If you have a passion for science and the outdoors along with desire to become engaged with other students and faculty in high-quality research in the geosciences, you will be right at home as a geology major at UW-Eau Claire!
Research alongside faculty
The Geology Department prides itself on engaging students in and out of the classroom. Every geology class includes hands-on learning and field trips. In addition, about 60% of the students are engaged in faculty/student collaborative research which enhances your skill set and provides a strong addition to your resume. Students frequently present their research (which is often award-winning) at regional, state and national venues.
Outstanding field opportunities
A nationally recognized strength of this program is the emphasis in field skills. We provide 3-week immersion field courses in New Mexico and Montana. In addition, summer field experiences have been offered
in British Columbia, Maine and Wisconsin; and international coursework has been offered in Costa Rica, West Indies and Argentina.
The Geology Department at UW-Eau Claire, along with the Material Science Center, houses state-of-the-art analytical equipment that is rarely found at undergraduate institutions. Students gain hands-on experience with professional techniques — a unique opportunity that enhances future employment or graduate school opportunities.
Growing career field
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for geoscientists are expected to grow by 22 % between 2006 and 2016, much higher than the average in most fields. The integration of observational skills with GIS experience provides a strong base for future job opportunities.
Areas of concentration:
Students may choose to specialize in general geology, hydrogeology and water chemistry, environmental science, geological engineering or earth and space science.
Suggested freshman curriculum
- Physical Geology
- Environmental Geology
- Calculus I or II
- University Writing
on placement exam
For test out options, see
- Chemical Principles
- General electives
More advising information
Four major career paths are available in geology:
Industry and consulting:
Most geologists are employed by engineering and environmental consulting firms or oil and mining companies. Many students are gaining employment in the new frac sand industry in Wisconsin.
Many geologists work at government agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Natural Resources, geological surveys of individual states, and various research laboratories and museums in the country.
Teaching and research positions generally require a doctorate degree in the related field.
Special noteThe department has a dual degree program with the University of Minnesota in geology and engineering and in five years a student can graduate with a degree in both geology and an engineering discipline.
Through the College of Education and Human Sciences, geology graduates can qualify to teach earth science and related science subjects to junior high and high school students.
Typical positions held by geology graduates include four major paths: Industry and consulting, government agencies, research and teaching. Approximately 1/3 of our students go on to grad school.
More career information
Places you’ll find recent graduates:
- Research Scientist,
- Geologist, Chevron
Corp., Houston, TX;
- Hydrogeologist, CH2M Hill,
- Environmental Health
and Safety Officer,
- Ore control geologist,
Barrick Gold Corp.,
- Geology Graduate
Student, University of
- Professor, Iowa State
University, Ames, IA
Department contact information