Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)



The BGSU School of Earth, Environment and Society (SEES) offers an undergraduate degree in geology, with specializations in paleobiology and hydrogeology.  

BGSU geology majors discover the earth and its processes using state-of-the-art analytical methods and geospatial technologies.

Examining the earth

Geology provides an understanding of the history and processes that have shaped our planet through its 4.5 billion years of existence. 

Geologists also study the modern Earth processes to understand hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and landslides.

The principles of geology are also used to investigate the origin and evolution of living organisms and to study the moon and other planets in the solar system.

The role of people in affecting the climate of our planet is becoming clearer, and geoscientists are at the forefront of this vital work.

Geoscientists consider the Earth in a broad context that integrates atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere using geospatial sciences and multidisciplinary perspectives.

Career - what can you do with a geology degree?

Geologists are employed in areas such as environmental consulting, oil and gas exploration, mineral resource exploration and mining, and federal and state agencies. Their skills are in demand and the critical nature of the work means reward and responsibility levels are high.  

Splitting their time between the lab, the office, and the field, geoscientists need to be as comfortable and knowledgeable on a computer as they are in the field, able to understand and critically analyze the samples in their hands and data flowing in from sophisticated sensing equipment like satellites or seismometers. 

Geologists also explore and help develop natural resources and clean up and reclaim land.

Some geoscientists study the chemistry and movement of ocean waters and how they affect climate and weather.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a rise in the number of geologist jobs needed in the next ten years as the impact of climate change and the competition for resources increase.  

The BLS also reports that the median annual wage for geoscientists was $93,580 in May 2020. 

Career paths

  • Geologist
  • Geoscientist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Paleobiologist
  • Geological Engineer
  • Geophysicist
  • Petroleum Geologist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Field Technician
  • Educator
  • Land Surveyor


The geology curriculum includes a capstone summer field experience. Students can take electives in geochemistry, geophysics, hydrology, and geospatial sciences.

The geology degree curriculum prepares students for a variety of careers relevant to critical societal issues, including water and energy resources, climate change and sustainability. 

The geology major emphasizes both laboratory and field experience. There is a required five-week summer field course held in New Mexico and Colorado, and the department periodically offers trips to the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and the Ozark Mountains in Missouri; Wisconsin; and many parts of Ohio.

BGSU geology degree students explore the relationship of humankind to the physical environment of the Earth and its natural resources. Students study the principles of geology and become familiar with the state-of-the-art tools geologists use to expand our understanding.

The B.A. degree program is ordinarily selected by students who wish to combine geology with another field of study, such as economics, business, art, English or a world language.

The B.S. degree program is chosen by students planning for a professional career or graduate study in geology.

Faculty are active researchers and provide research opportunities for undergraduate or graduate students.

An active community within the BGSU School of Earth, Environment and Society hosts events and seminars for students and faculty.

geology students

Sample courses

  • Earth Materials
  • Earth Structures & Tectonics
  • Quantitative Methods in Geology
  • Sedimentation & Stratigraphy
  • Field Geology
  • Volcanology
  • Life Through Time

Field camp

The BGSU field course exposes students to a variety of geological settings and applications, integrating the latest technology in field mapping. Geology students learn how digital mapping and data analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can facilitate fieldwork and improve the understanding of the geology of an area. 

Working with sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks, students learn how to make systematic observations, accurate recordings and sound interpretations of the geology seen in outcrops. 

Field exercises include measuring and analyzing sedimentary sections, construction of geologic maps, structural analysis of folds and faults, slope stability analysis and environmental assessments. Paleobiology specialization students will examine the fossil record of all locations visited. 

Students will learn to use Brunton compasses, laptop and ruggedized tablet computers, GPS receivers, aerial photographs, topography maps, satellite images and GIS databases in their projects. 

Field areas are in the Basin and Range, Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountain provinces.

Laboratory facilities

The School of Earth, Environment, and Society has on-campus facilities in Overman Hall, Memorial Hall, Hayes Hall, Moseley Hall, and Mitchell B. McLeod Hall. SEES has made a major commitment to acquiring and maintaining extensive research and teaching equipment and instrumentation. Learn more about our facilities, laboratories, and equipment.

GeoInformatics Laboratory (GIL)

The aim of the GeoInformatics Laboratory (GIL) is to support applications of emerging geospatial technologies in interdisciplinary research and education for the geology degree, the School of Earth Environment and Society, as well as Bowling Green State University. With state-of-the-art equipment, including laser scanners, marine radar and canopy analyzers, the lab helps students and our communities understand their environment. 

G-ECO Remote Sensing Lab

Graduate and undergraduate geology majors use field, satellite, and drone data. The data is used to address environmental, geographical, biological and geological issues. 

Students gain knowledge and experience in both field data collection and computer lab research. Graduate and undergraduate students in the G-ECO lab monitor the status of forest, crops, rocks, water (e.g., Lake Erie’s Ohio coastline), sediments and algal blooms, carbon budget, land-use changes and many other natural and human-induced phenomena. 

Paleontology laboratory 

The paleontology laboratory houses well over 120,000 fossil specimens for teaching and research, with particular strength in Paleozoic marine invertebrates. Students have access to several stereomicroscopes (including one with a dedicated digital camera and camera lucida), mechanical (hand tools, Dremel), chemical preparation facilities, and field collection equipment.

Aqueous and Terrestrial Geochemistry Laboratory

Current and future research at the BGSU Aqueous and Terrestrial Geochemistry Laboratory focuses on the nutrient and carbon distribution in agricultural soils and the role of drainage water management systems on nutrient losses. 

Recent partnerships with the Ohio EPA and Center for Innovative Food Technology include research on dredge sediment and its innovative uses.

Academic Investment in Mathematics and Science (AIMS) program

All AIMS Scholars have a unique opportunity to strengthen their academic skills and to increase their likelihood of academic success in college. 

The AIMS program has two scholarship packages with distinct requirements. 

The AIMS Standard scholarship is traditionally awarded to women and students of color with STEM majors including the geology degree and its specializations.

The AIMS BOSEF scholarship targets Ohio residents majoring in the following majors: chemistry, physics, biology, geology, environmental science, applied mathematics, mechanical and manufacturing engineering technology and with career goals related to renewable energy.

Part of your college success in the geology program depends on the relationship you create with faculty mentors and academic advisors. The AIMS Program is designed to promote and strengthen these relationships.

Geology Club

The Bowling Green State University Geology Club serves geology majors and faculty and other geologically inclined students from across the University. The club strives to foster the communication of ideas within the geological sciences and works to create social and professional opportunities for students.

Geology Club has organized group discussions, movie nights, field trips and the annual Geology Banquet. The Geology Club also strives to provide information on professional opportunities including internships, graduate schools and job openings. Check out our Geology Club social media page.

Updated: 02/19/2024 10:48AM