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What is Geology?

Catastrophic hurricanes, river flooding, earthquakes, volcanoes, or tsunamis could severely endanger communities and insfrastructures nearby. The Science of Geology studies how we can mitigate their impact. Also, resource shortages and climate change make the study of Geology critical.

By pursuing a degree in Geology you will investigate the history, the prsent, and the future evolution of the Earth and other celestial bodies.

Geology is inherently interdisciplinary. Our undergraduate degree in geology prepares you for a wide variety of scientific and technical jobs. As a geology major, you can choose a concentration in petroleum geology or environmental geology to explore the fields you're really interested in.

Students at field camp in the desert.

Though geology clearly has its own unique subject matter, it also requires principles and methodologies from other sciences  — from the study of Earth to the history of life on Earth. So an understanding of geology requires a basic background in math, physics, chemistry, biology, and material science.

To study the Earth itself, however, we geologists need thorough training in these different fields, the specific problems in geology, and the practical aspects of the geological field and laboratory work.


Why Should I Choose Geology?

  • Broaden your perspective of time and existence
  • Hands-on learning, both in class and outside adventures
  • You can travel: Students can attend local, regional, national professional meetings, often with special student discounts.
  • Field trips are offered on regular and occasional basis, visiting local, national, & international areas like:
    • Big Bend, Guadalupe National Parks, TX
    • White Sands National Monument, NM
    • Arches, Canyonlands National Parks, UT
    • Colorado National Monument
    • Devil’s Tower, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons National Parks, WY
    • Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park, SD


Location, Location, Location

If you are interested in studying geology, UL Lafayette offers something especially valuable, in addition to outstanding faculty members and a strong curriculum: location!

It's in Lafayette, the hub of Louisiana's oil industry. So why is that important?

For starters, several major oil companies have large offices here, and actively support UL Lafayette's Geology Department with money for equipment and scholarships. They provide access to information for course work and student projects; some of their employees are guest lecturers. Many hire UL Lafayette geology students for part-time positions.

Lafayette is also home to a large number of smaller oil companies, oil field service companies, environmental companies, and independent geologists. To give you a perspective of the scope of opportunities, there are more than 300 geologists in Lafayette!


You'll Get Your Hands Dirty

UL Lafayette's Geology program emphasizes field experience. South Louisiana — with its rivers, deltas, swamps, marshes, and beaches — is a natural laboratory for studying modern sedimentary processes.

You will also take field trips to other parts of the country to study outcrops of older rocks of all kinds. UL Lafayette-sponsored field trips have been also offered to Mexico, Canada, and Europe. You'll be strongly urged to participate in trips like these.

You'll also be required to attend summer field camp between your junior and senior years. Learn more about our field camp.


Plenty of Company

One result of a large geological community is a broad range of local organizations which offer technical meetings, short courses, and other support for UL Lafayette geology students.

The Lafayette Geological Society, the Southwest Louisiana Geophysical Society, the Lafayette chapter of the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists, and the Lafayette chapter of the Society of Professional Well Log Analysts all hold monthly meetings, which are open to students. The meetings usually include a technical presentation.

Sigma Gamma Epsilon, the national geological honor society, has a chapter at UL Lafayette. There is also an active American Association of Petroleum Geology (AAPG) Student Chapter and a student geological society.

The Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies holds its annual convention in Lafayette every few years. The convention offers a chance to network with geology professionals in addition to providing extra learning opportunities.