The MTSU Department of Geosciences offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Geoscience, with concentrations in Geology and Physical Geography. Geology students choose between three career tracks: Geology, Earth Science, and Earth Science Education. Physical Geography students choose between two career tracks: Physical Geography and Geographic Techniques.
The Department also offers a Masters of Science in Professional Sciences degree concentration in Geoscience, certified as a Professional Science Masters degree by the Council of Graduate Schools. Students in the MS-PS program choose between three tracks: Geographic Information Systems, Environmental Geosystems, and General Geoscience. All graduate students are required to complete a pre-professional internship as preparation for employment after completion of the masters degree. The department is well-equipped with modern research and teaching technologies to provide both undergraduate and graduate students experiences and skills necessary to secure employment in the high-demand geosciences global job market.
Why study the Geosciences?
The Earth is a dynamic planet which has changed continuously during its 4.6 billion year existence. The size, shape, and geographic distribution of the continents and ocean basins have changed throughout time, as have the atmosphere and biota. The relationships between humans and our planet have been equally dynamic. Geoscientists are increasingly aware of the complex relationships between the solid Earth, the atmosphere, and the oceans. The history of Earth processes and their continuing effects on humans is one of the greatest challenges in all of scientific research. Today, we all are faced with long-term issues such as changing energy supplies, dwindling natural resources, climate change, and natural disasters. Understanding these issues and their effects on the global population requires extensive interdisciplinary training in science, such as that provided by the Geosciences. Students interested in careers related to any aspect of the many interactions between humans and the natural environment should consider a major in Geosciences.
- Forbes Magazine Ranks Geology Among the Top Fifteen College Majors
- The Demand is High for Professional Geoscientists
- Video - Careers in the Geosciences
What do geoscience majors do?
Life as a Geosciences major is one of the most challenging, fun and rewarding on the MTSU campus. Currently, the faculty educates approximately 100 undergraduate majors, making the MTSU Department of Geosciences one of the largest undergraduate programs in the southeastern United States. However, with a student faculty ratio of approximately 10 to 1, we are able to provide each student with the personal attention necessary to ensure academic success. Because our major classes are small, the faculty know each student by name and our majors develop close-knit academic and social relationships among themselves. The department is well-equipped with modern research and teaching technologies to provide both undergraduate and graduate students experiences and skills necessary to secure employment in the high-demand geosciences global job market. In addition to receiving high-quality technology-based classroom and laboratory instruction, students participate in frequent departmental field trips, attend regional and national conferences, and engage in faculty-supervised research. Importantly, the faculty considers our students' education to be a year-long endeavor, and therefore encourages majors to participate in summer geoscience field courses, research programs, and pre-professional internships.
What do Geoscience graduates Do?
Geoscientists are some of the most highly sought after science professionals in the world. The global demand for geoscientists in areas such as mining, oil and gas exploration, environmental science, and geographic information systems far exceeds the current supply. Furthermore, the demand for geoscientists is expected to increase as global demand for natural resources increases and the environmental impact of human activity expands into new geographic and biological ecosystems. Many of our graduates are employed with oil and gas exploration companies, mining companies, environmental consulting firms, and government agencies. Because meaningful and rapid availability of data is vital to all geoscientists, many graduates find employment as specialists in the rapidly expanding field of geographic information systems. Our graduates go on to earn masters and doctoral degrees at some of the nation's most prestigious research universities, such as Vanderbilt and Notre Dame. Importantly, the extensive interdisciplinary course of studies provided by a degree in Geosciences also prepares graduates for careers in many geoscience-related professions, such as park service, science journalism, and science education.
- 2013 Median Salaries for Geoscience-related Occupations
- Salary Trends and Employment Projections for Geoscience Careers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook for Geoscientists
How do you get started as a Geosciences major?
The first step to becoming a Geosciences major is to take our General Education courses, Introduction to Earth Science and Laboratory (GEOL 1030/1031) or Physical Geology and Lab (GEOL 1040/1041), and Physical Geography (PGEO 1030). These courses provide an overview of the Geosciences, and each counts in the required MTSU General Education curriculum. We also encourage you to visit us to discuss if Geosciences is the right major for you. The Department of Geosciences office is located on the third floor of Kirksey Old Main (KOM). If you are interested in either a major or minor in Geosciences, please contact our department secretary, Ms. Karen Wolfe (KOM 325B; 615-898-2726; firstname.lastname@example.org), who will put you in touch with a Geosciences advisor.
MTSU - Dept. of Geosciences
MTSU PO BOx 9
Kirksey Old Main 325B
Murfreesboro TN 37132
Dr. Warner Cribb, Department Chair
Karen Wolfe, Department Secretary