Geological Science Concentration

Concentration in Geological Science

Geological Science studies processes involved in Earth's origin and evolution, its relationship with the solar system, and its structure and composition. Geological Science is also interconnected to society's needs, including the responsible use of natural resources, preserving the environment, and studying and mitigating natural hazards (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, etc.). With exponential population growth, we face the challenge of securing resources (water, minerals, food) sustainably. The concentration on Geological Science allows Cornell students to learn about the Earth's fundamental processes with numerical, analytical, field, and communications skills needed to conduct scientific research and work on solving some of the most critical challenges of the 21st century. The concentration requirements and flexibility to design your curriculum with many specialized concentration courses to choose from, and field and lab opportunities provide excellent preparation for graduate school and careers in the geoscience industry, sustainable use of resources, land use planning, material science, remote sensing, law, etc.  The gorgeous landscape of New York's Finger Lakes and the proximity to the Adirondack mountains provide natural laboratories to study geologic processes in the field. The program features small classes with personalized mentorship offered by our world-class faculty.

Course Requirements

Research and Discovery Opportunities at Cornell

The Geological Science program at Cornell is recognized globally for the quality and impact of its scholarship. This program was critical in the development of the Plate Tectonics theory, illuminating the structure of continents and the interior of the Earth, and the origin of mountain ranges as part of the Cornell Institute for the Study of Continents. Today our program is a leader in the study of ground deformation, melting processes and volcanic activity, processes in subduction zones and rifted margins, planetary exploration and evolution, and surface processes. Students in our program have opportunities to conduct research in these projects and be an active part of the discovery process. Because of our close collaborations with the different research groups such as the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences, Cornell Center for Material Research, Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, Cornell Energy Systems Institute, Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, and the Carl Sagan Institute,  our students have access to cutting-edge instrumentation and interdisciplinary initiatives. Additionally, the department includes new microscopy, mass spectrometry, and spectroscopy facilities that are part of the education and research endeavors of our majors choosing this concentration.

Graduate School Opportunities

Most of students that decide on this concentration move into graduate school programs. The Geological Science concentration provides flexibility to design your curriculum with many specialized concentration courses at the cutting edge of science, and field and lab opportunities that provide excellent preparation for graduate school.

Job Market

A concentration in Geological Science will open the door to careers in the geoscience, energy, industry, sustainable use of resources, land use planning, material science, law, etc. For more information on job market please visit the American Geoscience Institute  website.