Online Geology Classes and Schools
Find tips for selecting an online school to study geology. Learn about online courses and careers in the field, including education requirements and employment outlook.
What I Need to Know
Geology careers typically require at least a 4-year degree which may be obtained online or on-campus. You may select a school based on the online programs and classes available. Once a degree is obtained, there are many options for careers, though some may require a master's degree or even a Ph.D.
|Programs||Geoscience or geology programs online or on-campus|
|Class Formats||CDs or DVDs, traditional books for online coursework; lab work or self-paced study|
|Careers||Geochemist, glaciologist, mineralogist, volcanologist|
What Types of Online Geology Courses are Available to Me?
Currently, there may be few geology degree programs offered entirely or partially online, but you can find more degree options in the geosciences discipline. Geoscience is the study of dynamics, evolution and structure of the earth, as well as all its energy resources and natural minerals. It includes several aspects of the earth sciences, including geology, geochemistry and geophysics. If you opt for an online bachelor's or master's degree program in geosciences, you may take some geology classes, but the bulk of your studies will cover chemistry, biology, environmental planning and geography.
If you are searching strictly for geology courses, you can locate numerous online schools that offer individual classes that can be incorporated into on-campus bachelor's degree programs often geared toward educators. Coursework can normally be completed entirely online, but some schools do require you to be on campus. Most online programs cover the geology basics, including introductory classes, the origin of specific minerals and how the environment affects the earth. These courses might also be included:
- Renewable resources
- Psychology for educators
- General physics
- Applied probability and statistics
- Human growth and development across the lifespan
How Should I Select a School?
Some online geology schools provide coursework and reading material on CDs or DVDs, while others use traditional books. You may be able to order these supplements from the school and have them shipped to your residence. In addition to having Internet access, some schools ask that you have specific word processing software, such as Microsoft Word. Instructor-led lab courses might be a suitable format for your learning needs. Self-paced study may also be available for these online programs. These schools might offer online geology classes:
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Western Governors University
- Chadron State College
- Mississippi State University
- Pennsylvania State University
What Degrees Are Available?
Many four-year degrees are offered for students interested in studying geology online. A Bachelor of Science in Geosciences might be offered from a variety of schools. Additionally, students might choose to enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Science Education (Secondary Earth Science). This program may lead to teacher licensure. Many master's programs are also available, such as a Master of Science in Geosciences or a Master of Education in Earth Sciences.
What Careers Can I Choose From?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in order to land an entry-level career in geology, you should have at least a bachelor's degree in the geosciences (www.bls.gov). Once you have the bachelor's degree, you can choose among many different geology-based careers, including geochemist, glaciologist, mineralogist or volcanologist. For a job as a hydrologist or geoscientist, it is advised that you have a master's degree. If you desire high-level research or teaching-based careers that focus on geology, you must have a Ph.D. The BLS reports that during 2016-2026, employment within the geology field is expected to increase by about 14%, which is higher than the national average.