The Geology (BS) - Environmental Geology degree from Appalachian State University prepares you to understand diverse topics such as evolution and plate tectonics, sedimentation and sea-level change, water resources and groundwater contamination, and much more. Appalachian Geology graduates have the field skills, core geologic knowledge and credentials to obtain a Professional Geologist license (PG), an essential certification for many jobs in the field of geology, especially those in the environmental industry.
In this degree, you will take a core set of classes that prepare you to go directly into the environmental industry upon graduation. Because the laboratory portions of these courses utilize state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including a 16-well educational well field and high-tech geophysical equipment, you will have the knowledge base and field skills that environmental employers are seeking.
Earth materials are in high demand even as green industries and environmental consulting expand, so there are many jobs available to our graduates. Approximately one-third of Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences graduates since 1998 are working in the environmental industry, mostly with environmental consultants but also with federal, state and local governments. The balance of our graduates are spread equally in education, both secondary and college, oil and mineral resources, and in graduate school.
Employment: Graduates of this degree have gone on to work for URS, Golder Associates, N.C. State Government, Active Minerals, CH2M Hill, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Halliburton and other companies.
Graduate School: Few students from this track go to graduate school. However, geology majors who do have attended University of Chicago, University of Kansas, Texas A&M, University of Oregon, University of Utah, University of Alaska at Fairbanks and Virginia Tech, among others.
In addition to a 19-hour required geology core plus courses in math/chemistry/physics, key environmental courses include:
- Introduction to Geophysics
- Issues in Environmental Geology
- Advanced Environmental and Engineering Geology
None required. Most students choose to pursue a GIS certificate.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
- Appalachian Geological Society – a student group devoted to appreciating and preserving earth’s environment, history and natural wonders; is actively involved in community service, university events, and geological excursions.
- A seminar series every Friday, which attracts an average of 80 students
- Frequent field trips
- Summer research with faculty
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Appalachian’s location is a perfect setting for studying geology, so you’ll benefit from field trips and local resources.
- The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences does not offer a graduate program, so faculty members focus entirely on high quality instruction and research opportunities for undergraduates.
- Many of our students have presented their research at professional meetings and/or published research in peer-reviewed journals. As a student, you will have access to facilities and equipment that other institutions typically reserve for graduate students.
- There are many opportunities for research/creative projects and internships. All faculty have one or more students working with them on research projects.
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
Dr. Chuanhui Gu