A geologist looks back millions of years in the past, conducts experiments in the present and predicts what the earth’s future might be. An interdisciplinary science drawing on physics, chemistry, biology and more, geology trains students to study the natural resources that shape our lives today.
West Virginia is rich with unique resources and close to the natural laboratory of the Appalachian Mountains. Our department brings students out into the field and works closely with energy and environmental industries in the state and the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey. Training in the field, in the lab and with cutting-edge technology prepares our students for a wide range of careers or graduate studies.
How will I focus my studies?
Our students take courses in mineralogy, petrology, and structural geology and select electives that best suit their interests. Some students choose to complete a dual degree in Mining Engineering and Geology, taking a combination of geology and engineering courses.
All geology students gain practical research experience through an intensive five-week summer field camp in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Many geology majors choose to add a second major or a minor to further broaden their opportunities.
Antonella Recchia, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Major: Geology and Public Relations
Minor: Law and Legal Studies
A course in advanced petroleum inspired Antonella in more ways than one. Presenters from a variety of geological fields came to speak to her class, including the lead geologist on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Antonella was “so excited to see an extremely successful woman” working in her field, and felt renewed inspiration for her major. Her experience in the field camp course taught Antonella and her classmates rigorous fieldwork, mapping techniques and teamwork. A member of the WVU Geology Club and the student chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Antonella recommends students get involved and take advantage of the opportunities to learn about the many different fields that exist within geology. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in environmental geology.