Geology and Environmental Geosciences (B.S.)

Why Study Geology and Environmental Geosciences at NIU?

Because the geology and geosciences encompass the entire Earth, it’s important to get a solid education in as many aspects of the field as possible while focusing on the area you’re most interested in. Our B.S. in Geology and Environmental Geosciences offers three emphasis areas to help you maximize opportunities:

  • Geology: Your in-depth studies in earth sciences includes a required six-week field course in Wyoming or South Dakota. This is a great emphasis to prepare you for graduate studies. You’ll also have the background the U.S. Geological Survey requires for its hydrogeologist positions.
  • Environmental Geosciences: If you have an interest beyond earth science, this tract allows you to also study chemistry, anthropology, biology, geography or some other science in addition to earth science. This also gives you the opportunity to gain Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) that is valued by environmental consulting employers.
  • Earth and Space Science Education: When you graduate with this emphasis, you’ll be prepared to teach regular high school biology, chemistry and physics as well as either and space science at both regular and honors levels in Illinois.
NIU’s Geosciences program ranks in the top 100 Hydrogeology Programs.

Student Quotes

48x75 Portrait Placeholder“I have loved being a part of the NIU geology department. It felt like home since my first day attending school here. You go out of your way to ensure the department listens to feedback from students and then you actually enact change. You make everyone feel like they are important and valuable to the department.”
Lisa Matson, B.S., 2016

Careers with a Geology and Environmental Geosciences Degree

The need for energy, environmental protection and responsible land and resource management is projected to spur the demand for geoscientist in the future, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment for geoscientists is projected to grow 10 percent faster than average through 2024 for all occupations.

With a B.S. in geology and environmental geoscience you can pursue careers in organizations, consulting firms, and the government, and be responsible for:

  • Research
  • Field testing
  • Advising
  • Educating on all things related to environment

Learn more about careers in geology and environmental geoscience.

Geology and Environmental Geosciences Faculty

Our faculty and graduate students are involved in a broad range of research and have expertise in diverse areas including:

  • Geomicrobiology
  • Organic geochemistry
  • Economic geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Geocognition
  • Paleoclimatology
  • Glacial geology
  • Geomorphology
  • Groundwater geophysics
  • Volcanology

Hands-on Learning Opportunities

Our Geology Club is an active group of undergraduate students interested in getting more involved in their major and learning about other resources the NIU Geology Department has to offer.

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