Top Geology Schools



If you are fascinated in studying the past and present by analyzing rock and mineral formations in the Earth to predict what will happen in the future, then a geology degree may be right up your alley. As a geology major, you will have the chance to explore all of the Earth’s treasures as well as dangers, including fossils, volcanoes, earthquakes, gemstones, minerals, global climate change, and other natural forces. As one of the most valuable college majors chosen by Forbes magazine, students who graduate from one of the top geology schools have a promising job outlook as the field grows by 19.3% and a high starting salary of around $45,300.

Bachelor’s Degree in Geology

Within a bachelor’s degree program for geology, students will start by receiving a broad-based education covering the basics of Earth science to study how natural occurrences have an impact on the world around us. It is typically recommended that students have taken high school prerequisites for biology, environmental sciences, chemistry, Earth science, and physics. Along with labs and fieldwork experiences, students can expect to take courses related to:

  • Oceanography
  • Plate Tectonics
  • History and Evolution of Earth
  • Ecology and the Environment
  • Climatology/Meteorology
  • Aerial Photography Interpretation
  • Geochemistry

After receiving the four-year bachelor’s degree in geology, students will be well-equipped with the skills needed to land entry-level employment related to the geological sciences, ranging from land and sea to space. Possible career titles may include:

  • Economic Geologist
  • Glacial Geologist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Volcanologist
  • Geosciences Technician
  • Geoscientist
Master’s Degree in Geology

Though a bachelor’s degree from one of the best geology schools will be sufficient for obtaining entry-level employment in the field, most individuals choose to enroll in geology graduate programs for advancement. As a program that typically requires two years of full-time study with extensive fieldwork, a master’s degree in geology will offer graduates with a bachelor’s degree in a related field to specialize their skills to meet their specific research interests. Courses will include:

  • Stratigraphy and Sedimentation
  • Geochemistry
  • Remote Sensing
  • Mineralogy
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Paleontology
  • Physical Geology/Geophysics

Once graduates have finished one of the geology master’s programs, they have many professional doors open in the corporate, government, and non-profit sectors. Some of the most popular career options for master’s-level graduates are:

  • Seismologist
  • Petrologist
  • Paleontologist
  • Meteorologist
  • Geoscientist
  • Mining and Geological Engineer
  • Geographic Specialist
Ph.D. in Geology

For graduates of a master’s degree program who have at least three to five years of experience working in the geosciences field, there is also the option to pursue a doctoral degree in geology. Students typically choose their own coursework based on their specialized area of focus, which could be paleontology, geohydrology, geophysics, geobiology, seismology, and more.

As a program that generally requires the completion of at least three years of full-time study with a doctoral dissertation research project, the Ph.D. in Geology is offered to define research interests, enhance career opportunities, and open teaching positions at the university level. Graduates with this advanced geology degree can achieve leadership positions as:

  • Chief Geological Engineer
  • Project Manager
  • Research Geologist
  • University Geology Professor
  • Paleoseismologist
  • Environmental Scientist

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Top Geology Schools According to US News and World Report

