Geology Major

With an option to earn a B.A. or B.S. in geology, you can create your own academic path.

You can tailor your studies so that you're competitive in many areas of employment. A major in geology can lead to a career in geochemistry, hydrology, meteorology and more. In this ever-changing world, studying geology will give you the skills to thrive in private industry or government. It will also prepare you for graduate work in many disciplines.

Why study geology at the College of Charleston?

You'll love the geology program's state-of-the-art technology and labs. Step outside. The city provides you with the opportunity for local field research on Folly Beach and Stono Preserve. You'll study topics from ocean-floor mapping to hydrology, geochemistry, environmental geology and much more.

What will I learn?

You will learn how to analyze complex systems. You'll design your own project and conduct field research. You'll learn how to complete geologic assessments used for resources, land planning and natural hazard mitigation. Develop the necessary skills to share important research with a wide audience.

Geology, B.A.
This program does not require the field studies courses or the higher-level mathematics classes. It allows you to double-major while you prepare for a business or management leaning career.

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Geology, B.S.
This program will deepen your understanding of the science. It allows you to specialize in a particular field.

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Program Highlights

Learn state-of-the-art laboratory, computing and field methods. Build on fundamental geoscience concepts. Prepare for a career in a range of possible industries.
  • Hands-On Learning

    You'll have many experiential learning opportunities in the classroom. You'll also have so many opportunities to work in labs. Take field trips to various locations for hands-on research. Visit area beaches, the Stono Preserve campus, active job sites and state and national parksYou may join collaborative projects with private companies and local, state and federal agencies.

    Internship Opportunities
    The geology department facilitates student internships. Recent students have interned with private practices, municipal, state, and federal agencies and non-profit groups.
    Senior Project

    You will have the option to conduct a Senior Thesis or a Bachelor's Essay. This is an independent research project directed by a faculty member.

  • Study Abroad

    You will complete a faculty-led field studies course as a capstone experience. These courses are usually during the summer term and involve travel to field sites either domestically or overseas. This experience will prepare you for your career. Recent students have traveled to places such as:
    • Colorado.
    • New Mexico.
    • Utah.
    • Wyoming.
    • Ecuador and the Galapagos.
    • Greece.
    • India.
    • South Africa.

  • Location

    The Charleston area offers a diverse environment for studying geology. Our rural campus at Stono Preserve, just a few miles from downtown Charleston, is a 981-acre property that is perfect for research. The department is also home to important research centers.
    • Lowcountry Hazards Center
    • Santee Cooper Geographical Information Systems Laboratory
    • South Carolina Space Grant Consortium

Careers & Outcomes

Use your skills to succeed in a variety of careers. You can translate the knowledge and skills that you acquire as a student of geology to any career. You'll know how to analyze complex information and communicate the knowledge. These are skills employers of all types are looking for. 

Recent graduates have successfully pursued jobs in consulting, engineering, resource management, construction and law.

In particular, students who earn the B.S. degree do work such as: 

  • field work and data collection.
  • laboratory analysis.
  • geoinformatics.
  • natural hazards.
  • marine geology.
  • spatial science.
  • geological surveys.
Graduates of the B.A. program find work in:
  • environmental consulting.
  • resource management.
  • business.
  • environmental law.
  • geosciences education.

About the Minor

A minor in geology may be perfect for you if you want to increase your scientific understanding of the planet. It can pair well with a major in education, archeology, environmental studies, engineering and more.