Exploring the Major
Geology Major at Oxy:
Located in one of the world’s most geologically interesting places, Oxy’s geology program draws on the local environment to teach fundamental geologic principles. Students learn geology through a blend of classroom, lab, and field experiences, applying their new knowledge to geological problems as part of their coursework. All students have the opportunity to participate in research with faculty or on their own. The geology training is supplemented with courses in mathematics and enriched by taking recommended classes in physics and chemistry. Geology is a global science so students who have made sufficient progress in the major are encouraged to study abroad for a semester in their junior year.
Summertime offers geology majors the opportunity to work on research projects with faculty or participate in internship programs such as those offered by JPL and the Southern California Earthquake Center. Other students may choose to attend field camp in the U.S. or abroad. These experiences commonly form the basis for the senior thesis geology majors complete, and all students are encouraged to present their work at the annual Southern California Undergraduate Research Conference or other venues.
Environmental Science Concentration in Geology: Students choosing this path explore earth processes and ecosystems, and develop skills needed to analyze and solve environmental problems. The concentration is designed for students who want to more fully understand the biological and geologic foundation of Environmental Science while completing a version of the geology major.
Geology majors after Oxy:
After Oxy, about half of the geology majors continue on to graduate school in geology or environmental science. Most others have drawn on their Oxy geology degree to begin careers such as environmental consultant, NASA scientist, teacher, planner, park ranger, or petroleum geologist. Still others have gone into law, architecture, and medical professions.
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