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Geology Major

Geologists find the natural resources we need and protect the environment on which we depend. As a geology major, you’ll learn about the natural workings of our home planet and develop an appreciation for its rich geological history. Prepare yourself for entry into a geoscience career or graduate school, and come discover the Earth at SUNY Cortland.

Career Potential

  • Licensed professional geologist
  • Environmental or exploration geoscientist
  • Research or academic scientist

What Will I Learn?

  • Study the composition, structure, processes and history of Earth
  • Fieldwork and hands-on learning are infused throughout the program
  • Learn research skills for modern geology
  • Develop writing and presentation skills for professional development
  • Take course work in related math and sciences

Special Features

  • New laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation
  • Easy access to exceptional field sites in the Finger Lakes and beyond
  • Summer field geology at our own Brauer Field Station
  • Extensive collections of mineral, rock and fossil specimens
  • Internships with geologic companies and government agencies
  • Large, engaged alumni network in a wide range of positions

Get Involved

College is more than a classroom. Enhance your experience with extracurricular opportunities:

  • Work with a faculty member on research with opportunities to present your work regionally, nationally or even internationally
  • Become a lab teaching assistant or peer mentor to help other students and gain a deeper understanding of your courses
  • Volunteer for community service with local environmental and school groups

Student Club

Next Steps

Contact Us

Chair: David Barclay
Office: Bowers Hall, Room 37
Phone: 607-753-2815
Fax: 607-753-4973

Fast Facts

  • SUNY Cortland owns its own scenic gorge, Hoxie Gorge, just minutes from campus
  • The Cortland Geology Department runs summer programs in field geology at the Brauer Field Station near Albany in an area of outstanding fossil-rich Devonian rocks
  • Bear Swamp on the northwestern edge of Cortland County has a buried crater from a meteorite impact about 444 million years ago
  • The Finger Lakes near Cortland were eroded by an ice sheet and the deepest, Seneca Lake, has a bedrock bottom that is over 1,000 feet below sea level

Type of Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Credit Hours: 120


The Geology Department recognizes excellence by its students with four awards:

  • Maxwell Hawkins Award
  • Graham Heaslip Award
  • John L. Fauth Award
  • James Kradyna Award

Continuing students in the Geology program are eligible for four departmental scholarships:

  • Robert C. Brauer Memorial Scholarship
  • Dominion Scholarship
  • Kronman Family Scholarship
  • James Kradyna Summer Field Camp Scholarship

See all scholarship opportunities

Related Majors