Majoring in Geolgoy at Idaho State University

 Majoring in Geology at ISU


The First Step: Graduating from High School and Getting Accepted into ISU’s Geology Program

            There are many steps and processes necessary for becoming a geologist here at ISU.   Ge-ology is a hard field of study and work.   The first step is graduating from high school with a recommended GPA of at least a 3.0.   This goes hand in hand with taking the SAT college entrance exams and getting a high enough score to get into college.  Depending on one’s high school GPA the higher one’s GPA was in high school, the lower the SAT scores can be to still get into the geology program here at Idaho State University.  However, it is always better to have both a higher GPA from high school and SAT score upon applying for the geology program at Idaho State University.   Below is information about the Earth and Environmental Systems Curriculum which includes geology for Idaho State University.


Undergraduate Information:

            The ISU Geosciences Department helps to train students for either professional positions in the field of geology or for higher levels of study as graduate students.   Most of the upper level courses include field trips and hands-on opportunities out in the field.   ISU offers a geology field camp for six weeks during the early part of the summer to help students get the best outdoor field geology education and experience.   It is nationally recognized as being one of the leading geolo-gic field camps where students from all over the country come to do field work.

            When applying for a geologic carrier at Idaho State University, a student has the option to indicate a preference for a geology major, which isn’t the same as getting a major in geosciences. Upon taking the necessary step for getting a major in geology, a visit to the main office in the department is a must.   There, a student will need to fill out a declaration form and get with an advisor to outline a plan of study and work.

            Finally, there are a few prerequisites for taking upper level geology classes.  Students will need to take Geology 100, 101, and 110 and pass all these classes with at least a “C” grade.  Also students need to take his or her core requirements of English, Speech and Math classes.  Below is ISU’s Geology Field Camp where students will get hands-on experience of doing work out in the field.

Degree Options for Geosciences at ISU

            At ISU, students can obtain undergraduate degrees with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Geology.   With a Bachelor of Arts, students can get a broader liberal arts or more of a multi-disciplinary science degree.  Most students who graduate with a BA degree may wish to be Earth Science teachers, environmental science majors, or other professionals who want to learn a lot more about how the Earth is what it is in a scientific realm.

            Students going for a Bachelor of Science Degree at ISU often become professional geologists and often go onto Graduate School.  Students with a Bachelor of Science Degree get hands-on experiences in the observational and analytical aspects of field geology work.   Students going for a B.S. Degree may also be introduced to applied work in petrology, geochemistry and/or geo-technology.   A Bachelor of Science degree gives students more broad and comprehensive grasps in geology along with more of a firm foothold in upper level math, physics, and chemistry.  Field Camp is included with a B.S. Degree in the Geosciences department.  Below is a geology map of Idaho where many geology students from ISU study and work.

Getting a Master’s Degree in Geology at Idaho State University

            The students in the graduate program here at Idaho State University often get their graduate degree in four or five semesters.  During the first year as a graduate, a student is busy with intense coursework and may be a teacher’s assistance for various undergraduate classes.   The next year often involves field research and doing a thesis on a selected geologic topic or region.

            Those applying for a Master’s Degree need to have already graduated with a B.A. or B.S. Degree in Geology from Idaho State or another university.  Not all graduate students at ISU were undergrads at ISU.   A graduate student’s course of study, is often predetermined by consultation and possible an entrance exam.   Most all graduate students at Idaho State University got a Bachelor of Science degree either from ISU or another school.  To remain in the graduate program the student must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.



            A number of steps must be taken in order to get accepted into the ISU geosciences gradu-ate program.  First a letter of intent and a statement of goals for Graduate School must be submit-ted by mid-January for starting next Fall.  Three letters of recommendation should also be mailed the geosciences department at ISU.  Next, GRE aptitude scores with at least being in the 50th per-centile range is a must.  Finally, an ISU Graduate School Application Form with GRE test scores and an official transcript must be submitted to the Graduate School office with an application fee by mid-January.


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Comments (3)

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