Geology is the scientific study of the physical structure, processes, and the history of expansion and change of Earth. A geology degree online covers topics related to Earth’s physical environment, including climate, renewable geological resources, geological hazards, non-renewable geological resources, and remediation. The online geology degree helps undergraduates develop essential skills required to work as geoscientists, mining and exploration geologist, hydrologist, urban and regional planner, and so on, in private firms or government agencies dealing with mining and petroleum extraction, climate change, environment and education, and more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for geoscientists and related fields is 5%, which is as fast as the average for other occupations.
Find the Best Online
An excellent undergraduate degree in geology enables students to pursue advanced degrees in geology and easily avail employment in the field. When choosing a top college, it is necessary to understand factors like available resources, field experience opportunities, the quality of teachers, accreditation, etc. FBD teams have searched the country for the best degrees by using our exclusive ranking methodology to help students find one that best suits them. Here is a list of the best online geology degrees in the U.S.: *
Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page.
What to Expect from an Online
Degree in Geology
A bachelor of geology focuses on studying the structure and modifications of Earth over time. It usually takes 120 credits and four years of full-time study to complete an online degree in geology. The program can be completed online, offline, and in the hybrid mode that blends the two. Some institutions also offer internships, laboratory experience, on-field study, and other practical experiences as part of the curriculum. Students are also expected to take up additional geology or related-field courses along with their primary curriculum, which consists of a wide range of topics in geology, including geomorphology, mineralogy, sedimentology, historical geology, and more. Depending on the college, there are many options for specializations, including petrology, structural geology, sedimentary geology, economic geology, climate change, petroleum geology, soil science, and volcanology.
Full-Time and Part-Time
It usually takes four to five years to complete an online degree in geology as a full-time student. Some factors that affect the duration of the program include the specialization taken, the number of credits completed in a particular semester, transferrable credits from previous degrees, the learning mode (online, offline, and hybrid), and capstone or field requirements. For those who require more time to complete the degree requirements due to personal or work-related commitments, the online geology degree duration extends beyond the typical four years; one usually requires between four and six years to complete the program.
Through an accelerated online geology degree, one can aim to complete the curriculum requirements in less than four years. There are several ways to fast-track a geology program, including taking up more classes, transferring credits from previous degrees, completing an integrated bachelor’s or master’s degree, and so on. Accelerated programs can significantly benefit those who want to complete their education quickly and enter the workforce or even those transitioning from one career to another. Northern Arizona, Cedarville University, and the University of Nevada are fine examples of institutions offering accelerated online geology degrees.
Where to Find Free Online Courses for Geology
Free geology courses are available online for those pursuing bachelor’s degrees in geology. Signing up for one or more of these can help students gain a better understanding of geology and help them explore topics outside of their degree programs. Here are some examples:
|This course provides geology and geophysics familiarity and highlights the principles of petroleum production and drilling. It helps in recognizing hydrocarbon column heights and the potential of fault seals. It is a self-paced course that leads to an understanding of structural geology, earthquake seismology, and more.
|Our Earth: Its Climate, History, and Processes
|This course introduces the Earth’s climate system and understands how to measure the time of geology. It tries to understand the fundamental question about how old the Earth is and how different methods like dating rocks and isotopes are used.
|Extreme Geological Events
|This course explores the historical events that modified the Earth’s surface and made the planet more habitable. It tracks natural processes like tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, etc., and traces the risks and hazards that extreme events pose and the likelihood of them occurring in the future.
Additional Resources for Bachelor’s Students
in Geology Degree
A bachelor’s degree in geology online provides students with a basic foundation in geology. One must acquire skills and abilities beyond a formal degree to improve employability and career prospects. Hence, tapping into resources from professional associations is always an excellent idea. Here are some examples:
|The Geological Society of America
|The Geological Society of America supports the careers of its members by providing education, mentoring, research grants, and various global professional and academic opportunities. They aim to discover new ideas, discuss many scientific issues, and identify cutting-edge research through meetings and conferences.
|American Geosciences Institutes
|The American Geoscience Institute aims at fostering creative solutions for our Earth. They represent the geoscience community by providing information and encouraging collaborative leadership.
|American Geophysical Union
|The American Geophysical Union supports hydrologic, space, planetary, atmospheric, and Earth science enthusiasts. It aims to promote geophysics in its pure form and explore mutually dependent subjects like meteorology, seismology, terrestrial electricity, tides, astronomy, etc.
|Association for Women Geoscientists
|The Association for Women Geoscientists offers various professional and student scholarships and awards. The organization aims to enhance women’s participation and quality in geosciences.
|Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
|The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography wants to advance the public’s awareness of limnology and oceanography through various public education, outreach, and professional development programs. It provides career advice to researchers and lists the types of employment in limnology and oceanography.
FAQs About Online Geology
The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.