Geology Department Overview

The Geology major at Wheaton College was established over 70 years ago, and the tradition of excellence in geological education continues today.

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Curriculum and Degree Program

On the rocks

Geology majors take courses that cover all the major sub-disciplines in earth science. Core courses include Introductory Physical Geology, Earth History and Stratigraphy, Geochemistry and Mineralogy, Petrology and Petrography, Process Geomorphology , and Structural Geology. A summer field course is required, which can be taken at the Wheaton College Science Station in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Elective courses include Hydrogeology, Soil Science, Biogeology, Geographic Information Systems, Geophysics, Global Climate Change, and Marine Biology. Most courses feature day-long or overnight field trips to local and Midwestern geological localities. Extended field trips are also offered for credit or as extra-curricular activities between semesters.

The Geology Department also offers general education courses for Wheaton College students from all majors to meet the Nature Cluster 8-hour science requirement. Geology courses include Physical Geology, Natural Disasters, General Oceanography, Earth Resources and the Environment, Geology of National Parks, Geoarchaeology and Theories of Origins. Two courses are offered at the Wheaton College Science Station in the general education track: Introductory Geology in the Field and Field Environmental Geology.

Wheaton College Science Station

The College is blessed with a 50-acre science station in the South Dakota Black Hills, where exciting field-oriented courses are offered for biology, geology, and environmental science majors as well as General Education students. The beautiful Black Hills and surrounding western-mountain and plains settings give students numerous opportunities to study geological features on a regional scale. More >

Other Student Opportunities

There are a number of other opportunities offered by the Geology Department. While most courses include field trips and seminars on or off campus, there are a growing number of research and internship opportunities for motivated students. Students have the opportunity for independent study projects or for participation in on-going faculty research. Internships are available in both the government and the private sector and provide students with valuable hands-on training. Wheaton’s Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) program also offers students service oriented internships in Third World countries.

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