A-Z Index


Program(s) Available: B.A., B.S., Minor

It may be a small world, but it's certainly not a simple one! The geology program explores the complex structures that make up the world, including rocks and minerals, the surface process that shapes the Earth and tectonic forces that have occurred in the scale of geologic time.

Why Study Geology at Northwest

Many schools offer geology programs, but at Northwest, we take hands-on learning to a new level!

Recently, 14 Northwest students and four faculty members took a two-week summer field trip to the United States' western region. The group visited six national parks and monuments, including Yellowstone National Park and the Old Faithful Geyser Basin as well as Crater Lake National Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park. While the field trip draws students from varied majors and academic interests, the opportunity to visit national parks and monuments allows participants to see significant areas that are set aside and preserved for future generations.

In addition to traveling the country, geology students have access to high-quality equipment. Garrett-Strong Science Building offers 26 labs where students gain profession-based experience on campus.

Our geology program focuses on three core areas: paleontology, the study of fossils, the evolution of life and ancient environments; sedimentology, the study of sedimentary rocks and the environments and process through which they develop; and stratigraphy, the study of a rock unit’s relationship to space and time.

This major has two specializations: general geology and environmental geology.

Pick your path

General Geology - B.A. or B.S.

The general geology major gives students a holistic understanding of earth, rocks and the evolution of the earth.

Environmental Geology - B.S.

The specialization in environmental geology focuses primarily on geology as it relates to hydrology, natural disasters and natural resources.


Minor Programs

Did you know? A minor in geology also is available! This program covers the foundations of historical geology, mineralogy and general chemistry, geology and earth science.

Career Opportunities

  • Mine geologist
  • Registered professional geologist
  • Science or geology teacher
  • Environmental geologist
  • Petroleum geologist

What Can I Do With a Major in Geology?

Research Opportunities

Faculty-led research provides an opportunity for students to produce original research with the goal of publishing their work. This is available for students showing interest in furthering their education. 

Research Opportunities

Student Organizations

GeoClub offers academic and social opportunities for students studying Earth science, geology and geography. This club sponsors various activities such as: 

  • Field trips to geologically and geographically important areas in the United States
  • Trips to the Kansas City Gem and Mineral Show
  • Setting up educational displays at the Kansas City Gem and Mineral Show, B.D. Owens Library and Garrett-Strong Science Building
Student Organizations
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