Geology

Offered as a major (B.S.) and a minor

Geology is the scientific study of the Earth and how it works. You'll learn how our planet and its life forms have changed through time.

Well-trained geologists can help the nation and the world chart an environmentally and economically sound course into the future.

The Curriculum

A unique place to do fieldwork

You'll spend a lot of time outdoors as a geology major, as extensive fieldwork among Southern California's unique geological features will make up a large part of your learning.

Get to know the specialities of your field

Your courses will familiarize you with current developments and techniques within the standard subdisciplines of geology. These include mineralogy, petrology, paleontology, historical geology, and structural geology.

An interconnected discipline

You'll work closely with other related disciplines—chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, and geography—as you expand your knowledge on exploring for energy and economic resources, analyzing geologic hazards, and mitigating the human impact on the environment.

Meaningful research that connects to your future

Doing research in a field you are passionate about gives you valuable and relevant experience for your future career. Prior student research projects have included:

  • A study of the Miocene Ricardo Formation in Red Rock Canyon State Park by a student who now works as an exploration geologist for Exxon/Mobil.
  • A study of the vertebral column of the beaked whale Mesoplodon europaeus by a student who is now pursuing a Ph.D. in vertebrate paleontology at the University of Michigan.
The Experience
Photo of student or faculty

Being able to work hands-on with all of my professors has really allowed me to develop my skills in geology. I am able to constantly talk to them, get advice, and share ideas of what I would like to do. That has helped me a lot in making decisions.

William Zimmerle '16

Read William's Story

Classroom in the Field

Fieldwork is essential to a geologist's education. The coursework in Physical Geology includes hands-on experience in the lab and in the field. The department's trips range far and wide, from overnights in Death Valley to the local hiking hotspot of Wildwood Park.

Your Future

Along with being accepted in graduate schools around the country, many Cal Lutheran geology majors have entered careers in petroleum geology, geophysics and the environmental geology fields.

In both the public and private sectors, geologists are hired to study groundwater pollution, earthquake hazards and landslides. They also work in the mining and petroleum industries, or in research laboratories.

Our alumni study at:

  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • Texas A & M
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison

They work for:

  • Cardno ERI
  • Fugro West, Inc.
  • Grover-Hollingsworth & Associates, Inc.
  • Petrolog

Career paths:

  • Geologist
  • Staff Geologist
  • Geological Technician
  • Senior Geologist
  • Project Manager
  • Sample Catcher


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