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Today is the ideal time for you to choose a career as a geoscientist. If you have a solid high school background in the sciences and mathematics, if you like the outdoors and field studies, and if you are challenged by a rigorous program of classroom, laboratory and field courses, you should consider North Dakota State University's program in geosciences. Geoscientists are presently in demand for energy and mineral exploration, and for solving environmental problems.

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Career Opportunities

Geologists who studied at NDSU are currently employed in such diverse fields as environmental geology, groundwater resources, education, community planning, cartography, solid-state geochemistry, engineering geology, petroleum and gas exploration, precious-metals mining, and land reclamation.

The Department

The geosciences faculty and instructional staff are dedicated to providing the best possible undergraduate education. Faculty members have earned consistently high ratings for their teaching. They also are active in research and bring the benefits of their research activities to students. Many geoscience undergraduates find part-time employment in faculty research or as laboratory teaching assistants. Courses are taught by a variety of techniques including lectures, labs, active learning, report writing and applied field studies. Field studies have included Black Hills, Death Valley, Washington, Hawaii, Iceland and southern Italy. The department's excellent instructional facilities include computers, X-ray diffraction, petrographic microscopes, GPS and surveying equipment, and a continuously-upgraded collection of rocks, minerals, air photos and maps. Training in geographic information systems is provided through the Warren D. Kress Advanced Geography Laboratory. The Optical Dating and Dosimetry Laboratory is used to determine the depositional age of sediments, and the Quaternary Entomology Laboratory is used for studies of climate change.

A core of geology courses, along with training in mathematics, physics, chemistry, soils, geography, computer science and technical writing will prepare you to handle the diverse challenges encountered in your professional career.

High School Preparation

A solid background in English, mathematics (through trigonometry), biology, chemistry and physics is strongly recommended.

The Faculty and Staff

  • A.C. Ashworth, Ph.D., University of Birmingham, England, 1969,
          Earth History, Paleontology, Paleoecology
  • S.S. Day, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2012,
          Fluvial Geomorphology, Slope Stability, Geospatial Sciences
  • K. Lepper, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University, 2001,
          Glacial Geology, Hydrogeology, Geophysics
  • A. Lewis, Ph.D., Boston University, 2005
          Glacial Geology, Paleoclimate
  • P. Oduor, Ph.D., University of Missouri, Rolla, 2004,
          Geochemistry, Geographic Information Systems
  • J.L. Rock, M.S., North Dakota State University, 2009
  • B. Saini-Eidukat, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1991,
          Mineralogy, Petrology, Geochemistry
  • D.P. Schwert, Ph.D., University of Waterloo,
          Canada, 1978, Structural Geology, Geomorphology,
          Environmental Geology
  • L.S. Tackett, Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2014,
          Paleontology, Stratigraphy

Special Note

Students in the geosciences program are encouraged to use their elective credits in courses that will enhance their professional skills (i.e., foreign languages, geography, archaeology, soils, etc.). In addition, the Department of Geosciences offers elective courses in environmental geology, glacial geology, geochemistry, hydrogeology, geophysics and remote sensing.

Sample Curriculum

General Education RequirementsCredits


First Year Experience
  UNIV 189 - Skills for Academic Success1
  COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
  ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II 3, 3
  ENGL 324 - Writing in the Sciences3
Quantitative Reasoning
  MATH 146 - Applied Calculus I or
   MATH 165 - Calculus I

Science & Technology
  GEOL 105, 105L - Physical Geology and Lab 3, 1
  GEOL 106, 106L - Earth Through Time Lab3, 1
  CHEM 121 - General Chemistry I or
   CHEM 150 - Principles of Chemistry I

Humanities & Fine Arts6
Social and Behavioral Sciences Sciences6
Cultural Diversity-
Global Perspective
  GEOL 105 - Physical Geology -
College and Department Requirements Credits
Hum/Soc. Science Electives (B.S. Degree) 6
Hum/Soc. Science Electives (B.A. Degree) 12
Second Year Language Proficiency (B.A. Degree) -
Total 6-12
Major Requirements Credits
GEOG 455 - Introduction to Geographic Information

GEOL 301, 302 or 496 - Field Experience 2
GEOL 410 - Sedimentary and Stratigraphy 4
GEOL 412 - Geomorphology 3
GEOL 420, 421 - Mineralogy and Lab 3, 1
GEOL 422 - Petrology 3
GEOL 423 - Petrography 1
GEOL 440 - Quaternary Biology 4
GEOL 450 - Field Geology 3
GEOL 457 - Structural Geology 4
GEOL 491 - Junior Seminar 1
GEOL 491 - Senior Seminar 1
SOIL 444 - Soil Genesis and Survey 3
Total 37
Related Requirements Credits
CHEM 121L - General Chemistry Lab or
  CHEM 160L - Principles of Chemistry Lab

CHEM 122, 122L - General Chemistry II and Lab or
  CHEM 151, 161 - Principles of Chemistry II and Lab

3, 1
CSCI 122 - Beginning Basic and Visual Basic or
  CSCI 160 - Computer Science I or
   CSCI 227 - Computing Fundamentals

MATH 147 - Applied Calculus II or
  MATH 166 - Calculus II

PHYS 211, 211L - College Physics I and Lab and
  PHYS 212, 212L - College Physics II and Lab or
   PHYS 251, 251L - University Physics I and Lab and
    PHYS 252, 252L - University Physics II and Lab

Electives 17

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic adviser or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Stevens Hall
Room 218

Stevens Hall is located on the corner of Centennial Boulevard and Bolley Drive 
(Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Geosciences
Dr. Donald Schwert, Chair

North Dakota State University
Dept #2745
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8455 or (701) 231-7087 / Fax: (701) 231-7149

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept 5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU WebMaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 10:29:43 AM