Top 5 Graduate Programs: Geology

The Grand Canyon is a geologic testament to the wonders of nature.

In an effort to not let my liberal arts bias permeate my every post, this week we will examine the top five programs in a truly scientific field of study: geology.

Geology, derived from the Greek gĂȘ, which means Earth, and logos, which means study, is the (surprise!) study of the Earth; specifically, it is the study of the rocks which make up the Earth and the process by which they evolve. People considering a graduate program for this titillatingly tectonic subject should also consider that according to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) the average annual salary of geologists has seen a 15% increase over the last 3 years. In fact, today’s average starting salary for a M.S. Geology graduate (0-2 years experience) is $99,000.

Salary aside, another important factor for students considering a graduate degree in geology is the current employment climate; like the rocks they study, a geologist’s job prospects are solid. According to the United States Department of Labor, the employment rate of geoscientists is projected to increase 21% from the year 2010 to 2020. There are a number of reasons for this, the main one being that the number of students expected to pursue a degree in geology is expected to remain constant while the demand for such experts is expected to increase.

“Granite”-d that’s all you might want to know about a potential future in geology, but of-“quartz” some of you will know Geology Rocks! and let me tell you the top 5 geology graduate programs in the country (according to US News).

#1) University of Arizona

#1) University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

#3) Pennsylvania State University – University Park

#3) University of Texas – Austin

#5) Stanford University


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