1. K-State home
  2. »Arts and Sciences
  3. »Department of Geology
  4. »Undergraduate Program

Department of Geology

Undergraduate Program and Requirements

Our degree programs will prepare you for a career in Earth and environmental science or for advanced study (in geology or another field). We offer the following Bachelor of Science/Arts degrees:

We also offer the following minors and secondary programs:

Each link above provides a list of the courses you will need to take for that option. In addition to those courses, you will also need to satisfy the College of Arts and Sciences B.S./B.A. basic degree requirements if you are working toward a B.S./B.A. degree in Geology. Note that the details provided in these links reflect the current Geology curriculum requirements (as of May 2015). If you became a Geology major prior to May 2019, your curriculum requirements may be different. Please ask your Undergraduate Academic Advisor if you are unsure.

Transfer students - if you will attend community college before transferring to K-State, guidance on coursework you can take prior to transferring is provided in the undergraduate catalog program description (B.S/B.A. Degree in Geology). Completion of some of those courses prior to your admittance to K-State will help you make rapid progress on your Geology degree once you arrive.


To help you navigate and complete your undergraduate degree, please contact and meet with your Undergraduate Academic Advisor in the Department of Geology: Colleen Gura. If you have not yet been assigned an advisor or wish to talk to one about any of our degree programs, please contact Hunter Rose (785-532-6724), for assistance.

Important schedule information: majors courses are not offered every semester and many have prerequisites. Your adviser can help you plan an appropriate schedule. The current major course rotation is summarized in the table below. You can can view a more comprehensive course schedule for upcoming semesters here.

Detailed course descriptions

Detailed descriptions of typical course offerings are available here:

More specific information for course offerings, including instructor and location information, is available in the course schedules.

Environmental Science Majors

The Department of Geology offers an interdisciplinary Environmental Science degree through a partnership with the K-State Department of Agronomy, Division of Biology, and the Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences. Additional information about the degree program is available on the K-State Environmental Science Program website.

Geology Majors

Geology majors can select among three learning tracks that position them to work on some of society's most important problems, including issues related to water, sustainability, and production of energy and water resources:

Geology track

Explores the spectrum of Earth sciences, from fossils to volcanoes. Prepares students for a wide range of career options, whether that is in the environmental, energy or mining industries; government; academia; and more. For this track, students select one elective from each elective category listed below (I, II, and III) plus one from any elective group.

Energy and Natural Resources track

Focused on exploration and extraction of energy and mineral resources. Great choice for students interested in working in the oil and gas industry or mining industry. For this track, students select one elective from group I, two from group II, and one additional course from any elective group. Note - this track is referred to as the Petroleum Geosciences track in the K-State undergraduate catalog.

Environmental Geosciences track

Focused on processes that shape the landscape and control the quality and availability of water and soil resources. Ideal for students interested in working in the environmental industry. For this track, students elect one elective from group I, two from group III, and one additional course from any elective.





Core courses for Geology majors
GEOL 100Earth in Action
Every Semester
GEOL 102Earth Through Time
Every Semester
GEOL 103Geology Laboratory
Every Semester
GEOL 502Mineralogy
GEOL 503Petrology
GEOL 530Structural Geology
GEOL 560Field Methods
GEOL 630Sedimentology-Stratigraphy3Spring
GEOL 680Field Camp3Summer (see note below)
Electives Group I
GEOL 605Introduction to Geochemistry3Spring
GEOL 640Introduction to Geophysics3Fall
Electives Group II (Energy and Natural Resources)
GEOL 702Economic Geology3Spring
GEOL 730Petroleum Geology3Fall
GEOL 834Seismic Data Interpretation3Spring
Electives Group III (Surficial Processes and the Environment)
GEOL 520Geomorphology3Fall
GEOL 611Hydrogeology3Spring
GEOL 650Geomicrobiology3Spring
Electives Group IV
Any remaining Geology course 500-level and above.

Field Camp

As indicated above, Geology majors are required to take a three credit hour summer field geology course. Geology field courses (i.e., "field camp") typically last 3-6 weeks and provide for 3-6 credits. We highly recommend taking a longer field camp. However, the degree requirement allows maximum flexibility with non-academic conflicts. Many field camps exist across the country and the USGS Survey of Geoscience Field Camps provides a comprehensive list of geoscience field camps operated throughout the United States. If you have any questions about them or degree requirements, contact Dr. Brueseke and Colleen Gura. Departmental and external scholarships exist to help with field camp costs. You can read more about scholarships here.



Why study Earth Science?


Virtual field trip to a 300-million year old ocean in Kansas!