The whole Earth is the laboratory for students of Earth science and studying the Earth requires application of all fields of science. Courses in the major include preparation in physical geology and historical geology, and then advanced undergraduate courses in mineralogy, petrology, structural geology, field geology, and then a choice among sedimentation/stratigraphy, geomorphology, paleontology, and geophysics. Required advanced undergraduate courses allow specialization in environmental geology, geochemistry, hydrogeology, volcanology, petrology, mineralogy, geophysics, glaciology, paleontology, stratigraphy or paleoclimatology.
High school students interested in pursuing careers in the energy industry, oil exploration and production, water resources, oceanography, paleontology, petrology, mineralogy, and many environmental areas should consider Earth sciences as their major in college. Jobs are abundant in the oil and gas industry, mining, water resources, and environmental consulting. Nationally, the energy and mining sectors employ one-half of those in the geoscience community. A student with career interests in these areas should pursue a bachelor of science degree through the School of Earth Sciences. Earth Sciences B.S. graduates are very successful in obtaining employment in energy, environmental and other fields that utilize the skills learned in their major studies. Since 2012, about one-third of our graduates have gone to work at companies associated with energy production, including Schlumberger, Baker-Hughes, and Core Laboratories, and at environmental consulting companies, including Eagon and Associates, DHDC Engineering Consulting, EMSL Analytical, and Battelle Memorial Institute. Each year a few graduates seek and find employment with government agencies including Ohio EPA, Ohio Seismology, and county soil and water conservation districts. About one-third of our B.S. graduates go directly to graduate school and half of those are accepted at top-ranked, research-intensive R1 universities including Stanford, University of Texas, Penn State, University of Southern California, and Ohio State.
Students pursuing a B.A degree through the School of Earth Sciences generally are preparing for careers in high school science teaching, law school, medical school, business school, or technical writing. Challenging careers exist in academia, consulting, and non-traditional professions. Federal, state, and local governments and private foundations hire many geologists for research, regulatory functions, and teaching. Other paths take students with baccalaureate degrees in Earth sciences to varied careers in areas including data management and analysis, governmental research and regulation, law, military, law enforcement, and national security, resources management and conservation, remote sensing, technical writing and communication, and urban and regional planning.
Programs and Admissions Information
- Majoring in Earth Sciences, information on the B.A. and B.S. programs.
- Geology Field Camp
- Minoring in Earth Sciences, information on the Minor program.
- International Students, enrollment criteria for international students
- Admissions and General Information, general admissions information for all education levels
- Financial Aid Information, general OSU financial aid information
- 2-year Course Offerings Schedule