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For Prospective Students

Why We're Different

We have a strong commitment to undergraduate student research in the earth and environmental sciences

All majors complete a senior thesis in close collaboration with a faculty member

Field trips are an integral part of our program, and range from day trips to longer multi-week excursions

Our Geology on Wheels program provides outreach opportunities for our students in local elementary schools

Our Geology students take a broad view of the Earth, focusing on the workings and history of the Earth’s interior, surface, and atmosphere. We emphasize earth systems, including the environment, and their change through time. All major rock types representing most geologic time periods (from the Proterozoic to the Holocene) are exposed in Virginia, making W&M an exceptional location for learning about active geologic processes and Earth history.

Degree Programs

Majors may choose their concentration: general geology or environmental geology.


Our courses include Weather, Climate & Change, Reading the Earth, Age of Dinosaurs, and Environmental Geochemistry. See the Undergraduate Catalog to explore the complete list of Geology courses.


Our students make meaningful research contributions, both in the field and in the laboratory. All Geology majors complete a year-long senior research project that commonly involves a combination of field, laboratory, and analytical work. Students present the results of their research at the department's weekly Brown Bag seminars, and at professional meetings such as the American Geophysical Union and Geological Society of America. Our field experiences provide realistic training and take students all over Virginia and to other regions of the U.S. and the world.

Student Activities

Sigma Gamma Epsilon and Geology Club are active at W&M.


The problem-solving and analytical thinking required in geology can be applied in many disciplines. In 2017, Forbes Magazine ranked geology among the top ten most marketable degrees you can pursue. Our recent graduates are pursuing advanced degrees at universities across the country. Others are working as environmental geologists, petroleum geologists, GIS analysts, and earth science teachers and have accepted positions with the Peace Corps, NASA ,and the National Park Service.

Talk to Us

Want to know more? Our current students and faculty want to connect with you.

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