Department of Geology

Welcome to the Department of Geology!

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Geology is the study of Earth and other planetary bodies; their composition, structure, and evolution. The Portland State University Geology Department excels at both teaching and research, partnering with local businesses, government, regional universities and K-12 schools. We are situated in the Pacific Northwest, a dynamic geologic environment. We capitalize on our unique location and the diversity of our faculty and student body. 

A founding member of the School of Environment, the Department offers programs leading to bachelor's degrees in Geology and Earth Science, as well as graduate master’s and Ph.D. degrees with focused research; MAT and MST degrees for teachers in secondary schools and community colleges; graduate certificates in hydrogeology, engineering and environmental geology for professional development; and minors in Computer Applications, Environmental Geology, and Space and Planetary Science.

Active research covers diverse topics including basin analysis, geochemistry, geomechanics, geomorphology, geothermal, glaciology, hydrogeology, mantle dynamics, meteorites, paleoseismology, STEM education, structural and igneous petrology, tectonics, and volcanology.

We also regularly work with community partners including the City of Portland, the state Departments of Water Resources and Environmental Quality, local consulting firms, and K-12 institutions across Oregon.

Portland is a great location for studying Geology. There are over 25 extinct volcanoes and volcanic vents within the city limits and we can see three active volcanoes, including Mount Saint Helens, from the city. The Columbia River Gorge provides a fantastically beautiful location to study the Columbia River flood Basalts and to see the impacts of the great glacial outburst floods from glacial Lake Missoula. There are also renowned geologic features along Oregon’s scenic coast. The Pacific Northwest truly is a geological paradise and a great place to learn and do Earth Science.


Department Office and Receiving Address:

17 Cramer Hall

1721 SW Broadway Ave

Portland, OR 97201

Mailing Address:

Department of Geology

PO Box 751

Portland, OR 97207