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Geology B.S.

With 4.54 billion years of Earth’s history to understand, rock out with a degree grounded in the more traditional aspects of geology with room to specialize in the subdiscipline of your choice.
Students and faculty gather on the crust-mantle transition in a sliver of the deep Earth faulted to the surface in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada, during the 2023 department field trip.
Students and faculty gather on the crust-mantle transition in a sliver of the deep Earth faulted to the surface in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada, during the 2023 department field trip.

About this Program

  • Synthesize your classroom learning in the real world through a required six-week field experience as part of a semester study abroad in New Zealand or through a domestic summer program chosen with the guidance of a faculty advisor.
  • Learn from expert faculty with expertise across solid Earth sciences, paleoclimatology, paleobiology and water resources.
  • Students engaged in research use state-of-the-art laboratory and computing facilities for sophisticated analytical and numerical study of Earth systems.
  • Earn a special distinction in geology by maintaining a strong GPA and completing a research-based senior thesis project under the supervision of a faculty member.
  • Participate in an active, thriving undergraduate geosciences club, UGoGeo, to build camaraderie with fellow students and connect with faculty.
  • Conquer abstract reasoning about time and space by connecting geologic processes that span microscopic to planetary in scale and from seconds to tens of millions of years in time.
  • Learn the field’s latest developments through classes taught by research-active faculty.
  • Take advantage of department-led field trips to unique geological locales.
  • Students have the option to join the Environment and Sustainability Living Learning Community.

Program Information

Degree Type






College or School

Exterior of Hall of languages building

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is Syracuse University’s first and largest college. As the home of the liberal arts, our internationally recognized programs provide the cornerstone of a Syracuse University education with 50+ majors in the natural sciences and mathematics, the humanities and the social sciences (in partnership with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs).
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Start with courses in introductory Earth science, chemistry, physics and mathematics. Subsequent core courses in geology prepare students to dive into divisional courses spanning four major areas within the field: solid Earth, water science, paleoclimate and paleobiology.

  • Explain process-based linkages among tectonics, climate and life as illustrated by the Earth system over time.
  • Analyze and interpret general patterns in the history of the Earth-life system using geological records and analytical and/or numerical tools.
  • Infer depositional processes and environments from field and lab observations of sedimentary systems.
  • Describe tectonic processes and their manifestations in Earth’s crust, including seismicity, volcanism and deformation.
  • Effectively synthesize published literature related to geological sciences in a written report and/or a data product.
  • Develop written and verbal communication skills required to effectively convey science to a wide range of audiences.

  • Applications of GIS in Earth Sciences
  • Global Change: Geologic Record
  • Geomorphology
  • Geophysical Field Methods
  • Sedimentary Processes and Systems

Extracurricular Opportunities

Campus facilities

Heroy Geology Laboratory

Dedicated spaces on campus, including the Heroy Geology Laboratory, offer state-of-the art laboratory and computing facilities that allow for sophisticated analytical and numerical study of Earth systems.


K.D. Nelson Lecture Series

Almost every week, you can attend a lecture by a visiting scientist as part of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences’ lecture series. This will often provide insights into the kinds of research and developments that are at the cutting edge of geological research.

Study abroad opportunity

Frontiers Abroad: Earth Science

Spend a semester abroad in New Zealand with either a geological and/or environmental focus. Participate in a five- to six-week field camp and take four courses at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. One of those courses will be a research methods course using data collected during your field experience.

Learn more about this program

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