Geology

Undergraduate Program

Geology

image of painted hills

Geology Bachelor's Degree or Minor Overview

Unearth the possibilities with a bachelor's degree in geology from Portland State University.

As a geology major, you'll explore and understand the Earth's physical and environmental processes and learn how events and processes of the past can influence the present and future.

There is no better classroom for learning geology than out in the field. At Portland State, the Pacific Northwest's dynamic geological environment is yours to explore.

We offer:

  • Hands-on field experiences that take you from the Oregon coast to the Cascade Range
  • Engaging geology courses on topics such as volcanoes and earthquakes, national parks, and dinosaurs
  • Opportunities to participate in exciting research with faculty

Whether you're interested in geologic hazards such as earthquakes, landslides and volcanic eruptions, the natural resources we rely on such as water, energy and minerals, or the impacts of climate and land-use change, our program sets you on a path toward an exciting and in-demand career.

Our alumni have gone on to find jobs dealing with environmental problems, evaluating water resources, managing mineral and fuel resources, and teaching.

Join them and make our planet and solar system your laboratory.

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
Online:
100% online
Flexible:
Combination of online and on campus
  • BA
    Bachelor of Arts
    Locations
    On campus
    Total Credits
    180
    Start Term
    Any
  • BS
    Bachelor of Science
    Locations
    On campus
    Total Credits
    180
    Start Term
    Any
  • m
    Minor
    Locations
    On campus
    Total Credits
    29
    Start Term
    Any

Geology Bachelor's Degree or Minor: Why PSU?

Our location in Portland provides you with unmatched opportunities to study the geological paradise that is the Pacific Northwest, from extinct and active volcanoes to landslides, the Columbia River flood basalts to glaciers atop Mt. Hood and tsunami deposits along the coast. You won't have to go far to gain new insights about our past, present and future.

The geology major builds on a foundation of physics, chemistry and math to help you better understand earth systems and processes.

Learn from and work alongside our faculty who are leading researchers in the field of geology. Their areas of expertise include volcanology, geochemistry, structural geology, urban systems, glaciology, hydrogeology, meteorites and planetary science, and active tectonics.
They bring their research back to your classes, providing you with breadth and depth of knowledge in geology as a discipline.

Work with community partners on projects. Our partners include the City of Portland, the state departments of Water Resources and Environmental Quality, environmental consulting firms, K-12 institutions across Oregon, the U.S. Geological Survey's Oregon Water Science Center housed on our campus, and the Cascade Volcano Observatory across the river in Vancouver, Washington.

Our research facilities include surveying equipment, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, a teaching laboratory with sensors and data loggers, and a web-based data clearinghouse with regional geoscience data.

You can get involved with our student clubs, including CoRiBa and chapters of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists and the Association of Petroleum Geologists. Learn about geology and related topics outside the classroom, listen to invited speakers, explore careers in geology, and go on field trips and hikes.

What can I do with a Bachelor's degree or Minor in Geology?

Demand for geoscientists is high and expected to increase over the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. PSU's bachelor's degree in geology prepares you to fill that need.

Our graduates find jobs with government agencies at the federal, state, county or city level; independent consulting firms working with engineers, architects and planners; and in the construction, mining and petroleum industries.

PSU's program also gives you a strong foundation if you're interested in pursuing graduate studies or careers in teaching, science writing and editing, and environmental law.

Featured Courses

  • G 207 Computer Based Geology Laboratory
  • G 326 Numerical Modeling of Earth Systems
  • G 434 Structural Geology and Tectonics
  • G 435 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • G 485 Field Methods in Geosciences
  • G 485 Geologic Mapping
  • G 470 Engineering Geology
  • G 342 Volcanoes and Earthquakes
  • G 345U Life in the Universe
  • G 352U Minerals in World Affairs
  • G 353 Natural History of Dinosaurs

Electives

  • G 450 Earth and Space Sciences for Middle/High School Educators
  • G 453 Geology of the Pacific Northwest
  • G 454 Cascade Volcanoes

Accreditation

Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).