Paleontology is the study of fossils to determine organisms’ evolution and how they interact with each and the environment. The earth resources industry, particularly the oil industry, needs the skills of these scientists. The Geology (BS) - Paleontology degree at Appalachian State University is ideal for those who want to pursue earth history, evolution research or advanced degrees in paleontology.
The Geology - Paleontology (BS) degree 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 and earth resources industries.
Employment: One graduate currently works for the Bechtel Corporation in Pittsburgh; many are in graduate school.
Graduate School: Students have attended graduate schools such as University of Iowa, Fort Hays State University, Kent State University, and the University of Chicago.
This is a program that leads to licensure or certification. Appalachian State University cannot confirm whether this program will meet the requirements for professional licensure in other states or territories.
If this applies to you, check the National Association of State Boards of Geology for information on licensure requirements and licensing agencies in other states. Or, you may address questions to State Authorization at Appalachian at email@example.com or 828-262-7559.
This degree consists of a 37-hour geology core, plus courses in mathematics/chemistry/physics and computer science, computing or statistics, and an Evolutionary Component. Core courses include:
- Evolution of the Earth
- Preparation of Geologic Reports
- Principles of Structural Geology and Tectonics
- Fundamentals of Mineralogy
- Petrology and Petrography
- Sedimentology & Stratigraphy
- Geology Seminar
- Summer Field Geology
A minor is optional. Many in the paleontology field select Anthropology.
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. Andy Heckert