Geology is a science that combines rigorous science with a love of the outdoors and nature. Geology is the science that studies climate change, mineral deposits, faulting and earthquakes, volcanoes, groundwater, landslides, erosion and deposition, coral reefs, caves, fossils, plate tectonics, and the history of the earth. Geology also forms the basis of the petroleum and mineral industries, and is the science used to mitigate natural hazards, to locate groundwater resources, and to track subsurface pollution. The Marietta College Geology program offers the opportunity to learn from an experienced and highly qualified faculty in a personal, student-centered, small college setting with one of the longest continuous histories of teaching Geology. We have particular strengths in Petroleum Geology, Engineering/Environmental Geology, and Paleontology.

The Marietta College Geology program has an excellent record of placing students in professional jobs and graduate programs. The program is designed to build a strong foundation in all of the fundamental areas of geology to allow students flexibility in career directions, and then to encourage students to develop strength in a direction of their own choosing. Our concentrations in Engineering Geology (the environmental side of geology), Petroleum Geology (designed for those wishing to pursue exploration and development of petroleum resources), and Paleontology are enhanced by our close relationships with the Marietta College Environmental Science and Petroleum Engineering programs and with the Aaron Scott Dinosaur Quarry in Utah.

Sample Four-Year Schedule


Going Beyond! Geology Concentrations at Marietta

At Marietta, we offer the opportunity to focus on a particular discipline within the field of geology by pursuing a concentration in one of several areas. First and foremost, we emphasize a strong, solid foundation in the geosciences with an emphasis on doing field and laboratory work. The deep expertise of our faculty, as well as our proactive interaction with other programs and professionals, creates the fertile environment in which to build a well-rounded foundation in geology with the general degree. Students who are driven to focus within a particular field, however, are offered the additional opportunity to go beyond the basics and advance their studies by concentrating in one of three fields: Environmental & Engineering Geology, Paleontology, or Petroleum Geology. A concentration in one of these fields will help them “hit the ground running” upon their entry into the work force or graduate school.

To fulfill the requirements for one of the concentrations, the student will complete the geology major with a particular set of elective courses (listed below within each concentration), complete a capstone project within that field approved by the faculty, and earn a minor in the related discipline. All geology majors complete a senior capstone that is modeled on a master’s thesis. The project is a self-driven project developed with the guidance of a faculty member who will work along with the student and act as a mentor. This two semester sequence during the senior year frequently yields publishable work that stands as a notable achievement. Many of our graduates leave with a record of publication. This experience is key to your future as a creative

thinker because you will have carried out a significant inquiry into a real research problem within the field. The experience of carrying out significant research, as well as our guidance in helping you establish your skills in reporting your findings by means of scientific writing, will help you stand apart from your peers graduating from other programs.

Four Different Pathways!

Geology Foundations

For the general degree in geology, see sample Four-Year-Schedule above

Environmental Engineering Geology

Major in Geology with a concentration in Environmental Engineering Geology. This is one of the most exciting and versatile fields in geology. A combination of geological problem solving and being the hand that guides corporations and communities in fixing and restoring impacted lands to high environmental standards, responsibly accessing resources, and finding sustainable solutions for our society. Environmental engineering geologists need a solid foundation in understanding the subsurface within a three dimensional context that includes the deep geological history as well as biological issues.

Sample Four-Year Schedule: Environmental Enginnering Geo

  • Complete the requirements for a degree in geology
  • Electives should include Structural Geology (GEOL 302), Sedimentation & Stratigraphy (GEOL 313), Hydrogeology, (GEOL 335), Environmental Engineering Geology (GEOL 336). Statics (ENGR 311) encouraged.
  • Choose the Physics path of PHYS 221 and PHYS 222
  • Complete an advisor-approved capstone in the field of Engineering Geology
  • Complete a minor in Environmental Engineering or Environmental Science with the elective being GIS (GEOL 304)


Major in Geology with a concentration in Paleontology. Dinosaurs, Ice Age Mammals, Marine Invertebrates, Reefs, Paleoecology, Taphonomy. Paleontologists within our department are not just experts in finding fossils, but are experts in understanding the fossil assemblage and the enclosing sediments in order to put them into their ecological and evolutionary context. Southeastern Ohio is a hot-bed for discovery in Permian and Pennsylvanian vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant fossils, and from this centralized location, we venture forth to investigate important fossil sites such as the Permian Reef Complex in West Texas and New Mexico, reefs in Virginia, world famous mammoth sites, and we also manage an important dinosaur excavation in Utah.

Sample Four-Year Schedule: Paleontology

  • Complete the requirements for a degree in geology
  • Electives should include Invertebrate Paleontology (GEOL 322), Dinosaurs (GEOL 104 and 105) Sedimentology & Stratigraphy (GEOL 313), and Structural Geology (GEOL 302).
  • Choose the biology path of BIOL 101/105 BIOL 102/106
  • Complete an advisor-approved capstone in the field of Paleontology
  • Complete a minor in Biology choosing from the following electives: General Microbiology (BIOL 202), Zoology (BIOL 230), Evolution (BIOL 305), Lower Plants (BIOL 312) Ecology (BIOL 318).

Petroleum Geology

Major in Geology with a concentration in Petroleum Geology. Geology is high tech when it comes to finding and producing hydrocarbon resources. Here we approach the issue from the perspective of Basin Analysis and understanding the factors that control hydrocarbon accumulations. Graduates work in all aspects of the field of petroleum geology, from assisting the drilling and logging of new wells to guiding the exploration for new resources and managing the production within established fields. Marietta College geology graduates have earned a solid reputation with many rising through the ranks after joining the work force directly after graduating. Other graduates have continued their education and earned advanced degrees and have had an impact within major corporations and academia.

Sample Four-Year Schedule: Petro Geology

  • Complete the requirements for a degree in geology
  • Electives should include Petroleum Geology (GEOL 326), Structural Geology (GEOL 302), Sedimentology & Stratigraphy (GEOL 313), and Environmental Engineering Geology (GEOL 336).
  • Choose either the physics or biology path depending on focus on consultation with advisor
  • Complete an advisor-approved capstone in the field of Petroleum Geology
  • Complete a minor in Petroleum Engineering


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