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Academic Programs

The study of geology at Florida State University emphasizes environmental geology, geochemistry, and hydrology and also has significant expertise in coastal, surficial, tectonic, and sedimentary geology; giving students the opportunity to study broadly in the discipline. Students interested in becoming a professional geologist enroll in the Environmental Science undergraduate degree and take coursework that qualifies them to sit for the Professional Geologist Exam and qualifies them for employment as a Federal or Florida State geologist. Geologists at Florida State University have unique facilities at their disposal.

Environmental Geology

Sedimentary geology, aqueous geochemistry, hydrology, coastal and marine geology

Environmental geology encompasses many traditional areas of geology, employing geologic principles and techniques to investigate and mitigate issues related to geohazards, development, land use practices, and the introduction of contaminants into the environment.


Cosmochemistry, stable isotopes, high-temp geochemistry, mantle geochemistry, aqueous geochemistry

Geochemistry applies chemistry to a wide variety of earth processes, such as investigating the composition/evolution of the earth's mantle, using chemistry of extraterrestrial samples to explore the formation of the solar system, determining isotopic distributions as evidence of past climates and environments, and exploring the sources and movement of contaminants in natural waters.


Hydrology, aquifer modeling, aqueous geochemistry, surface water processes, aquifer pollution

Hydrology uses mathematics and computer modeling to investigate how groundwater moves through rocks and sediments, how pollutants are transported and react with their surroundings, and how moving water transports sediment and reshapes the earth's surface.

Sedimentary Geology

Marine geology, coastal geology, paleontology, biostratigraphy, stratigraphy, sedimentology, sedimentary petrology, paleoecology, evolutionary paleontology

Sedimentary geology employs sediments and fossils to study past environments, analyzes microfossils to date earth materials and clarify evolutionary theory, quantifies the processes that shape coastal and other transitional environments, and deciphers the history of global change from marine sediments.


Structural geology, plate tectonics, orogenics, igneous and metamorphic petrology

Tectonics explores the developmental history of mountainous regions, investigates how plate tectonic processes reshape the continents, and studies rock formations to reveal past conditions in the deep crust and shallow mantle.


Ms. Michaela Lupiani ( is the primary contact for students interested in the Oceanography and Geology graduate degrees.

Geology Graduate Program General Guidelines

Geology Degree Information

FSU offers a undergraduate degree in Geology. Emphasis is on fundamental applications of chemistry, physics, biology, and the scientific method in the study of the earth; field experience is also stressed. Faculty members offer coursework in many areas of surficial, tectonic, environmental, and stratigraphic geology; hydrology; and geochemistry.

The undergraduate program is intended to provide a well-rounded introduction to the study of the Earth as well as to prepare the student for more advanced study in the fields of natural resources, environmental planning, oceanography, geophysics, and other earth science specialties.The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an overall 19% increase in geoscience-related occupations between 2006 and 2016, which is 9% faster than the growth rate for all U.S. occupations.

Various scholarships are offered (and part-time work is available) within Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, with the Florida Geological Survey of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and with other agencies of the state and federal governments.

Honors in the major can be earned by talented juniors and seniors by engaging in an independent project ending in an honors thesis. For requirements and other information, see the “University Honors Office and Honor Societies” chapter of this General Bulletin.

Graduates from this program are prepared to work in Geologic science, whether in government agencies, NGOs, or the private sector. They also provide a strong basis for graduate study in geology and interdisciplinary earth sciences.

Academic Guide for Undergraduate Geology

Academic Mapping

Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system to ensure that students are on course to earn their degrees in a timely fashion. The Geology undergraduate coursemap is found in the Academic Program Guide. The “sample schedule” on the left hand column of your academic map is a recommended schedule and is not required. However, during your academic career, you will also have to take “milestone” courses. These milestones will also be listed on your academic map in the right hand column. You must successfully complete these milestone courses by the end of the term listed.

Academic Map for Undergraduate Geology


Dr. Bill Parker ( is the primary contact for students interested in the Geology undergraduate program, and the departmental contact and liaison with the dean’s office for major change requests. Dr. Parker will sign off on all major change requests on behalf of the new major.

Link to Undergraduate Advising Information.

A student usually enters the doctoral program in Geology with a degree in a basic science and should have substantial undergraduate/masters work in at least one of the following or a related area: geology, chemistry, or physics. Applicants for graduate study will select an area of specialization in geology based on their undergraduate/masters work.

Students are admitted by a vote of the Geology Graduate Admissions Committee. Academic advising will be done by the Entrance Advisory Committee until the student decides on a faculty sponsor/advisor.

Research Assistantships are directed by the major professor and involve field and/or laboratory work on research projects awarded to the department. Teaching assistantship duties vary from grading to teaching lower and upper level labs, or lower level undergraduate courses depending on the interest and experience of the student. Stipend amounts depend of degree level, experience, duties and project funding. A full-time student, domestic or international, with an assistantship (teaching or research) qualifies for a tuition waiver. Waivers cover only tuition, remaining fees are paid by the student. Refer to the FSU’s tuition page and the University’s waiver policy for more information.

Doctoral candidates must complete 18 semester hours of coursework beyond that required for the MS degree (48 semester hours total), with considerable freedom in course load commensurate with their interest and prior training. At the Ph.D. level coursework must include a doctoral seminar (GLY 6982) each year for the first two years. The Department currently has no other specific curriculum requirements for Ph.D. students.

Degree Requirements:

  • Earn at least a B in all graduate courses taken
  • Pass the Preliminary Exam (GLY 8964)
  • Produce and publicly present a written prospectus
  • Enroll for a minimum of 24 semester hours of dissertation
  • Produce a written thesis and present a public defense of that work (GLY 8985)
  • Click here for the Geology Graduate Student Handbook
  • Click here for the University Graduate Bulletin

Admission Criteria:

  • 3.0 or better upper division GPA
  • 50th percentile for verbal part of GRE (currently 150 or above), and
  • 70th percentile for quantitative part of GRE (currently 155 or above)