UMass Geology undergraduate science major students field work

We are experiencing “global environmental change” at an unprecedented rate; not only in our physical world, but in societies worldwide as well. The issues are compelling, complex, and current. We must better understand our home planet’s history, processes, hazards, resources, and environments, as well as our impact on it.  Geologists study active natural features such as coastlines, glaciers, volcanoes, mountains, lakes and rivers. Students of geology study rocks, sediments and other features to understand past events and conditions.  Field/laboratory studies are conducted to determine fundamental chemical and physical properties of minerals, rocks, sediments, surface and groundwater.  The Geology program focuses on: 1) techniques to find and develop resources such as groundwater aquifers, minerals, and energy sources, 2) the study of climate history, earth processes such as hydrology and sedimentology, and 3) the study of the structure and materials of the solid earth.

Students can pursue of Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree.  BS majors choose from two concentrations:

  • Geology
  • Earth Science

Click here to learn more about this program, including how to declare a minor.

What You'll Learn

UMass Geology major investigates rocks and minerals

  • Application of geology to the challenges facing humankind, including natural resources, energy, water, geohazards, global climate change, and sustainability.
  • Fundamental geologic and observational skills including hands-on field and laboratory experiences related to the recognition of rocks and minerals, common fossils and sedimentary environments, structures and tectonic features.
  • Three-dimensional visualization of dynamic geologic systems.
  • An understanding of geologic time and Earth history, geologic processes and rates.
  • The tools and methods to solve real-world geologic problems involving the collection, integration, and analysis of data.
  • Use and critical evaluation of models to simulate and understand Earth processes.
  • Access to interdisciplinary training in geochemistry, numerical methods, numerical analysis, and geophysics.

UMass Geology science majors travel internationally study climate change

UMass Geology major science outdoors rocks


Geoscientists hold a range of positions related to climate science, the environment, water resources, energy, mineral resources, natural disasters, education, and environmental law and policy. These fields include academic, private sector (non-profit), government, and commercial jobs related to natural and renewable resources, resource conservation, assessment and mitigation of environmental hazards, environmental remediation, water resources, and sustainability.
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Environmental Geologist/ Geotechnical Engineer
  • Petroleum Geologist
  • Geochemist
  • Economic Geologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Climatologist
  • Oceanographer

Students & Alumni