Geoscience applies the principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology to understand the composition, structure, and history of the Earth and the processes that govern it. Geoscientists then use this knowledge to address societal needs and problems, such as locating and characterizing mineral, energy, and groundwater resources, assessing seismic and other geologic hazards, and evaluating and remediating environmental contamination. The University of Utah’s Geoscience program will provide you with a broad foundation in fundamental science concepts, and you can then individualize your degree by pursuing one of three emphasis areas in the geoscience field: Geology (which focuses on geologic materials, Earth systems, and fossils); Environmental GeoScience (which focuses on the layers of the atmosphere and their interactions); and Geophysics (which focuses on using physical methods to image and understand the Earth). Regardless of emphasis area, all program graduates will be prepared and qualified to pass the professional geologist licensure examination. After graduation, students are prepared for post-graduate work in the earth sciences, or professional jobs requiring earth science knowledge (such as environmental law and earth resource management).
The Student Experience
If you want to expand on topics learned in the classroom, consider completing an undergraduate research project or internship. Students can also get involved on campus through one of the department’s clubs: the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG), and the Society of Economic Geology (SEG) all have chapters at the U.
Geoscience students can go on to work for private or public firms or the government. U alumni have found work as exploration geologists, geomechanics engineers, and seismic engineers. Other job opportunities include work as a geochemist, oceanographer, paleontologist, petroleum geologist, or geophysicist. With additional education, careers in research, education, and administration are also possible.