Students in class

A major in geology encompasses a blend of the physical and biological sciences but adds a fourth dimension of geologic time. You will engage in a field- and laboratory- oriented program of study that exposes you to the full spectrum of geological experiences. Research projects will carry you around the world to remote localities in Antarctica, Australia, South America, Canada, Europe and all of the world’s oceans.

Introductory courses are Dynamic Earth, focused on Earth’s structure, composition, and the physical processes that shape the Earth; and Evolution of the Earth, which treats the evolution of Earth and life from their origins to the present. Beyond those, dig deep in upper-level courses that emphasize mineralogy, geochemistry, rock origins, Earth structure and geophysics. All of these courses prepare you for a six-week summer field course.

Academics + Experience = Opportunities

Complement academic preparation with experiential learning, creating more opportunities after graduation. Talk to an academic advisor and a career coach about making the most of your time at Nebraska.


Four-year success plan
What to do each year


Major requirements and courses


Printable summary
With sample four-year schedule

Transferrable Career Skills

  • Read, understand, and critically review scientific information
  • Use quantitative analysis techniques
  • Analyze and explain data
  • Understand and operate within ethical framework for professional work in the field
  • Demonstrate ethical conduct in research activities
  • Communicate results of scientific experiments to scientific and non-scientific audiences
  • Make predictions using mathematical, statistical, and scientific modeling methods
  • Understand and use proper laboratory and technical skills and instruments
  • Understand and utilize a variety of research methodologies
  • Conduct and present research to large and small groups


Experience is valuable and goes beyond the classroom. We strive to help you connect your academics with research, internships, education abroad, service learning and leadership experiences in geology, such as:

  • Interning with the United States Geological Survey
  • Learn more about internships
  • Studying abroad in Ireland to learn about Economic and Exploration Geology
  • Learn more about education abroad
  • Serving as the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) president
  • Learn more about getting involved in student organizations


The employment outlook in geology is excellent, especially in petroleum geology and environmental geology. Several topical issues present challenges—and employment opportunities—for geologists, including decreasing energy, mineral and water resources; increasing concerns about protecting the environment; climate change and its effect on sea level, coastal erosion and flooding; and predicting and mitigating natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and landslides.

Examples of Alumni Careers

  • Drafter, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Geologist, Fulbright
  • Geologist, Marathon Oil Company
  • Geotechnician, Whiting Petroleum Corp.
  • Hydrogeologist, U.S. Geologic Survey
  • Mud-logger, Selman and Associates
  • Quality Assurance Departures Specifications, Epsilon Systems Solutions
  • Researcher, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Well Site Geologist, Columbine Logging

Examples of Graduate Schools Attended by Alumni

  • Master's Degree, Geology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Master's Degree, Geosciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Master's Degree, Education, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Master's Degree, Geophysics, California Institute of Technology
  • Master's Degree, Hydrogeology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Master's Degree, Geology, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Ph.D., Geology, University of Michigan
  • Master's Degree, Geology, University of Kansas
  • Master's Degree, Geophysics, California Institute of Technology
  • Master's Degree, Geology, University of Arizona
Claire Richardson

“Studying geology allows me to combine my adoration for the outdoors and adventure with my craving for understanding and scientific appreciation. Solving puzzles about the earth allows me to nurture the sense of awe that I have always felt for it, and having the flexibility to work both in the lab and in the field is very fulfilling.”

Claire Richardson

Geology at Nebraska

Contact Us


Academic and Career Advising Center
107 Oldfather Hall