Degrees Offered

The Department of Geological Sciences has seven degree options, anchored by fundamental courses taken by all majors during their first two to three years. Students enter as Geological Sciences entry level after completion of freshman requirements, can be admitted to one of the degree options. Faculty and academic advisors work with students to select the best option for them.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Geological Sciences Option I: General Geology

Geological science is a synthetic subject, drawing from geological subjects and concepts of chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics. This synthesis is reflected in the list of courses required for the B.S. General Geology degree, which emphasizes competency in the field. Like all of the B.S. options, the B.S. General is intended for professional geologists, teachers, and those planning graduate work. Firms in the energy sector dominate employment opportunities, but students find jobs in a range of areas and may end up working in government agencies,  consulting firms, and with service companies aiding the energy and mineral industries.
Degree Plans: 2016-20182014-2016 | 2012-2014 | 2010-2012 | 2008-2010

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Geological Sciences Option II: Geophysics

This option omits certain traditional subjects (such as paleobiology) and adds courses in math and physics. One branch of geophysics is seismic study of the deep Earth—a commercial application is seismic imaging of the Earth’s uppermost few kilometers for hydrocarbon explorations. Many geophysics option students seek employment in searching for hydrocarbons.
Degree Plans: 2016-20182014-2016 | 2012-2014 | 2010-2012 | 2008-2010

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Geological Sciences Option III: Hydrogeology

This option is oriented toward solving problems of societal need, especially groundwater retention. It is an increasingly popular option, with students heading to environmental engineering companies, government agencies, consulting and related firms engaged in protecting the environment and remediating environmental problems.
Degree Plans: 2016-20182014-2016 | 2012-2014 | 2010-2012 | 2008-2010

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Geological Sciences Option IV: Environmental Science and Sustainability

This option, which is no longer available through the 2010-1012 degree plan and which is being replaced by the new B.S. in Environmental Science, is designed to provide students with the skills and perspectives necessary to engage in an interdisciplinary scientific study of environmental issues, analysis and management. Its objective is to provide students with the broad foundational knowledge in the physical, life and social sciences necessary to pursue a career and/or graduate study in environmental science and related fields such as global change, land use management and conservation.
Degree Plans: 2010-2012 | 2008-2010

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Geological Sciences Option V: Teaching

This option is part of the innovative UTeach program at UT Austin, which prepares a graduate for science certification as a middle school or secondary school teacher in Texas. Students under this option are traditional majors in geological sciences but also take courses in biological science, pedagogy, and student teaching.
Degree Plans (Senior Grades): 2016-2018 | 2014-2016 | 2012-2014 | 2010-2012
Degree Plans (Middle Grades): 2016-2018 | 2014-2016 | 2012-2014 | 2010-2012

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Geosystems Engineering and Hydrogeology

Offered jointly by the College of Engineering and the Jackson School, this quantitatively rigorous degree is concerned with the behavior of fluids, both within the Earth and upon its surface. The first two years are spent in the Department of Geological Sciences and the final two years in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. Graduates seek employment with environmental, water resource management, and energy companies in addition to many government agencies. See the educational objectives and program outcomes for this degree.
Degree Plans: 2014-2016 | 2012-2014 | 2010-2012

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Geological Sciences

This option allows students to complete two majors. It can be tailored to meet interests ranging from musical study or the liberal arts to upper-division math, physics, or biology. While this degree forms an excellent starting point for other endeavors such as business management, environmental law, or medicine, students can also use the major to specialize more deeply in particular areas of the geosciences.
Degree Plans: 2016-20182014-2016 | 2012-2014 | 2010-2012 | 2008-2010