Department of Geology
Major or minor in geology
As a geology major or minor at Cornell, you’ll get hands-on experience in both the field and the lab-based courses. You can view our most current program courses in our most recent course catalogue. Our unique block plan fosters on- and off-campus immersion in research.
As part of a class, you might travel to the Bahamas to study ancient and modern coral reefs or investigate the mountains and glaciers of New Zealand. As part of research, you might get hands-on experience in cutting-edge laboratories around the country and hike through remote areas from Australia to Sweden to collect your own field samples. The geology department financially supports these experiences through external grants and its own internal funds.
Careers in geology
As a geology graduate, you’ll find rich opportunities on many different career paths. Our graduates work for:
- The Environmental Protection Agency
- The National Park Service
- The United States Geological Survey
- Environmental consulting companies
- Oil companies
- Utility companies
Interdisciplinary studies in geology
If you are interested in the earth sciences, but also have a strong interest in biology or chemistry, you can study biology or chemistry from within the geology program. The geology faculty works closely with other departments across campus, offering you the opportunity for an interdisciplinary approach to studying geology.
Geology is at the intersection of the natural sciences and the environment, allowing you the opportunity to explore many different fields.
Biology links to fossils and the study of ancient life.
Chemistry connects to the study of minerals, rocks, and mountains.
Environmental studies speaks to climate change, marine science, and environmental geology.
Benefits of One Course At A Time
The best place to learn about geology is in the field or in the lab, where you can interact with the earth and with earth materials. With the One Course At A Time schedule, faculty have the flexibility to take students out of the classroom, repeatedly, on trips of varying length; significant field study is not limited to spring, winter, or summer breaks.
You have the advantage of participating in a full-fledged field course during the academic year. Two off-campus field courses are offered each February: in the Bahamas (every year), and in New Zealand (in alternate years).
Check out Sparks from the Rockpile [PDF], the geology department newsletter. We'll catch you up on recent faculty news and give you a glimpse into what our students are doing.
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