The Geology: Hydrogeology program is part of the School of Earth, Environment and Society in the College of Arts and Sciences.

BGSU hydrogeologists gathering groundwater samples.
  • Bachelors Available
  • Bachelors Available

Geology: Hydrogeology

The BGSU bachelor of science in geology with a specialization in hydrogeology is the only hydrogeology specialization in Ohio. 

Environmental change will make competition for water resources more intense, leading to rising demand for hydrogeologists in the coming decades. 

About 50% of the people in the world rely on groundwater for drinking and irrigation of crops. The study of the interplay of water and the environment is important for the conservation and protection of this precious resource.

The BGSU geology degree with a hydrogeology specialization will provide a rigorous framework for examining the hydrologic processes. No minor is required with the hydrogeology specialization.

Stewards of precious resources

Hydrogeologists—who are earth scientists— solve problems related to water quality and availability.  

As the climate changes, so water availability will change. New ways of managing and monitoring water resources will need to be found. The technical aspects of this work are the domain of hydrogeologists. They will increasingly be required to interact with environmental and government agencies and stakeholders who use water, which means practically everyone. 

The other role of hydrogeologists is helping ensure that water supplies remain safe and healthy. Natural and human forms of pollutants are identified and mitigated by graduates with hydrogeology degrees. 

Stand Out in courses like

  • Earth Structures & Tectonics
  • Earth Materials
  • Surface Water Hydrogeology 
  • Groundwater Hydrogeology
  • Limnology
  • Severe Weather
  • Aqueous Geochemistry
  • Remote Sensing

 BGSU is the only public university in Ohio with a hydrogeology specialization degree.


All Earth sciences require a sound base in math, chemistry and physics. These core STEM skills are used to build a thorough knowledge of the water cycle and its interactions with the different parts of the Earth.

Lake Erie and its watershed provide excellent examples near the Bowling Green campus. Field sites near and far are studied to build strong skills in assessing and documenting diverse types of physical systems. 

Quantitative literacy and critical thinking skills are used to interpret data and generate findings and recommendations. Communication skills are critical for working with government, private industry, public utilities and community stakeholders. 

The ability to share technical knowledge with a broader public in a digestible, relatable and ethical way is a critical skill in hydrogeology.

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.

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 create social and professional opportunities for students.


Natural resource extraction and management are heavily regulated. Anyone working in hydrogeology will be interacting with regulators, government at all levels, and stakeholders who have business, environmental and public health interests.

A wide variety of career options for graduates with a bachelor of science degree in geology with a specialization in hydrogeology can be found. Working in the field, in the lab, in the office or interacting with the public are all possibilities. 

As water availability shifts because of climate change, the demand for hydrogeologists will increase. 

Further study will qualify students for more senior positions. Research jobs in government or universities will mainly require a doctoral level qualification.

Go Far in your career

  • Environmental Geologist
  • Hydrogeologist Consultant
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Water Resources Manager 
  • Quantitative Hydrogeologist
  • Groundwater Modeling
  • Project Hydrogeologist

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found the median annual salary for hydrogeologists was $84,040 in May 2020.

BGSU Arts and Sciences white

The Geology: Hydrogeology program is part of the School of Earth, Environment and Society in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The AIMS Learning Community

The Academic Investment in Mathematics and Science (AIMS) Learning Community is a place to live and learn alongside peers who share your interest and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and math. This learning community assists students in navigating challenging first-year courses in science, technology and math disciplines while making lifelong friendships.

It is a friendly, comfortable spot on campus where you can develop relationships with your classmates, faculty mentors, and academic advisors. The AIMS Learning Community is designed to promote and strengthen these relationships.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in hydrogeology are expected to:

  • Identify, describe and classify earth materials, formations and structures and interpret them in the context of geologic processes;
  • Analyze and report quantitative geologic data collected in the field and laboratory;
  • Read, write, present and critically evaluate geologic reports, professional papers and maps;
  • Synthesize information from a variety of disciplines to solve geologic problems.

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Geology program underwent Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2019-20.

More information on accreditation

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The hydrogeology program does not lead to professional licensure.

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The hydrogeology program does not lead to a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

Updated: 04/22/2022 10:43AM