Geological Sciences (BS, BA, Minor)
Binghamton University, State University of New York
USD 7,070 *
Earliest start date
* for new York state residents | for out-of-state residents and international residents - $26,160
At Binghamton University the earth sciences program prepares students to understand and solve some of the most important problems on Earth. How will we provide for our future energy needs? What are the causes and effects of global warming? How do we clean up past and present instances of environmental pollution? What causes natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods, and how can we survive them? How can organisms survive under extreme conditions? Is there life on other planets?
The Department of Earth Sciences offers both BS and BA degrees in geology, several minors, and a combined, five-year BS/MS program in geological sciences.
The BS is designed to satisfy the entrance requirements and expectations of the top graduate schools in the country. The BS is also the appropriate choice for a student seeking immediate employment as a geologist.
The BA in geological sciences is designed as a more flexible degree and provides a well-rounded liberal arts education in the physical sciences. It is often combined with other interests, such as science journalism, education, or political science.
Internships, Research Opportunities, and More
Beyond coursework, our department offers ample opportunities to participate in research. Whether that be assisting a graduate student or professor in the laboratory or field setting, or conducting an independent study culminating in a senior thesis, students who participate in research tend to stand out among their peers on job and graduate school applications. While undergraduate research is not required, it is highly recommended and completion of such a project may qualify you for departmental honors upon graduation.
Current areas of research include:
- Watershed-scale soil and water pollution studies
- Effects of climate change, floods, and dams on rivers and their flood potential
- Paleoclimatology and paleoceanography
- Field and experimental petrology (the chemistry and physics of minerals and rocks)
- Basin-scale sedimentology and mountain building
- Sedimentology and stratigraphy along glaciated margins
- Remote sensing
- Seismology of convergence zones
- Geomicrobiology of extremophiles
- Microbes in salt crystals
You may also be interested in our accelerated/4+1 degree programs which allow students to complete their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just 5 years!
Scholarships and Funding
High-performing students are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships.
Some courses to consider in your first year:
GEOL 112 - Oceanography
Fundamental concepts and principles of geological, physical, and biological systems of oceans and human impact on these systems. Marine exploration, ocean floor structure, ocean sediments and volcanism, ocean circulation, wave and tide dynamics, geochemical evolution, coastal and open-ocean ecosystems, marine resources, and pollution problems. Spring, 4 credits Levels: Undergraduate
CHEM 104 - General Chemistry I
Fundamentals of chemistry, including atomic structure, stoichiometry, chemical reactions, kinetic theory of gases, thermochemistry, chemical bonding, molecular geometry, and bonding theories, as well as properties of liquids, solids, and solutions. This material provides the foundation for CHEM 105; together, CHEM 104 and CHEM 105 provide a thorough treatment of chemical principles. This course is recommended for pre‐health students and science majors (other than Chemistry and Biochemistry majors). Not open to students who have credit for CHEM 111, CHEM107, or CHEM 108. Offered regularly. 4 Credits. Levels: Graduate, Undergraduate
PHYS 121 - General Physics I
Basic concepts underlying physical phenomena, including kinematics, dynamics, energy, momentum, forces found in nature, rotational motion, angular momentum, simple harmonic motion, fluids, thermodynamics, and kinetic theory. Helps students understand natural phenomena and technology encountered in the modern world. Prior experience in physics and calculus is not assumed. For majors and non-majors. Prerequisites: high school trigonometry and algebra. Offered fall semester. 4 credits. Levels: Graduate, Undergraduate
MATH 224 - Differential Calculus
This is a 2-credit course in differential calculus covering limits, continuity, and differentiation. Prerequisites: MATH 223 with a grade of C- or better, or Placement Exam. Offered each half semester. 2 credits. Levels: Undergraduate
MATH 225 - Integral Calculus
This is a 2-credit course in integral calculus covering optimization and integration. Prerequisites: MATH 224 with a grade of C- or better. Offered 2nd half of the fall semester and both half semesters of the spring semester. 2 credits. Levels: Undergraduate
After You Graduate
Most students graduating with a BS or BA in geological sciences either continue their education in graduate school or enter the job market in a variety of earth science fields, including:
- Environmental consulting
- Government regulatory or planning
- Teaching, primarily earth science