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Geosciences, Physical Geography Concentration, B.S.

Geosciences

Learn the roles minerals, rocks, soil, and water play in sustaining life on Earth.

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Geosciences, Physical Geography Concentration, B.S.

The Bachelor of Science in Geosciences with a concentration in Geology is offered through the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at MTSU.

The Geology concentration prepares students to excel in Geology-related careers in public service, the private sector, and education, and for continued studies in graduate school. Job demand for geologists is high with the prevalence of long-term issues such as oil and gas exploration, critical minerals, climate change, water quality, dwindling natural resources, renewable energy, and natural hazard mitigation.

MTSU has one of the Southeast's largest undergraduate Geology programs, but a student-faculty ratio of 15 to 1 allows personal attention and many undergraduate research opportunities.

Areas of specific interest include:

  • Geology: This Geology career track is designed for students who plan to become professional geologists in the private and public sectors and students who wish to pursue graduate study in Geology. Students interested in careers in industries such as mining, oil and gas exploration, hydrologic consulting, and academic research should choose the Geology career track. The Geology career track also prepares students for careers as scientists with federal agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy. Students who complete the Geology career track meet the academic qualifications to become licensed professional geologists in Tennessee.
  • Earth Science: This Earth Science career pattern is designed for students who plan non-technical careers in areas such as environmental law, environmental management, natural resource management, and natural hazard mitigation. Students who complete the Earth Science career track may not meet the academic qualifications to become licensed professional geologists in Tennessee.
  • Earth Science for Teachers: The Earth Science for Teachers curriculum is designed for those who plan to teach earth science in the secondary school system.

Careers
Requirements
Faculty
Careers
Requirements
Faculty

News Briefs

GIS lab, faculty offer undergrads research opportunities

GIS lab, faculty offer undergrads research opportunities

Dr. Jeremy Aber is among MTSU faculty working with Geosciences majors to utilize the university's geographic information system (GIS) lab. Aber has a blimp and kites to take aerial photography in addition to the UAS capacity of the university in the Aerospace program. Other research includes using geotagged Tweets to map social media in Tennessee and air and water quality testing in the Murfreesboro area to investigate the potential impacts of the nearby landfill. His geosciences research taps into the variety of available technology — from lab resources to cell phones, GPS, Twitter, and even videogames. MTSU's GIS lab is comparable to major research institutions with equipment, technology and software for all kinds of projects, Aber says. Named in honor of retired department chair Ralph Fullerton, the lab has projects ranging from historical to remote sensing to satellite imaging. Since moving to the newly-renovated Davis Science Building, the Geosciences department's geospatial technology capacity has gained more space and capacity to support students.

Geosciences majors learn through field experiences

Geosciences majors learn through field experiences

Field trips are an essential part of the learning process in the Department of Geosciences. Faculty regularly lead students on weekend field trips throughout the southeastern United States. During these trips, students study the geologic history of their field areas and learn important field skills such as geoscience data collection and interpretation, synthesizing geological histories, report writing, and geologic mapping. In addition to weekend field trips, the department offers extended summer field courses in Colorado, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Pacific Northwest. Field trips are a favorite part of the Geoscience undergraduate experience, allowing opportunities for students to build life-long friendships in scenic and spectacular settings. During most field trips, "home" is a campground from which students embark on daily excursions on which they apply classroom-learned concepts to the "real world." Many students turn their field-trip experiences into faculty-directed research projects, leading to student-authored research publications and conference presentations.

News Briefs

GIS lab, faculty offer undergrads research opportunities

Dr. Jeremy Aber is among MTSU faculty working with Geosciences majors to utilize the university's geographic information system (GIS) lab. Aber has a blimp and kites to take aerial photography in addition to the UAS capacity of the university in the Aerospace program. Other research includes using geotagged Tweets to map social media in Tennessee and air and water quality testing in the Murfreesboro area to investigate the potential impacts of the nearby landfill. His geosciences research taps into the variety of available technology — from lab resources to cell phones, GPS, Twitter, and even videogames. MTSU's GIS lab is comparable to major research institutions with equipment, technology and software for all kinds of projects, Aber says. Named in honor of retired department chair Ralph Fullerton, the lab has projects ranging from historical to remote sensing to satellite imaging. Since moving to the newly-renovated Davis Science Building, the Geosciences department's geospatial technology capacity has gained more space and capacity to support students.

Geosciences majors learn through field experiences

Field trips are an essential part of the learning process in the Department of Geosciences. Faculty regularly lead students on weekend field trips throughout the southeastern United States. During these trips, students study the geologic history of their field areas and learn important field skills such as geoscience data collection and interpretation, synthesizing geological histories, report writing, and geologic mapping. In addition to weekend field trips, the department offers extended summer field courses in Colorado, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Pacific Northwest. Field trips are a favorite part of the Geoscience undergraduate experience, allowing opportunities for students to build life-long friendships in scenic and spectacular settings. During most field trips, "home" is a campground from which students embark on daily excursions on which they apply classroom-learned concepts to the "real world." Many students turn their field-trip experiences into faculty-directed research projects, leading to student-authored research publications and conference presentations.

Related Media

CAREERS

The global demand for geoscientists in areas such as environmental consulting, renewable energy, mining, and the rapidly expanding field of geographic information systems (GIS) far exceeds the current supply.

Graduates also go on to earn master's and doctoral degrees at some of the nation's most prestigious research universities or work in geoscience-related professions such as park service, science journalism, and science education.

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • ARCADIS
  • Arnold Air Force Base
  • ATC Associates
  • Bauer Foundation Corp.
  • Chesapeake Energy
  • Doe Run Mining
  • Middle schools and high schools
  • Murfreesboro Planning Department
  • Notre Dame University
  • Nyrstar Mining
  • Rutherford County Planning Commission
  • Signal Hill Petroleum
  • Smyrna Planning Department
  • Southwestern Energy
  • St. John Engineering
  • Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Tennessee Department of Transportation
  • Tennessee State Parks
  • Texas Christian University
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • University of Memphis
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Wiser Co.

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