Online Geology Degrees

Geology is study of the rocks, minerals, and the forces that shape the earth, like water, wind and earthquakes. Learn about the levels of geology degrees you can pursue partly or fully online, common courses and career options in the field. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Geology Degrees Are Available Online?

You can pursue a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ph.D. in geology. People who earn a B.S. in Geology usually pursue advanced degrees. However, in a Master of Science program in geology, your classmates may have a B.S. in Geology or an undergraduate degree in a related field like engineering or physics.

While some schools offer some geology courses online, entire undergraduate degree programs online are extremely rare. Many science lab courses can't be completed online, and fieldwork requires in-person attendance. However, it is possible to earn a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Master of Science in Geology entirely online.

Online Degrees Bachelor's and Master's degrees available online
Online Requirements Computer, software, completing assignments by due date, degree completion within 8 years
Common Courses Soils, hydrology, plate tectonics, chemistry, physics
Career Options Geochemist, mineralogist, government geologist, geology teacher
Median Salary (2018)$91,130 (Geoscientists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)14% growth (Geoscientists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

How Do I Complete My Degree Online?

In an online geology program, classes start and end at the same calendar time as the on-campus courses. You do not have to be logged in to the class at a specific time, and instead may view the lectures at your convenience. However, during the course, you may be given assignments that have specific due dates. All of your assignments must be completed by the last day of class.

You may have up to eight years to complete your degree. Students attending part-time take 3-4 years to complete their master's degree online. If you choose to attend full-time, you may be able to complete your degree faster. You will need access to specific software, usually available for purchase through the school.

What Topics Will I Study?

In a bachelor's degree program, you learn how certain rocks and minerals are formed and how to classify them. You study the forces that shape Earth's surface, such as weather and plate tectonics, the movement of the Earth's crust. You may also take classes about soil, hydrology or paleontology. You can also expect to take classes in math, computers, chemistry and physics.

You will likely have to complete a field course, in which you may spend an entire semester or a summer in the field, practicing your skills on a real-world geology project. Some schools offer field courses on-campus, while others offer them only at off-campus sites.

Master's degree students concentrate coursework and thesis projects on a particular area of interest, like earthquake prediction or environmental geology. Ph.D. students take their interest to the next level by completing a dissertation that contributes original research to their chosen area of geology.

What Kinds of Careers Will Be Open to Me?

While you will be qualified for entry-level employment with only a bachelor's degree, many graduates choose to pursue either an advanced geology degree or a professional degree for a career that joins the two interests. For example, you could pursue your law degree and work in environmental law.

Geology graduates can find employment as an oceanographer, geochemist or mineralogist, doing direct science research. You could work for the U.S. Geological Survey, or advise state and local agencies on infrastructure planning and policy. Some graduates with advanced degrees also pursue teaching careers.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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