Do you find the prospect of working on a wide range of Earth-related issues from resource management to environmental protection exciting? Do you enjoy puzzle and problem solving, and working across scales, using details to solve wider problems? Do you enjoy travel and working outdoors?

The first two years of the bachelor of science in geology program focus on a foundation of arts and sciences courses and cognate courses in quantitative skills, chemistry, and physics or biology. During the junior and senior years, the program focus is on core geology courses in mineralogy and petrology, structural geology, stratigraphy and sedimentology, paleontology, and field geology.

Material studied in the geological sciences allows students to acquire knowledge and skills in hydrology, oceanography and coastal geology, environmental geology, geomorphology, climate change, and geochemistry. Students are encouraged to acquire additional technical and non-technical knowledge and skills beyond the geosciences by taking elective courses in other sciences, business, economics, geographic information systems (GIS), computer applications, communications, and anthropology.

ECU Advantage

The strong, traditional base of our bachelor of science in geology provides flexibility for our students to pursue many career pathways available in the geosciences, other sciences, and resource management. The classroom and field-based training in our program teaches our students to visualize in three dimensions, to proficiently extrapolate data and concepts into the "bigger picture," and to work effectively as a team. Field training is an essential component in our degree program. Our program includes a six-week summer field experience in New Mexico and Colorado, and several weekend field trips.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Steve Harper (Graham Building 104; 252-328-6773; harpers@ecu.edu)

Geology majors have the opportunity to specialize in one of three concentration areas: coastal and marine, environmental, general geology.

Minimum degree requirement is 126 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

    2. Core - 42 s.h.
    • GEOL 1500 - Dynamic Earth
    • GEOL 1501 - Dynamic Earth Laboratory
    • GEOL 1600 - Earth and Life Through Time
    • GEOL 2000 - Quantitative Methods in the Geological Sciences
    • GEOL 3050 - Mineralogy and Petrology I
    • GEOL 3051 - Mineralogy and Petrology I Laboratory
    • GEOL 3150 - Mineralogy and Petrology II
    • GEOL 3151 - Mineralogy and Petrology II Laboratory
    • GEOL 3200 - Introduction to Field Methods
    • GEOL 3201 - Introduction to Field Methods
    • GEOL 3300 - Structural Geology
    • GEOL 3301 - Structural Geology Laboratory
    • GEOL 4000 - Summer Field Course in Geology
    • GEOL 4010 - Sedimentology
    • GEOL 4011 - Sedimentology Laboratory
    • GEOL 4020 - Stratigraphy
    • GEOL 4021 - Stratigraphy Laboratory
    • GEOL 4200 - Paleontology
    • GEOL 4201 - Paleontology Laboratory
    3. Concentrations- 7 s.h.

    (Choose one.)

      Coastal and marine geology concentration:

      (Choose 7 s.h. from the following.)

      • GEOL 1550 - Oceanography
      • GEOL 3700 - Advanced Oceanography
      • GEOL 5300 - Geology of Coastal Processes and Environments
      • GEOL 5350 - Marine Geology
      • Or other approved GEOL courses
      Environmental geology concentration:

      (Choose 7 s.h. from the following.)

      • GEOL 1700 - Environmental Geology
      • GEOL 3209 - Environmental Forensics
      • GEOL 3210 - Environmental Forensics Laboratory
      • GEOL 3500 - Hydrogeology and the Environment
      • GEOL 5150 - The Geologic Component of Environmental Science
      • GEOL 5450 - Introduction to Aqueous Geochemistry
      • GEOL 5451 - Aqueous Geochemistry Laboratory
      • GEOL 5710 - Ground Water Hydrology
      • GEOL 5711 - Ground Water Hydrology Laboratory
      • Or other approved GEOL courses
      General geology concentration:
      4. Cognates - 25 s.h.
      • CHEM 1150 - General Chemistry I
      • CHEM 1151 - General Chemistry Laboratory I
      • CHEM 1160 - General Chemistry II
      • CHEM 1161 - General Chemistry Laboratory II
      • MATH 1065 - College Algebra
      • Choose 6 s.h. of approved courses in calculus, statistics, and/or computer applications
      • Choose 8 s.h. of approved BIOL, CHEM, and/or PHYS courses
      5. Electives to complete requirements for graduation.

        Students who plan to pursue graduate degrees in geology should complete a year of physics and a year of calculus.

        For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

        Careers With This Degree

        Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

        • Geology/Earth Science, General
        • Geology/Earth Science, General
        • Geoscientists
        • Hydrologists
        • Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers
        • Scientific and Technical Services
        • Education and Training

        Career Opportunities

        ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

        NC Tower

        This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

        • Self-employed;
        • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
        • Work outside of North Carolina.

        US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

        This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

        Degree-specific internships

        For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.