The Professional Geology concentration prepares students for a career in Geology immediately upon graduation or for graduate studies in Geology.  Students take fundamental geology courses such as Mineralogy, Petrology and Structural Geology as well as more specialized courses such as Hydrogeology and Economic Geology.  Depending on student aspirations there are also requirements for Math and Physics coursework.  Recent graduates have found work in geotechnical and environmental consulting firms, state and federal agencies and the energy and mining industries, and have been accepted to MS and PhD graduate programs nationwide.

For more information, please see the Academic Catalog. A program map, which provides a guide for students to plan their course of study, is available for download in the Courses tab below.

  • Overview

    Geology is the study of Earth including its structure, the materials of which it is composed and the processes that shape it. Geology is also concerned with the history of Earth and its life forms, the application of geologic knowledge to the search for natural resources, and understanding how humans interact with our physical environment.  It is the study of rocks, minerals and water; of fossils, shorelines and mountains; of earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides. Although geology incorporates elements of chemistry, biology and physics it puts them together in a way that provides a unique framework for understanding planet earth. 

    Program Location

    Carrollton Campus

    Method of Delivery

    Face to Face


    The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    Credit and transfer

    Total semester hours required: 120

  • Cost

    This program may be earned entirely face-to-face. However, depending on the courses chosen, a student may choose to take some partially or fully online courses.

    Save money

    UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited universities of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen.


    • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
    • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
    • Face-to-face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
    • Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
    • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
    • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, he/she will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
    • For cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Bursar's Office website

    There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.

  • Courses



    Area F - 18 credits GEOL 1121+1121L, GEOL 1122+1122L, CHEM 1211K. Choose one from: BIOL 1107+Lab, CHEM 1212+Lab, MATH 1634, 2644, PHYS 1111, 1112, 2211, 2212

    • GEOL-3004 - Field Geology and Geologic Mapping

      A practical course that familiarizes students with basic instruments and techniques used by Geologists to collect structural, stratigraphic, topographic and other data in the field.

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    • GEOL-3014 - Mineralogy and Crystallography

      The origin and physical properties of the more common minerals and their crystal forms. Megascopic recognition of specimens, their mineral associations, and a brief introduction to modern x-ray diffraction. CHEM 1211 may be taken concurrently.

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    • GEOL-3024 - Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

      A study of the classification and origin of igneous, and metamorphic rocks. The geologic processes that form these rocks are studied by examining rock samples in the field and laboratory using hand sample, microscopic, and chemical techniques. Petrologic problems are studied at the local, regional, and global scales.

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    • GEOL-3034 - Structural Geology

      The recognition, description, and interpretation of primary and secondary rock-structures. Laboratory and field periods will be spent using both graphical and instrumental techniques necessary for describing and interpreting common structural deformation features. In addition to laboratory and classroom examples, each student is required to complete a lithologic and structural mapping project.

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    • GEOL-3053 - Sedimentary Petrology

      The description, classification and interpretation of sedimentary rocks. Using observations from modern sediments, and hand specimens and thin sections of sedimentary rocks, students will apply the principle of uniformity to interpret sedimentary processes and environments.

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    • GEOL-4082 - Geological Problems

      Detailed assignments in specific areas of geology. Satisfies deficiencies or permits in-depth pursuit of the student's research in particular geological topics. Title to be supplied at the time of offering.

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    • GEOL-4084 - Hydrogeology

      An investigation of groundwater and the earth's hydrologic cycle. Examines the physical aspects of groundwater occurrence and movement, and provides an introduction to contaminant transport and chemical hydrogeology. Lab exercises will acquaint students with hydrogeology field methods and equipment.

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    • GEOL-4501 - Geology Seminar

      A program of study, discussion, readings, and presentations concerning the significant interrelationships of a wide variety of basic geological concepts. Topics may also include career paths, licensing and other matters concerning the profession of Geology. Advanced geology students, faculty, and outside speakers interact within a seminar framework designed to increase the geological maturity of the students.

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    • GEOL-4604 - Economic Geology

      Introduction to geology and economics of non-energy mineral resources. Emphasis placed on the descriptive geology and origin of economic mineral concentrations within the context of their overall geologic settings. Lab exercises will involve identification and characterization of representative ore suites from important mineral deposits. Students will complete a research project on exploring for or developing a major ore deposit or mineral/rock resource. A fieldtrip is anticipated to examine the geology, exploration methodology, development, and permitting issues related to mineral/rock production. Students will also prepare for and take the National Association of State Boards of Geology, Fundamentals of Geology (FG) professional licensing exam.

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    Major Required

    In addition to the below, 0-12 upper level electives approved by advisor.

    • CHEM-1212 - Principles of Chemistry II

      Second course in a two-semester sequence covering the fundamental principles and applications of chemistry for science majors. Topics to be covered include chemical bonding, properties of solids, liquids and gases, solutions, equilibria, acids and bases, solubility, thermodynamics, kinetics and electricity. Corequisite: CHEM 1212L

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    • GEOL-2002 - Applied Computing for Geosciences

      An introduction to computer hardware, software and techniques used for acquiring, storing, analyzing, and presenting scientific data, particularly geologic and hydrologic data. Emphasis will be placed on commonly used and widely available software such as word processing, spreadsheet and database programs as well as mapping and drafting programs commonly used in the sciences.

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    • GEOL-4024 - Paleontology

      Classification, biology, distribution and diversity of major invertebrate animals with a fossil record. The course is designed to integrate modern biological concepts as applied to fossil organisms. Students will study fossil organisms to develop an understanding of the principles of evolution, stratigraphic correlation, and paleoecology.

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    • GEOL-4033 - Stratigraphy and Geochronology

      Examines the various ways to constrain time in the geologic record, within the context of local, regional, and global change. Students will explore aspects of tectonic, biological and chemical evolution, mainly in sedimentary basins. Students will acquire broad knowledge of major stratigraphic tools and will understand their applications.

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    • GEOL-4044 - Engineering Geology

      Introduction to principles of soil and rock mechanics. Discussion and experimental exercises ranging from basic field identification to advanced procedures for estimating soil rock mechanical properties.

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    • GEOL-4084 - Hydrogeology

      An investigation of groundwater and the earth's hydrologic cycle. Examines the physical aspects of groundwater occurrence and movement, and provides an introduction to contaminant transport and chemical hydrogeology. Lab exercises will acquaint students with hydrogeology field methods and equipment.

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    • MATH-1634 - Calculus I

      The first of a three-course sequence in calculus. Limits, applications of derivatives to problems in geometry and the sciences (physical and behavioral). Problems which lead to anti-derivatives.

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    • MATH-2644 - Calculus II

      A continuation of MATH 1634. The definite integral and applications, calculus of transcendental functions, standard techniques of integration, sequences and series.

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  • Faculty
  • Admissions

    Guidelines for Admittance

    Each UWG online degree program has specific requirements that you must meet in order to enroll.

    Application Deadlines

    Undergraduate Priority Deadlines

    Fall Semester - June 1
    Spring Semester - November 15
    Summer Semester - May 15

    Admission Process Checklist

    Check your Application Status


    Contact the Office of Admissions for additional information.

  • Dates

    Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate only), Financial Aid, Fee Payments, Registration, Start/End of term, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP.

  • Objectives
    • Demonstrate understanding of the fundamental principles of the science of geology.
    • Demonstrate abilty to perform basic geologic field tasks including map reading/construction, field notebook composition, outcrop description, sampling, and surveying.
    • Demonstrate ability to communicate geologic ideas in written format.
    • Demonstrate ability to communicate geologic ideas in oral format.
    • Participate in original scientific research.