Undergraduate programs in geology

Undergraduate study in geology at Wayne State trains students to address environmental issues and provide a firm foundation for advanced study. Our curriculum emphasizes laboratory and field experiences that prepare our graduates for careers in the petroleum and mining industries, environmental consulting, and graduate studies. 

Our program serves the needs of students who:

  • Desire a general knowledge of geology as part of a broad liberal arts education
  • Need geological information as a cognate subject in other professions
  • Wish to major in environmental science
  • Plan to become professional geologists

Introductory courses are primarily general, but they also provide a foundation in geology for the student who desires to continue an intensive program of study. Students with an interest in environmental problems will find a number of relevant courses among those offered by the Department of Geology. In addition, a variety of courses in various phases of geology is available to the general student. Intermediate and advanced courses are designed to develop the principles of geology beyond the elementary level and to give a firm technical foundation for advanced study.

Degree programs

Choosing the best electives for your career interests

Learn more about how geology connects to your intended career path.

  • Energy (coal, oil, gas, and other energy sources)

    Electives

    • GEL 3450: Principles of Paleontology
    • GEL 5120: Environmental Geochemistry
    • GEL 5210: Applied Geophysics
    • GEL 5450: Hydrogeology
    • GEL 6500: Economic Geology
  • Environmental geology

    Electives

    • GEL 3100: Environmental Systems Analysis
    • GEL 4400: HAZWOPER Training
    • GEL 5000: Geologic Site Assessment
    • GEL 5450: Hydrogeology
    • GEL 5120: Environmental Geochemistry
    • GEL 5510: Environmental Fate & Transport of Pollutants


    Note: Students interested in this career path may want to consider a dual-major or dual-degree option with biology or environmental science; see your advisor for more information.

  • Geologic mapping

    Electives

    • GEL 5000: Geologic Site Assessment
    • GEL 5210: Applied Geophysics
    • GEL 5600: Special Topics in Geology (Applied Geologic Mapping)


    Note: Students interested in this career path may want to consider options in geography as well.

  • Hazards

    Electives

    • GEL 4200: Geomorphology
    • GEL 4400: HAZWOPER Training
    • GEL 5000: Geologic Site Assessment
    • GEL 5120: Environmental Geochemistry
  • Minerals

    Electives

    • GEL 5120: Environmental Geochemistry
    • GEL 5600: Special Topics in Geology (Applied Geologic Mapping)
    • GEL 6500: Economic Geology
  • Planetary sciences

    Electives

    • GEL 4200: Geomorphology
    • GEL 5600: Special Topics in Geology (Applied Geologic Mapping)
    • GEL 5120: Environmental Geochemistry


    Note: Students interested in this career path may want to consider options in astronomy as well.

  • Education

    Elective

    • GEL 5030: Earth Science for Educators (required for College of Education students)


    Note: Students interested in this career path may want to consider a dual-degree option in the College of Education

Departmental honors

The Honors Program in geology is open to students of superior academic ability who are majoring in geology. Learn more about:

Forms