About Our Program
Through rigorous hands-on learning, our geology program empowers you to become a better observer and steward of the natural world and its many resources. You’ll seek academic adventures beyond the classroom and conduct research that could take you anywhere--from the heart of the Adirondack Park to field sites across the globe. What you learn and observe will inform your responses to some of today’s most pressing issues, like resource scarcity and climate change.
In the process, you’ll form connections with faculty mentors who are as invested in your research as you are. You’ll also join an active and close-knit alumni network eager to share its experiences and help you understand the different ways you can turn your undergraduate passions into rewarding career paths.
Learning Experiences to Prepare for Your CareerAt its core, geology requires hands-on research and observation in the field. Our North Country location includes world-class geologic sites, and we offer plenty of off-campus trips for students curious to compare and contrast diverse environments.
Conduct Award-Winning Research
Geology majors at St. Lawrence are known for producing high-caliber, graduate-level research on topics that they’re passionate about. As a result, students like Claire Bartlett ’21 have a long history of earning top honors when presenting their research at professional conferences such as the Geological Society of America Conference. In 2020, Claire won the National Council Award for her work analyzing data from downed trees in the Adirondack Park.
The geology department offers ample opportunities to secure funding for your research—and there are no limits on where it might take you, from mountains in North Dakota to lagoons in Honduras, and lakes, forests, highlands, and lowlands across the North Country.
Nature Up North
This community-based organization housed at St. Lawrence connects people to the North Country environment through citizen scientist projects and outdoor adventures—and it offers internship and volunteer opportunities for geology majors like you.
Learn by doing in a real-world environment. Our majors intern with a wide range of organizations, including:
- Upper Saranac Lake Foundation
- Isotope Lab at the Memorial University of Newfoundland
- Gardenshare Canton, N.Y.
- U.S. Geological Survey
St. Lawrence University Geology Alumni Conference (SLUGAC)
Geology alumni are eager to give back, and many do so through SLUGAC. Held every three years, this on-campus conference welcomes generations of alumni back to campus to share their career experiences and connect with current students.
Choose from more than 30 semester-long programs offered in more than 20 international locations, including Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and Costa Rica.
Short-Term Trips & Field Experiences
Hands-on fieldwork in our department includes exposure to diverse environments across the country and world. You’ll have several opportunities to embark on weeklong off-campus trips every year, plus many more day trips to world-class geologic sites in St. Lawrence’s backyard.
Among the 150+ clubs and organizations at St. Lawrence, you’ll find many that involve the outdoors, wildlife and environmental advocacy, including:
- Outing Club
- Environmental Action Organization
- Sigma Gamma Epsilon Earth Sciences Honor Society
- CLAW - Connecting Laurentians Around Wilderness
- The Finer Things Cheese and Turophile Society
- Seed to Table
- St. Lawrence River Alliance
- The Greenhouse
- Model U.N.
- Divestment Club
- Geology Club
- Euphrates Institute
- SLU Legal
Why St. Lawrence for Geology
of St. Lawrence geology majors are employed or continuing their education within a year
The number of weeklong trips to places like Jamaica or Norway offered per year
miles to Ottawa, Canada, home of the Isotope Geochemistry and Geochronology Research Centre at Carleton University, where you’ll have opportunities to complete lab work
The number of alumni you’ll have an opportunity to connect with at the Geology Alumni Conference every three years
trips to the Arizona Laserchron Center in Tucson to conduct geochronological analysis with a faculty member
miles from world-class geologic sites in the Adirondack Park
Your Outdoor Classroom
St. Lawrence County and Adirondack Mountains host some of the best sites for the collection and study of rare mineral samples.
Years, the age of ancient rocks in the Adirondack Park, the oldest in New York State.
Recent Employment Opportunities
- Mohawk Valley GIS
- Development Authority of the North Country
- Arcadis Engineering
- California Conservation Corps
- New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
- American Museum of Natural History
Recent Graduate School Placements
- Tufts University
- University of Vermont
- Syracuse University
- Montana State University
- University of Arizona
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Program Requirements & Courses
Geology major requirements, as well as electives and popular double major combinations.
Complementary and Related Programs
Meet Our Faculty
“We tend to treat our students more as graduate students than undergraduates. Our expectations are high, but they always rise to the occasion.”
“I’ve conducted research on clay-rich landslides on Mars with my mentor and an alumna. To be able to work in my area of interest—planetary science—so early in my academic career has been an invaluable experience for my growth as an aspiring geologist.”
Expert, Passionate Faculty
Several of your faculty literally wrote the book on Adirondack geology. They’re excited to help you explore compelling geologic sites in your backyard, throughout the country, and across the globe.
The Power of Connections
St. Lawrence geology alumni are eager to give back and show current students all they can do with their degree. Many attend the department’s Geology Alumni Conference, held every three years, to mentor students on applying to graduate school or finding career opportunities.
What's In Your Toolkit?
Everything you’ll need to prepare and analyze rock samples is on campus including rock saws and crushers, petrographic microscopes, a scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive analysis (SEM-EDS), an x-ray diffractometer (XRD), and an x-ray fluorescence spectrophotometer (XRF).
Connect With a Current StudentNo one knows our program better than our current students. Connect with a Geology major to learn about their faculty mentors, favorite classes, or unique experiences. No question is too big or too small—ask away!
Frances Whyte (she/her)
- Bronxville, New York
- Proctor Academy
- Geology major
L.I.G.H.T. House, Ruckus Bus Ultimate Frisbee Team, Geology Teaching Assistant, Outing Program Guide, Munro Family Climbing Wall Staff
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We’re excited to learn more about you, tell you more about our interdisciplinary academic programs, show you around our beautiful campus, and help you navigate your college search.