Welcome to the IU Northwest Department of Geosciences

The Department of Geosciences at IU Northwest offers degrees in both Geology and Environmental Science. Both degree paths focus on the scientific study of the Earth and offer learning experiences through the traditional lecture, laboratory, and seminar as well as field experience and independent research. The degrees furnish training for:

  • Those who desire to become professional geoscientists and seek careers in industry, in research laboratories, or in federal or state geological surveys.  
  • Those who wish to teach earth science at the secondary school level of education.
  • Those who seek a general knowledge of the geosciences and their relationship to the other sciences.

The department stresses hands-on experiences through field trips to local sites and to geologically intriguing areas of North America. Each course for majors includes a field trip. Further, the department conducts a regional field trip to a National Park in the U.S. after the spring semester every other year. Most of our majors also undertake research projects under direct mentorship of our faculty.

The Department of Geosciences at IU Northwest also offers students the opportunity to pursue the IU Online Collaborative degree in Sustainability Studies. This degree path focuses more broadly on the study of climate, energy, geography, history, sociology, and economics to understand the complex environmental problems of today.

Program Specifics

Geology (B.S., B.A., or minor)

Geology is the scientific study of the Earth, including its materials and resources, the physical and chemical processes that occur on its surface and in its interior, the development of landforms, and the methods for studying the planet. Our faculty have specializations in both physical and historical geology with research interests covering subjects such as hydrogeology, paleontology, petrology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, seismology and volcanology.

Environmental Science (B.S.)

This interdepartmental program involving Geosciences, Biology, and Chemistry provides a rigorous interdisciplinary background in the natural science segment of the environmental sciences, combined with a substantial background in the allied disciplines of physics and mathematics, and coursework in environmental affairs. Students choose coursework along two disciplines for an interdepartmental concentration area.

Sustainability Studies (B.A.)

This degree is part of the collaborative degree program offered by Indiana University. This 100 percent online, consortial program is taught by IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. This consortial model allows students to take coursework from several campuses and learn from a wide range of faculty. While there are certain required courses such as Foundations in Sustainability, students have flexibility to choose coursework that falls within specific categories such as Sustainability Science, Social and Behavioral Foundations of Sustainability, and Sustainability in the Arts and Humanities

Career Opportunities

The work and career paths of geoscientists can vary widely because the field of geosciences is broad and diverse. Graduates often continue their careers in graduate school or find employment in the private sector, government, environmental science and related fields, and teaching/education.

Graduates with a B.S. in environmental science will be well prepared to pursue careers in gradu­ate school or employment in the private sector, government, environmental science and related fields, environmental law, environmental policy, environmental health, and teaching.

Graduates with a B.A. in sustainability studies will have a broad background that prepares them to pursue careers in gradu­ate school or employment in the private sector in positions related to environmental advocacy, energy management, sustainability program coordination, environmental specialist, or sustainability policy.

For More Information

Browse the links above and visit the individual program pages to learn about degree and course requirements, students clubs and activities, and more.

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Geosciences at IU Northwest!