The undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Geology is a rigorous program that is designed to both prepare students for entry into the workforce as practicing geoscientists, and to provide them with the knowledge required to pursue an advanced degree. Students enrolled in the Geology program are afforded the opportunity to pursue interests in several areas of specialization, including: petrology, volcanology, structural geology, sedimentary geology, economic geology, hydrology, soil science, climate change, petroleum geology, and paleontology. A critical component of this degree program is a field-based capstone project in which students must demonstrate their ability to interpret a natural system and communicate their understanding in a professional manner.


For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Geology program students will be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Identify common rock-forming minerals and major rock types in hand specimen and thin section, and describe the conditions under which each of them formed.  This will include being able to describe the chemical characteristics of various types of rocks. 
  • Identify the common types of fossils and how they are used to reconstruct the evolution of life on earth.
  • Be able to recognize the major types of geologic structures and use these to reconstruct the tectonic history of a region.
  • Describe the major processes and landforms of the earth’s surface. 
  • Describe the plate-tectonic history of the earth and the relationship between plate tectonic processes and mountain building.
  • Reconstruct the sedimentological framework and stratigraphic history of a well-exposed stratigraphic record.
  • Demonstrate sufficient quantitative and writing skills, and proficiencies in computers and multi-media systems for application in the analysis and presentation of geologic concepts.
  • Apply the techniques of at least two specializations within the field of geology to the solution of appropriate research or applied problems.
  • Demonstrate the ability to function independently, collaboratively, and ethically with others in the profession as colleagues and supervisors through project-based course work, participation in wider department functions.
  • Complete a culminating experience in which students construct a geologic map on a topographic base and cross section, interpret the geologic history, and write a professional quality report on the geology of the area.  Through the field geology course, students will also demonstrate the ability to recognize, formulate, employ, and interpret the scientific methodology, and employ critical thinking skills. 
  • Recognize the role of humans in Earth Systems, and our dependency and influence on the Earth Systems.

Career Possibilities


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Bachelor of Science in Geology


Department of Geoscience

Geoscience is an all-encompassing term used to refer to the earth sciences. The Department of Geosciences offers programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels where students can learn about topics such as earth processes; the origin and evolution of our planet; the chemical and physical properties of minerals, rocks, and fluids; the structure of our mobile crust; the history of life; and the human adaptation to earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and floods.


College of Sciences

The School of Life Sciences offers programs that meet the needs of students intending to enter the workforce or pursue advanced training in the sciences, medicine, and other professional and technical fields. We provide a well-rounded foundation in natural, physical, and mathematical sciences that can set students up for successful careers and professional programs.