Cleveland State University

Academics: Majors


Geological Sciences (Geology) majors learn basic concepts and facts about the composition, structure and history of the earth. They also receive training in current laboratory skills. Geologists analyze earth components, including rock formations, minerals, volcanoes, fossils, sediments, subsurface layers, glaciers and more. They search for and develop natural resources, including groundwater, minerals, petroleum, coal, and gas. Geologists use remote sensing satellite data and advanced image processing to map various types of habitat and vegetation; to monitor urban sprawl; to study ocean variables such as currents, chlorophyll concentrations, temperature, wave heights, and surface winds; to study coastal regions, monitoring erosion and sediment transport, as well as mapping vegetation; and to monitor damage from natural hazards such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Geologists use seismographic instruments and drilling to study subsurface earth layers and use seismometers to measure earthquake intensity and locations. They use instruments to study the earth's gravity and magnetic field. They conduct geological surveys and construct field maps. Geologists work in construction projects, particularly dams and tunnels. They are also in great demand as environmental scientists, working in various positions to preserve and clean up the environment, as well as in geological-specific jobs such as assessing environmental impact in mining and excavating. Hydrogeology is a high-demand subspecialty in geology involving studying and managing various aspects of groundwater.


Graduates are employed in a variety of jobs, including field work for natural resource companies (oil, minerals, gas); environmental scientist positions, particularly (but not limited to) the areas of water resources, soil characterization, bore hole studies, well installation, mining and excavation; research work in industry and federal agencies; work in state geological surveys; work in major construction projects, and teaching.

Bachelor graduates can obtain entry-level positions, teach science/earth science in high school (licensure required), and work in a wide variety of fields related to geology. A master's degree, however, is required for many geology positions, in order to obtain necessary specialization and work in research. Doctoral (Ph.D.) graduates assume university faculty positions teaching and directing research, direct research in government labs, or work in high-level positions in industry.


Click here to see the current academic year's Undergraduate Catalog requirements for the Geology major .

NOTE: For official requirements, determine your catalog rights, and go to the undergraduate catalog that matches those rights. (The following requirements are ONLY for students whose FIRST semester at CSU is Fall 2011 or Spring 2012. For students who started BEFORE the 2011-2012 school year AND who have been enrolled during at least one of the past three semesters, including summer, please see your undergraduate catalog).

Recommended for students wishing to go on to graduate school in the sciences or engineering and whose career directions are primarily technical or scientific. The B.S. degree requires several more courses in geology and calculus than the B.A. degree.

Recommended for students pursuing careers in teaching, law, planning or business.

Secondary Teacher Licensure Track
Available for students interested in earth science/science high school teaching. Contact the geology advisor for the science course requirements and the Education Student Service Center for the needed education courses.

Engaged learning experiences include a state-of-the-art remote sensing laboratory, performing sophisticated analysis of satellite data; field geology courses to Cleveland-area geological sites; research with nationally recognized CSU faculty; and co-op and internship opportunities. Most courses are taught by doctoral faculty. Students can also become involved in the Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science Student Association. Some of the courses are offered in the evenings. All students receive individual advising.

General Education Requirements: All degree-seeking students are required to meet general education requirements. Students are responsible for ensuring that courses chosen satisfy these requirements and are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor. A comprehensive description of the requirements is found at

For more information, contact:
Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, SI 219
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Phone: 216.687.2440

For official requirements for a degree in this major, see the Undergraduate Catalog.