Did you search for fossils or collect rocks as a child? Did you enjoy earth sciences in school? Have these interests evolved into curiosity about the workings of earth’s natural systems and geological time?
If so, consider a major in geoscience. You’ll learn about Earth and prepare for a career working with the earth’s materials and the processes that shape them.
Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college.
Students majoring in geoscience earn a BA or a BS degree.
The BA in geoscience offers students a background in the Earth sciences and related scientific disciplines, and is designed for flexibility in potential career paths. The department focuses training in the areas of environmental geology, geochemistry, geophysics, paleontology, stratigraphy, tectonics, basin analysis, surficial processes, petrology, and volcanology. Students gain field experience along with classroom learning. The BA program is good preparation for secondary school teaching.
The BS in geoscience offers students an extensive and comprehensive background in the Earth sciences and related scientific disciplines, and is geared toward a career in the geosciences. Strengths of the department include environmental geology, geochemistry, geophysics, paleontology, stratigraphy, tectonics, basin analysis, surficial processes, petrology, and volcanology. Students gain extensive field experience and training, and are able to integrate field studies and analytical research, with knowledge gained in the classroom. Opportunities are provided for local, regional, and international field experiences as well as for individual research projects. The BS program prepares students for employment and graduate study in geoscience.
Students in both programs take required field-mapping courses. Field trip courses include Geology Field Trip (during spring break), selected National Parks, and Natural Science Session at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory.
Geoscience majors also must complete the requirements of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.
While earning a BA or a BS, you will have the option to conduct independent research. You'll work on a current departmental research project or a project of your own, and your work will be guided by an established researcher in the department.
See Geoscience in the UI General Catalog to learn more about the course requirements for the major or minor and graduating with honors.
Teaching Licensure in Earth Science
If you are interested in teaching earth science at the secondary level, you will need to complete the College of Education’s Teacher Education Program in addition to the geoscience degree.