Why study geology at UND?

Application Deadlines
Aug. 16
Dec. 15
May 1

Geologists take the best from other sciences and apply it to the study of Earth. They investigate Earth materials, the properties and structures of those materials, Earth processes and evolution, the history of our planet, and natural hazards and related phenomena.

The metals that go into our electronics. The energy that powers our society. The fundamental answers about the nature of our planet itself. Geologists are responsible for helping find each of these things, as well as answers about the fundamental forces that made our planet.

Geology Research Opportunities

Our students enjoy excellent and dedicated faculty, small classes, and are provided many opportunities for hands-on experiences, including a five-week field camp. Much of geology is done outdoors, and most of our classes involve field work that takes students and instructors to spectacular places in our region.

10-day spring trips provide opportunities to study geology in farther away places. Recent trips have gone to the warm southwest, to Hawaii, and to Belize. Our faculty interests span the globe, and students have the opportunity to join faculty in research projects, including, most recently, projects in Antarctica.

All students compete authentic research projects and write a senior thesis, so they develop the skills need for successful careers after college.

UND Geology Program

  • Gain the skills necessary to launch your career in industry, teaching or government, or pursue advanced study.

  • Undergrads are eligible for more than a dozen scholarships specifically earmarked for students in the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering.

  • The four-story, 70,000-square-foot Leonard Hall is specifically designed for geology and geoengineering.

  • Network, travel and find other opportunities by joining clubs such as the Association of University of North Dakota Geologists or Sigma Gamma Epsilon, the national geoscience honor society.

  • Access the largest geoscience library in the upper Midwest, which contains 100,000 maps and 50,000 volumes. 

  • Travel to exotic geological formations on 10-day spring break excursions with student clubs.

Geology Careers 


Median annual salary for geoscientists*

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Expected job growth for geoscientists from 2016-2026*

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

A geology degree is the gateway to careers in a wide range of fields. Employers include:

  • Environmental and engineering geology companies
  • Federal government
  • Laboratories
  • Mining and mineral industries
  • Oil and gas industry
  • State geological surveys
  • Universities and colleges
  • High schools and middle schools

Typical careers include:

  • Geologist
  • Operations geologist
  • Biostratigrapher
  • Senior geologist
  • Maturation geologist
  • Structural geologist
  • Sedimentologist
  • Stratigrapher

UND Geology Alumni

Geology alumni have gone on to a variety of successful careers with:

  • Center for Energy and Environment
  • Altru Health System
  • Big Rock Exploration, LLC
  • Insight Environmental, Inc.
  • North Dakota State Water Commission

Geology Courses You Could Take

Leaders in Action

By visiting sites across North Dakota geology students can learn through hands-on experience.