Geological Sciences at South Carolina

The geological sciences major offers a comprehensive education of all elements of earth sciences.

What to Expect

As a geological sciences major, laboratory experience and field-based activities will enhance the vibrant and friendly academic environment. You will focus on the study of the Earth's dynamics and history, as well as its composition and the chemical, physical and biological changes that it undergoes. You can also choose to pursue a concentration in environmental geosciences or marine geology.

The department offers a broad range of specialties within geosciences such as sedimentology, stratigraphy and basin evolution; tectonics and structural geology; environmental geology and hydrogeology; igneous and metamorphic petrology; geophysics and seismology; oceanography, coastal and estuarine processes; paleoecology and paleontology; and paleoceanography and paleoclimatology.

You will also have the unique opportunity to complete a six-week field course in Colorado to get valuable hands-on experience. This opportunity synergizes your education in geology to understanding the Earth's formation in an observational setting.


Undergraduate Degree

B B.S. with a major in geological sciences

Within the College of Arts and Science and the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, geological sciences students can choose to pursue an intensive major in geological sciences by taking an additional 13 hours. You will also take additional courses depending on the concentration you choose to pursue.

The following courses fulfill some of the requirements for a major in geological sciences:

  • Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Basins
  • Internal Earth
  • Mountain Building: Structure and Tectonics
  • Earth Systems Through Time
  • Surface and Near Surface Processes
  • Processes of Global Environmental Change

Apply for Undergraduate Admission

Our Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides the most current information on the application process so you can check the requirements based on your current status and find university scholarships.


Graduate Degrees

In addition to the undergraduate degree, there is also a Master of Science and Ph.D offered in geological sciences.

M  M.S. in Geological Sciences

Graduate Director: Jay Pinckney, 803-777-7133,
Program Contact: Stephanie Bradley, 803-777-7170,

Application information for this degree is available through our Graduate School. 

D  Ph.D. in Geological Sciences

Graduate Director: Jay Pinckney, 803-777-7133,
Program Contact: Stephanie Bradley, 803-777-7170,

Application information for this degree is available through our Graduate School.

Explore Our Graduate School 

The Graduate School administers the application process for all of the university's doctoral, master’s, certificate and dual degree programs. Take a look at what you will need to do before you apply.