water supplies, environmental protection and preventive planning for natural disasters.

Students are encouraged to pursue hands-on experience. Laboratories associated with geomorphology, structural geology, sedimentology, paleontology, mineralogy and other areas accompany the courses.

Field studies are stressed, providing students with opportunities for geologic mapping in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana; studies of sedimentary geology in Spain, Ireland and the Florida Keys; and examinations of processes acting on the Earth’s surface in West Virginia. Departmental and College assistance is available for the Geological Field Camp.

The Geology Program maintains a partnership with the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, which is located in Morgantown. We have established strong ties with both the energy and environmental industries to train marketable students and produce research relevant for industrial needs.

Geology majors receive a broad education in several areas of the discipline so they may make an informed decision concerning specialization if a graduate degree is sought. Flexibility in seeking employment in a variety of geology specializations is possible because the student has a broad base of knowledge in all areas of geology. During the senior year, undergraduates may use their geology electives to begin a specialization.

Career Profile

Approximately 300,000 geoscientists are employed in the United States. Four percent of geoscientists hold geology, geophysics and oceanography faculty positions in colleges and universities. Nearly 70% of all geoscientists are employed by energy and environmental companies. Many others geologists work for consulting firms and business services, especially engineering firms, which often provide services to oil and gas companies. The federal government employs approximately 10,000 geologists, geophysicists, oceanographers and hydrologists.

English Language Proficiency

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Please see Office of Admissions - English Language Proficiency for more information.

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WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.