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Department of Geology

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Why study geology?

Because its leadership role among geoscience programs advances higher learning and serves society through the discovery, dissemination, and application of knowledge.

Undergraduate Programs

Geology is an interdisciplinary science that applies the principles of chemistry, physics, biology, and other fields to the study of the earth, its resources, and its natural processes. The field has many subdisciplines and specialties that offer stimulating challenges and careers. KU offers broad undergraduate programs in geology and geophysics but emphasizes research in paleontology, sedimentology, crustal evolution, hydrogeology, geobiology, seismology, applied geophysics, glaciology, and geomorphology.

Courses for Nonmajors

The department offers several courses of interest to nonmajors who wish to learn more about geology and related areas such as environmental science, oceanography, and economic resources. Principal courses include GEOL 101, GEOL 105, GEOL 121, GEOL 171, GEOL 302, and GEOL 351. GEOL 103 may be taken in conjunction with either GEOL 101 or GEOL 105 to fulfill the CLAS laboratory science requirement. GEOL 304, GEOL 360, and GEOL 552 all offer opportunities to study more specialized aspects of the earth and do not require advanced prerequisites.

Summer Field Courses

All undergraduate degree programs require field courses during 2 summers. Students should plan to take GEOL 360 in the summer after completing the introductory course. GEOL 560 and GEOL 561 (if required by the program) ideally are taken in the summer between the junior and senior years. Substantial scholarship support is available for geology majors who enroll in those courses.

Combined Degree Programs

A student may combine an interest in geology with a degree in business, education, or journalism.

Why study geology?

Because its leadership role among geoscience programs advances higher learning and serves society through the discovery, dissemination, and application of knowledge.

Graduate Programs

The department offers the M.S. and Ph.D. in geology but permits specialization in a number of areas of geology and in geophysics and hydrogeology. Active areas of instruction and research include geophysics, geomorphology, geochemistry, microbial biogeochemistry, paleontology, sedimentology, tectonics, and petroleum geology. Students also may work with faculty supervisors at the Kansas Geological Survey and at Kansas State University.

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