Rank

1

Total 34488 Enrollment

University of Arizona

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

2

Total 38103 Enrollment

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

3

Total 40571 Enrollment

Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

4

Total 49996 Enrollment

The University of Texas at Austin

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

5

Total 18549 Enrollment

Stanford University

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

6

Total 1968 Enrollment

California Institute of Technology

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

7

Total 10090 Enrollment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

8

Total 40658 Enrollment

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

9

Total 31277 Enrollment

University of California - Berkeley

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

10

Total 24279 Enrollment

Harvard University

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

View All Schools Offering Geology Programs

Title City State Type Enrollment Total
The University of Texas at Austin Austin TX 4-year public 49996
Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus OH 4-year public 47952
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis MN 4-year public 45481
University of Florida Gainesville FL 4-year public 45114
Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus Tempe AZ 4-year public 44126
Texas A & M University College Station TX 4-year public 44026
Michigan State University East Lansing MI 4-year public 43366
University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison WI 4-year public 40658
Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus University Park PA 4-year public 40571
Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette IN 4-year public 39667
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign IL 4-year public 38465
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor MI 4-year public 38103
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington IN 4-year public 37076
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 4-year public 36890
University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle WA 4-year public 36139
University of South Florida Tampa FL 4-year public 35561
Rutgers University - New Brunswick/piscataway New Brunswick NJ 4-year public 35236
University of Arizona Tucson AZ 4-year public 34488
Florida State University Tallahassee FL 4-year public 33971
University of Maryland - College Park College Park MD 4-year public 33189
Brigham Young University Provo UT 4-year private, not-for-profit 32554
University of Houston Houston TX 4-year public 32123
Florida International University Miami FL 4-year public 31945
San Diego State University San Diego CA 4-year public 31609
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge LA 4-year public 31527
University of Georgia Athens GA 4-year public 31288
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley CA 4-year public 31277
California State University - Long Beach Long Beach CA 4-year public 30918
Wayne State University Detroit MI 4-year public 30408
University of Colorado at Boulder Boulder CO 4-year public 29352
University of Southern California Los Angeles CA 4-year private, not-for-profit 29194
California State University - Northridge Northridge CA 4-year public 29066
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo MI 4-year public 28657
North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh NC 4-year public 28619
California State University - Fullerton Fullerton CA 4-year public 28381
Temple University Philadelphia PA 4-year public 28355
Boston University Boston MA 4-year private, not-for-profit 28318
University of Iowa Iowa City IA 4-year public 28311
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg VA 4-year public 27869
Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis Indianapolis IN 4-year public 27525
University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati OH 4-year public 27327
Iowa State University Ames IA 4-year public 26845
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant MI 4-year public 26845
San Francisco State University San Francisco CA 4-year public 26826
Colorado State University Fort Collins CO 4-year public 26807
San Jose State University San Jose CA 4-year public 26698
University of Pittsburgh - Main Campus Pittsburgh PA 4-year public 26329
University of California - Davis Davis CA 4-year public 26094
University of Kansas Main Campus Lawrence KS 4-year public 25920
The University of Tennessee Knoxville TN 4-year public 25890
California State University - Sacramento Sacramento CA 4-year public 25714
University of Utah Salt Lake City UT 4-year public 24948
University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago IL 4-year public 24942
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill NC 4-year public 24892
Suny at Buffalo Buffalo NY 4-year public 24830
University of Massachusetts - Amherst Amherst MA 4-year public 24416
Harvard University Cambridge MA 4-year private, not-for-profit 24279
University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman OK 4-year public 24205
Northeastern University Boston MA 4-year private, not-for-profit 23897
University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia SC 4-year public 23728
University of New Mexico - Main Campus Albuquerque NM 4-year public 23670
Georgia State University Atlanta GA 4-year public 23625
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Milwaukee WI 4-year public 23578
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti MI 4-year public 23561
George Mason University Fairfax VA 4-year public 23408
University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia MO 4-year public 23309
Northern Illinois University Dekalb IL 4-year public 23248
University of Kentucky Lexington KY 4-year public 23114
Southern Illinois University Carbondale Carbondale IL 4-year public 22552
University of Nebraska at Lincoln Lincoln NE 4-year public 22268
University of Nevada - Las Vegas Las Vegas NV 4-year public 22041
West Virginia University Morgantown WV 4-year public 21987
Kansas State University Manhattan KS 4-year public 21929
Kent State University - Kent Campus Kent OH 4-year public 21924
Auburn University Main Campus Auburn University AL 4-year public 21860
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA 4-year private, not-for-profit 21853
Utah State University Logan UT 4-year public 21490
University of Akron Main Campus Akron OH 4-year public 21363
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton FL 4-year public 21046
Illinois State University Normal IL 4-year public 20755
George Washington University Washington DC 4-year private, not-for-profit 20527
Washington State University Pullman WA 4-year public 20492
The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington TX 4-year public 20424
University of Memphis Memphis TN 4-year public 19986
Northern Arizona University Flagstaff AZ 4-year public 19964
University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara CA 4-year public 19962
Stony Brook University Stony Brook NY 4-year public 19924
Ohio University - Main Campus Athens OH 4-year public 19920
Columbia University in the City of New York New York NY 4-year private, not-for-profit 19639
California State University - Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 4-year public 19593
University of Toledo Toledo OH 4-year public 19491
University of Connecticut Storrs CT 4-year public 19393
The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa AL 4-year public 19277
Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro TN 4-year public 19121
University of Delaware Newark DE 4-year public 19072
California State University - Fresno Fresno CA 4-year public 19056
Ball State University Muncie IN 4-year public 19004
Old Dominion University Norfolk VA 4-year public 18969
Portland State University Portland OR 4-year public 18889
The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio TX 4-year public 18830