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4 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
Erie
English
Fall 2022

About this program

Geology

Geology is the study of the Earth and how it works. Specifically, geologists seek to answer questions as diverse as “How did this mountain form?” and “When will this volcano erupt again?” to “How do we provide clean drinking water?” Geologists work at the interface between human-kind and the Earth, and are on the front line in solving a multitude of energy and environmental issues. Geologists use knowledge of math, chemistry, physics, and biology to answer these questions and gain first-hand experience working in the field. Graduates are employed by governments, oil and mining companies, and environmental firms.

Fast Facts

The geology department leads one large trip per year for students. Past trips have gone to Death Valley National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Costa Rica, as well as Italy and Greece

Geologists play a prominent role in the discovery and utilization of Earth's resources as well as in protecting the environment. To do this, they travel all around the world performing work at sea, on the top of mountains, in deserts, in underground caves, and in laboratories

Mercyhurst geology majors routinely present their original research at national conferences and have been internationally recognized for their efforts

The Mercyhurst Geology Club leads multiple field trips a year to go fossil and mineral collecting in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York

Program content

Earth and Space Science Education Concentration

Students majoring in Geology have the option of completing a concentration Earth and Space Science Education. For students interested in teaching careers, this concentration can lead to Earth and Space Science teaching certification and a Master of Science in Secondary Education via Mercyhurst’s 4+1 master’s program in secondary education.

In addition to the regular geology major curriculum, the following courses are required for this concentration:

  • SCI 225 Oceanography (4 credits)
  • BIO 146/147 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Organisms and Lab (4 credits)
  • One of the following sequences is required:
  • SCI 118/119 Astronomy and Lab (4 credits)
  • GEOL 112/113 Voyages to the Terrestrial Planets and Lab (4 credits)

One additional meteorology or climatology-themed course—subject to department chair approval—is also required. 

Geoarchaeology Concentration

Students majoring in Geology have the option of completing a concentration Geoarchaeology. Although an area of concentration is not required as part of the Geology major, the concentrations do offer students a chance to specialize in a specific area of geology, which could make them more competitive for graduate school or future employment in the field.

The following courses are required for the Geoarchaeology concentration:

  • GEOL 306/307 Soils and Lab (4 credits)
  • GEOL/ANTH 430/431 Geoarchaeology and Lab (4 credits)
  • ANTH 130/131 Archaeology and Lab (4 credits)
  • ANTH 224/225 Archaeological Field Methods and Lab (4 credits)

Paleontology Concentration

Students majoring in Geology have the option of completing a concentration Paleontology. Although an area of concentration is not required as part of the Geology major, the concentrations do offer students a chance to specialize in a specific area of geology, which could make them more competitive for graduate school or future employment in the field.

The following courses are required for the Paleontology concentration:

  • GEOL 240/241 Paleontology and Lab (4 credits)
  • BIO 144/145 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Lab (4 credits)
  • MATH 139 Statistics for the Sciences (3 credits)

And two of the following courses:

  • BIO 148/149 Organismal Biology and Lab (4 credits)
  • BIO 320/321 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Lab (4 credits)
  • BIO 230/231 Invertebrate Zoology and Lab (4 credits)
  • BIO 374 Evolution (3 credits)
  • CHEM 240/241 Organic Chemistry 1 and Lab (4 credits)

Planetary Geology Concentration

Students majoring in Geology have the option of completing a concentration Planetary Geology. Although an area of concentration is not required as part of the Geology major, the concentrations do offer students a chance to specialize in a specific area of geology, which could make them more competitive for graduate school or future employment in the field. Students pursuing a Planetary Geology concentration cannot also concurrently pursue a Planetary Science minor.

The following courses are required for the Planetary Geology concentration:

  • GEOL 112/113 Voyages to the Terrestrial Planets and Lab (4 credits)
  • GEOL 380/381 Principles of Remote Sensing and Lab (4 credits)
  • GEOL 440/441 Introduction to GIS and Lab (4 credits)

One additional climate-themed course—subject to department chair approval—is also required. 

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Tuition

Total tuition fees for

  • Residents:$55,505
  • Local Commuters:$43,005

Qualification

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the paradigms that shape current geologic thought (e.g., plate tectonics)
  • Explain the concept of geologic time and detail the geologic time scale for the Earth
  • Explain the processes that have shaped and continue to shape the Earth
  • Identify significant geologic features on the Earth and place them into their appropriate geologic context
  • Identify common rocks and minerals found on and inside the Earth using hand samples and thin sections
  • Associate common rocks and minerals found on and inside the Earth with their appropriate geologic context
  • Formulate and communicate an effective scientific argument through written and oral means
  • Demonstrate the ability to organize and conduct geology-related field and laboratory work

Career paths

Students have found employment with the PA Department of Environmental Protection, US Park Service, Bureau of Land Management (via AmeriCorps), and regional environmental remediation firms.

  • Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers
  • Geological Sample Test Technicians
  • Natural Sciences Managers

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About this institute

Mercyhurst University

Founded in 1929, Mercyhurst University is a private, Catholic university located in Erie, Pennsylvania, on a hill overlooking Lake Erie. Our 75-acre campus is known as one of the most beautiful in the region. The university educates diverse persons in...


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Contact info

Mercyhurst University

501 E 38th Street
16546 Erie Pennsylvania
United States of America

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mercyhurst.edu

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