UNC College of Arts & Sciences

Geological Sciences

Geology at UNC

The study of earth’s dynamic systems is a field that has seen major advances over the last few decades. Geologists investigate diverse systems that play a large role in controlling the environment at the earth’s surface. Examples include earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, landslides, rivers, and shorelines. 

Earth processes play a critical role in making our planet habitable, and geologists are constantly in demand to guide communities and nations in their search for clean drinking water and extractable energy and minerals, for example, or in decisions regarding development in fragile coastal regions or in seismically active areas. 

The Department of Geological Sciences at UNC–Chapel Hill provides students with a solid training in earth science so that they can advance in highly satisfying careers as professional geologists.

The Department of Geological Sciences offers two undergraduate degree programs: a B.A. in earth systems and a B.S. in geology with a concentration in traditional geology, environmental geology, geochemistry, geophysics, or paleobiology. Most students planning to do graduate work or to become professional geologists should follow the B.S. program. However, the flexibility of the B.A. program may be advantageous to students with interests in, for example, environmental studies, education, or law.

For questions about an undergraduate major in geology, please contact:

Lara Wagner, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Geological Sciences
324 Mitchell Hall
email: wagner at unc.edu

Deborah Harris, Student Services Coordinator
Department of Geological Sciences
115 Mitchell Hall, CB# 3315
email: djharris at email.unc.edu
telephone: (919) 962-0679

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104 South Road, Mitchell Hall
Campus Box #3315
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3315
Telephone: (919) 966-4516
Fax: (919) 966-4519