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Today is the ideal time for students to choose a career as a geoscientist. Students with a solid high school background in the sciences and mathematics, liking the outdoors and field studies, and those that are challenged by a rigorous program of classroom, laboratory and field courses, 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 students to handle the diverse challenges encountered in this 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
  • D. Chatterjee-Dawn, D. Sci, Tohoku University, Japan, 1998,
      Slope Stability, Geomorphology
  • 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, Quaternary Geology, Land Use
  • 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 & Technology10
Humanities & Fine Arts6
Social & Behavioral Sciences6
Cultural Diversity-
Global Perspective
  GEOL 105 - Physical Geology 3
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

GEOL 106, 106L - The Earth Through Time and Lab

Major Requirements Credits
GEOG 455 - Introduction to Geographic Information

GEOL 105, 105L - Physical Geology and Lab 4
GEOL 106, 106L - The Earth Through Time and Lab 4
GEOL 301 - Lake Superior Field Course or
  GEOL 302 - Black Hills Field Course or
    GEOL 496 - Field Experience

GEOL 350 - Invertebrate Paleontology and
  GEOL 303 - Paleontology Field Course

GEOL 410 - Sedimentary/Stratigraphy 4
GEOL 412 - Geomorphology 3
GEOL 420, 421 - Mineralogy and Lab 4
GEOL 422 - Petrology 3
GEOL 423 - Petrography 1
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 121, 121L - General Chemistry I and Lab and
  CHEM 151, 161 - Principles of Chemistry II and Lab or
    CHEM 150, 160 – Principles of Chemistry I and Lab and
    CHEM 151, 161 - Principles of Chemistry II and Lab

CSCI 122 - Visual BASIC or
  CSCI 160 - Computer Science I or
    CSCI 227 - Computing Fundamentals I

MATH 146 - Applied Calculus I and
  MATH 147 - Applied Calculus II or
    MATH 165 - Calculus I and
    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

Dr. Peter Oduor, Chair
Department of Geosciences
North Dakota State University
Dept #2745, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8455 / 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



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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: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 3:20:29 PM