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B.S. Earth Sciences: Geology Emphasis

The science of geology involves the study of both the solid (rocks and minerals) and liquid (water and magma) portions of the Earth and the interaction among these and other Earth systems. Geologists seek to understand the physical and chemical processes that shape the Earth currently and throughout Earth’s long history.

Some key processes geologists focus on include the constant building of mountains and volcanoes, production of ore and energy resources, earthquakes at plate boundaries, evolution of life and the climate through Earth history, and erosion the Earth’s surface.

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of our program students are well prepared for professional geoscience careers in:

  • Energy and mining industries: finding and extracting metals, coal, and petroleum for society
  • Water resource management: finding and managing water for society
  • Natural hazard management: predicting and managing risks associated with floods, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanoes, etc.
  • Museum curation: finding rock, mineral, and fossil samples; preparing sample for study or display
  • Public outreach: serving as a scientist that works with and educates non-scientists such as politicians and the general public on a variety of scientific issues
  • Environmental remediation: identifying environmental contamination, managing contamination of water and elsewhere
  • Additional education in graduate school: Masters and Ph.D. degrees or other certifications

Learn more about Geology Careers 

Program Snapshot

Credits required: 

  • Total: 120 
  • Specified LAC: 24

View catalog information

Four Year Plan (Recommended Course Sequence)


Timothy Grover



Fieldwork and Research

The University of Northern Colorado is ideally located for geological studies at the intersection of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and the high plains of Colorado to the east. The geology program at UNC takes advantage of our location and provides students with a comprehensive, broad-based education with a field-oriented approach. Most of our classes involve a significant field component.

We are within easy driving distance of:

  • Rocky Mountains
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Arches National Park
  • Basin and Range of Province of Western U.S.
  • Canyonlands National Parks
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park
  • Tracks of public U.S. Forest Service Lands
  • + more