The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geosciences is a new undergraduate degree program founded in 2004. The degree prepares students for a wide variety of careers and/or graduate studies. The degree requires successful completion of 128 semester hours, including: (1) the Program of General Studies (32-38 hours); (2) the Core Requirements in geology, computer cartography, chemistry, and mathematics listed below (56 hours); and (3) one of the three elective concentrations listed below (16 hours). The Core Requirements and elective concentration must be completed with a minimum combined GPA of 2.0 (C).
CORE REQUIRMENTS (56 hours):
ELECTIVE CONCENTRATIONS (16 hours: Choose one of the three options below):
For career interests in geology, environmental geosciences, or hydrogeology: Students interested in either professional careers as geologists / hydrogeologists or graduate programs should take one year of physics and calculus. Because of our small college setting and smaller program size, we are able to provide independent research experiences for qualified students that are usually not available at large institutions. Completion of an original geologic or environmental research project (Geol 450-453) is viewed favorably by employers and graduate schools. Nearly all geology students in graduate programs are awarded assistantships or fellowships that pay a salary and provide a complete waiver of out-of-state tuition.
Double major in Environmental Geosciences and Geography: Students selecting at least 9 hours of geography courses as part of an elective concentration in geography and GIS may be able to obtain a double major in both Environmental Geosciences (B.S. degree) and Geography (B.A. degree) by completing as few as 10-16 additional hours of course work in geography: 9 hours of regional geography courses (GEOG 250), the geography capstone, and Geog 101 & 200 (introductory courses which also count as general studies electives). If this option is elected, Geog 300 should be used for an Environmental Geoscience elective concentration in Geography and GIS. An additional 6 hours of coursework (Math 105 and 201) will satisfy requirements for the area of emphasis in Cartography and Geographic Information Systems. Students interested in a double major should plan carefully and consult with their advisor to be sure the proper courses are taken.
Geoscience careers: An overview of career information for geoscientists can be found at the AGI web page. The February 2001 issue of Geotimes contains a current update on careers.
How many and which geology courses should you take? That depends on what you want to do. The American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) requires 36 semster hours of coursework in geology in order to become registered as a Certified Professional Geologist (C.P.G.). This represents the nominal amount of geology coursework that many employers will desire for a job candidate. At a minimum, most employers seeking geoscientists will expect an undergraduate degree in geoscience that includes upper-level course work in sedimentary geology, structural geology, field geology, environmental geology or hydrogeology, and mineralogy/petrology.
Professional licensure for geologists is not mandatory and only exists in a little over half of the states; however, it is becoming more and more common. Many practicing geologists eventually may desire to become licensed as a professional geologist (P.G.) after obtaining a few years of work experience because it can be very valuable for career advancement. Additional information on national licensure exams is provided by the National Association of State Boards of Geologists (ASBOG exam). If well planned, and rigorous science and geology electives are selected, your Concord degree should help prepare you to complete certification exams.ALTERNATIVES TO TRADITIONAL GEOSCIENCE EMPLOYMENT
Geoscience students often excel at a wide variety of jobs outside of the immediate field of geology, such as water resources management, environmental law, environmental regulation, GIS and computer systems management, corporate consulting and business managment, science writing, and government service. Geotimes editor S. Adams notes that geologists in alternative careers are highly succesful because of their varied experiences, range of skills, ability to generalize, ability to visualize, understanding of natural processes, ability to untangle jargon, and the qualities of being interdisciplinary, analytical, and quantitative. In short, geologists are able to organize complex, partially disguised problems - a primary skill that is used in science, business, government, and the environment.