Geoscience Degree Program
Over the past few decades, climate change and other pressing environmental issues have brought to light the necessity of understanding Earth system processes. The study of the Earth is central to maintaining clean drinking water, mitigating environmental contamination, providing ores and rare elements necessary for industry, and locating new sources of energy.
What is Geoscience?
Predicting sea level change; discovering new geothermal, hydrocarbon, and mineralic stores of energy; removing buried toxins from the environment — these and other imperatives are the work of geoscientists. Understanding the 99.99% of our history that precedes the archaeological record, the humbling contingencies of natural history, and the vast swaths and depths of biodiversity over time — that is the work of geoscientists.
Graduates of Drexel’s Bachelor of Science in Geoscience will be among the next generation of leading scientists tackling these critical issues. You’ll have countless opportunities to step off campus and into the field. Check out this first-year geoscience class in the Pocono Mountains:
Geoscience Courses & Curriculum
The degee's core requirements encompass foundational courses in science, writing and math, and traditional courses that form the backbone of the geosciences. Building upon these are innovative courses focused on Earth systems processes, key environmental issues, and practical field experiences. In addition to nourishing and honing the passions of our students for studying the Earth, the core curriculum is designed to:
- Instill key technical skills early-on, as a pathway to high-quality co-op opportunities.
- Lay the groundwork for our students to pursue advanced graduate study in the geosciences and other disciplines.
- Enable our graduates to translate marketable skills and knowledge into high-quality jobs in industry and government.
The Geoscience Degree offers 3 concentrations:
The Applied Geology degree concentration was designed in consultation with industry leaders and is for students wishing to enter the geoscience workforce immediately upon graduation. Students in this concentration will develop a package of skills that will lead to outstanding co-op opportunities and bright employment prospects.
Paleontology courses build on existing strengths at Drexel University and at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Paleontology students will benefit from world-class resources, including the Academy's invertebrate paleontology collection (over 1 million specimens); the vertebrate fossil collection (22,000 specimens); historically important specimens, such as the Thomas Jefferson fossil collection, the first-discovered dinosaur skeleton, and the first-discovered tyrannosaur; and the paleobotany collection (over 5,000 specimens). Many other Academy collections, such as mollusks, rotifers, and diatoms, will provide relevant resources for students of paleontology.
Students in the Paleontology concentration will have access to numerous fossil sites along the Atlantic Coastal Plain and in the Appalachian Province. Paleontology course opportunities exist for student research at the well-established sites of prominent Drexel paleontologists including Ted Daeschler’s Red Hill site, which produces evolutionarily important forms representing the fish to tetrapod transition.
The General Geoscience concentration allows maximum flexibility and serves students wishing to pursue policy-related careers or other areas of study within the geosciences, as well as those planning to apply to professional graduate programs, including those in law or business schools. The policy component of this concentration will allow students to explore related societal issues, which may help guide their career aspirations. This concentration also provides geoscience transfer students with a pathway to graduate on time.
Applied Geology Concentration
The Applied Geology degree concentration was designed in consultation with industry leaders and is for students wishing to enter the geoscience workforce immediately upon graduation.
Paleontology courses build on existing strengths at Drexel University and at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Paleontology students will benefit from world-class resources, including the Academy's invertebrate paleontology collection.
General Geoscience Concentration
The General Geoscience concentration allows maximum flexibility and serves students wishing to pursue policy-related careers or other areas of study within the geosciences, as well as those planning to apply to professional graduate programs.
Learn More About the Geoscience Degree in the Course Catalog
Geoscience Program Highlights
The motto of the department is “Field Experience, Early and Often” and we mean it: geoscience majors begin their field experiences prior to the start of their freshmen courses. Nearly every required course in the Geoscience major includes a laboratory section or a hands-on recitation section (“dry lab”), plus at least three field trips to relevant regional geological sites. These courses, combined with the co-op experience and a mandatory summer geological field camp, provide students with unparalleled hands-on experience and professional training.
Summer Geological Field Camp
Summer geological field camp is the quintessential undergraduate experience for geoscience majors. It is a long-held tradition in geology departments that students head out West during the summer before graduation to apply their knowledge to real-world situations and to acquire field skills that will serve them throughout their careers. Friends made at field camp often become colleagues for life.
Learn More About Drexel's Field Sites and Collections for Geoscience Majors
RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN GEOSCIENCE
Drexel University emphasizes experiential learning for all students with global research partnerships, field sites and state-of-the-art facilities. There are numerous opportunities to gain hands-on experience from day one: from the first-year STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Scholars Program to research co-ops and assistantships. Students benefit from the mentorship and instruction of top scientists from Drexel’s Academy of Natural Sciences and the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science.
DISCOVER CAREERS IN GEOSCIENCE
Students with a Geoscience degree have many options for careers post-graduation. These careers include positions like:
- Geotechnical Consultant
- Fossil Resource Manager
- Environmental Consultant
- And Many More!
Learn More About Job Opportunities for Students with a Geoscience Degree
Professional Geologist (PG) Exam
An important consideration for students seeking employment in industry is their ability to pass the Professional Geologist (PG) exam, after four to six years of work experience. Twenty-eight states, including Pennsylvania, now require a Professional Geologist license to submit certain proposals and sign-off on reports and certifications submitted to environmental agencies. An important factor in obtaining employment in industry is the candidate’s perceived potential, based on their transcript, to pass the PG exam. Drexel’s Bachelor’s in Geoscience curriculum provides students with the background necessary to succeed on this exam.
APPLY FOR A DEGREE IN GEOSCIENCE
Apply for a degree in Geoscience or visit campus to get firsthand information about a Drexel education. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.