Prospective Students

You may want to major in the earth and environmental sciences if:

  • You are concerned about the environment.
  • You like the outdoors.
  • You enjoy travel.
  • You don't want a desk job.
  • You have a sense of adventure and a spirit of discovery.
  • You enjoy solving puzzles and problems.
  • You desire a lucrative career doing something you actually like doing.
  • You enjoy using computer technology to solve practical problems.
  • You wonder why the Earth appears as it does.
  • You want to do independent research with faculty members early in your academic career.

Note to international applicants: the Geology Department at Appalachian State University is an undergraduate degree granting department only, and therefore we do not have opportunities for MS or PhD students.

The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences has a variety of degree tracks depending on your interests:


Geology (BS) 244A:  This standard geology degree produces a well-rounded graduate who is prepared to go to graduate school or directly into industry.

Geology (BA) 244A: Students pursuing this degree option must also declare a minor field of study as well as satisfy a foreign language requirement.

Geology with Concentrations

Geology (BS) - Environmental Geology 259C:  This concentration provides graduates with the ability to apply geological principles to the solution of environmental problems. Graduates with this degree track will study modern earth processes and use analytical techniques that are applicable to measuring active systems, and learn the hands-on skill set needed to go straight into the environmental industry upon graduation. 

Geology (BS) - Paleontology 259D: This program targets the dedicated undergraduate interested in pursuing a career in paleontology or the petroleum industry by providing a strong interdisciplinary background rooted in geology and biology, opportunities for student research in paleontology, and a program of study designed to facilitate entry to graduate school.

Geology (BS) - Quantitative Geoscience 259E: This concentration is for students who are interested in the mathematical side of geology. The added mathematical and technical background will provide graduates with the technical skills that they need to succeed at the graduate level, especially for those interested in the fields of hydrology, hydrogeology, structural geology, engineering geology, environmental geology and geophysics.

Geology, Earth/Environmental Science Secondary Education (BS) 259F: Earth Science is taught in all North Carolina public schools at the secondary level. A concentration in secondary education prepares graduates for public school teaching. Graduates are Highly Qualified as defined by the regulations set forth by the federal government and No Child Left Behind. Graduates with this degree qualify for double licensure in Earth Science and Comprehensive Science.

Environmental Sciences

Environmental Science (BS) 121A: This degree is for students desiring a broad and interdisciplinary approach to studies in the environmental sciences and capitalizes on the cross-disciplinary expertise available at Appalachian.

Environmental Science (BS) - Environmental Professional 121B: Students pursuing this degree option are interested in the policy and regulatory aspects of environmental science.

Confused by all the different tracks that involve the word "environmental"?  Click here for a detailed explanation of the differences between the environmentally-related majors at Appalachian.

Links for Prospective Students

Give to the Department

Learn more about the QEP