Career Outlook
Average Salary
Projected Regional Growth
  • Cartographer
  • Climatologist
  • Contaminant Remediation
  • Ecologist
  • Environmentalist
  • Geologist
  • Meteorology 
  • Paleontology
  • Volcanology
  • Water Resource Management 

For individuals who

Enjoy the earth sciences. Are interested in working in diverse fields post-graduation. 

Looking for

Hands-on coursework that isn’t limited to a classroom setting. Field experience opportunities. 

To become

  • Cartographer
  • Climatologist
  • Geologist
  • Meteorology 
  • Paleontology

Student Experience

Students majoring in geology at NDSU receive a comprehensive background that prepares them for diverse career opportunities. In our state-of-the-art new facility students participate in hands-on learning staring in their first courses and continuing throughout their curriculum. After completing introductory courses, students may be invited or apply to work with a faculty member on their research. These students participate in cutting edge research, and are often given the opportunity to present their findings at national or regional conferences. Some students may also choose to work as a teaching assistant in one of our introductory classes to reinforce their learning and improve their communication skills.

A highlight of our geology curriculum are field courses. Students put their skills to the test during field trips to places including the Black Hills, the Little Badlands, and the North Shore. In addition, every two years our department hosts a trip to an area with unique geology that can’t be seen locally. Past trips have included Death Valley, Hawaii, Iceland, and the Bahamas.

Career Opportunities

An undergraduate degree in geology opens a wide variety of career possibilities including

  • Environmental Scientist
  • Hydrologist
  • Mining Geologist
  • Exploration Geologist
  • Cartographer
  • Teacher
  • Researcher
  • Park Ranger

The median annual pay for people with a geology degree is $93,000. Students from our program consistently secure jobs within 6 months of graduation and have gone on to work in the private, government, nonprofit, and education sectors. In addition, students who choose to pursue graduate school see placement at top schools nationwide in their preferred area of study.


Our faculty are both dedicated teachers and researchers. All classes are taught by faculty members who integrate their own professional and research experiences into the classroom. Some of the primary research areas in our department include:

  • Environmental change of the past and present, including climate change, past extinctions, and natural hazards
  • Environmental health including water quality and sediment transport
  • Geospatial technology including the se of GPS, drones, and laser scanners

High School Preparation

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