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Geology

Program Overview

Geoscientists seek to understand the Earth’s composition, natural systems, and history. Our understanding of processes such as earthquakes, volcanic activity, landslides, floods, land subsidence, coastal processes, and climate changes have a tremendous impact on human activity and, indeed, human life! Humans depend on Earth’s resources including surface and ground water, soils for growing crops and building materials, fossil and nuclear fuels, metallic and non-metallic building materials. Geoscientists work to find and manage such resources. Deciphering Earth’s long history may provide us with potential insights into our own future.

In addition to natural resource companies including the mining and fossil fuel industries, Geologists are routinely employed by research agencies including those in federal, state and local governments as well as non-profit organizations; geologic engineering, hydrological, and environmental consulting firms; and secondary schools, colleges and universities. Most entry level work requires a bachelor’s degree. Graduate degrees are often required for research and supervisory geologists as well as post-secondary faculty positions. Most graduate degrees focus on specialties including but not limited to geochemistry, geophysics, paleontology, planetary geology, geological/mining/petroleum engineering, and hydrology. Other fields/majors such as civil engineering, forestry, sustainability, and environmental sciences either require or strongly recommend some background courses in geology.

Many geoscientists spend some time in the field gathering samples, collecting data and/or determining spatial relationships. An office or laboratory environment is often used for data analysis and synthesis often using computers for the preparation of written reports, maps, and cross sections.

If the study of the Earth captivates you, please consider starting your career in the Geological Sciences!

Students at any Maricopa Community College may need to complete courses at more than one of our colleges.

Why Scottsdale Community College?

Do you enjoy looking at rocks and minerals? Are you fascinated by fossils and the evolution of Earth and life? Did you know that geologists are responsible for discovering the materials used in our modern technologies?  The geology program will provide students with the skills to discover, recognize and use the Earth’s natural resources to promote the quality of human life. Students will study Earth’s composition, history, surface processes, and internal workings. Study of geology leads to careers ranging from hydrologist, petroleum geologist, seismologist and volcanologist.

Students in the Geology program earn the Associate of Science, which prepares them for transfer to a four-year program. If students follow the correct transfer path, they enter transfer partner universities as junior. Courses are available in-person (day and evening) and online. Most students take a combination of in-person and online or hybrid courses to complete their Geology studies. 

Experiential Learning Opportunities

  • GEOS Club

Course Format

Classes are offered in a variety of formats: in-person, online, hybrid, day, evening, full-time and part-time.

Textbooks

Most of our courses use low-cost textbooks or no cost material provided by your instructors. General education courses may have textbooks that cost more.