Colleges & Students

The intent of this page is to provide information to assist geologists in mentoring young, practicing geologists, students of geology/geosciences and potential students of the geosciences.

Please Get Involved

If you would like to get involved in mentoring young geoscientists or have an interest in gathering information from your alma mater or other geosicience education programs about how those programs are fairing, please contact PCPG:  Send email to PCPG.

College & University Geoscience Programs

There is anecdotal information that traditional geology programs at the college/university level are being converted to environmental science programs or being cut entirely. PCPG is currently attempting to collect information from PA college/university programs, which offer geoscience curricula to obtain factual data about trends in these programs.

Information from the American Geologic Institute (AGI)

The American Geologic Institute (AGI) has compiled a wealth of data about geoscience education programs and careers.  We encourage our readers to review this information on AGI’s website, and also stress that the term geosciences is very broad and includes many fields such as meteorology, soil science, geography, and environmental science.

Leila Gonzales, PhD, Workforce Analyst for AGI, shared information with PCPG in an email regarding geosciences education programs:

"Of all the departments listed in AGI’s Directory of Geoscience Departments, there are 108 geoscience departments at 4-year institutions that are listed as 'environmental' departments.  Of these, 44 have changed their name to include 'Environmental' within the past 10 years.  Additionally, four new departments that include 'Environmental Science' or 'Environmental Studies' in their name have been added to the directory within the last 10 years."

The AGI Directory lists 550 institutions that offer 4-year degrees from a geoscience program.  You can download a copy of AGI's "Status of Geoscience Workforce - 4-Year Colleges & Universities" here:

Download "Status of Geoscience Workforce - 4-Year Colleges & Universities" (6.05 MB)

Stellar Opportunity for Undergrads to Interact with PCPG Membership

Posted 10 December: Mentors, encourage your undergraduate geoscience students to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to closely interact with professional geoscientists practicing in Pennsylvania by entering PCPG's 2nd Annual Student Poster Session and Competition. 

Abstracts are due January 25, 2019 and the poster session will be held during PCPG's Annual Meeting at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg Hershey in Grantville, PA, March 6, 2019.  Monetary prizes will be awarded for selection of abstracts for presentation and for Best Poster; however, the real value to aspiring geoscientists is the opportunity to interact with PCPG's membership at the Annual Meeting.

For more information visit the PCPG 2019 Annual Poster Session and Competition web page.

PCPG active in student outreach this Fall
Posted October 15, 2018: The PCPG Board and members are actively promoting PCPG through student outreach visits at various colleges across the Commonwealth.  A presentation was done at West Virginia University in September and Clarion University, Lehigh University and the University of Pennsylvania are scheduled for October.

Additional campus visits are being scheduled this fall at California University of PA, Millersville University, and  St Francis University. 

The student outreach PowerPoint contains information on the benefits of PCPG membership, the career outlook and types of employment opportunities for geologists along with the process required to become a Licensed Professional Geologist in Pennsylvania, including the Geologist in Training Certification available for qualified students.

For more information or if you would like to schedule a guest lecture please email our Membership Services Committee Chair Barb Dunst.

Colleges in Western PA Offer Programs Geared Toward Energy Industry

Posted October 6, 2014: The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that several colleges located in western Pennsylvania are creating programs to prepare students for jobs in the energy industry. Westmoreland County Community College offers an energy degree program, and Butler County Community College recently added four energy classes to its course offerings. Allegheny County and Beaver County Community Colleges also offer classes geared toward the energy industry. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, shale gas-related industries employed approximately 238,000 people in 2013. You can read more HERE.

Are Geology Departments Truly Closing?

Michigan State May Cut Geology Department

Michigan State University has announced that it is considering cutting its Department of Geological Sciences.  Read an October 30, 2009 MSU news article.

Demise of University of Connecticut Geology Department

Read a letter regarding the demise of the UConn Geology Department:  Letter

Quotes from former UConn Geology Professor Anthoy Philpotts:

"Geology majors from UConn all got jobs quickly upon graduation, ...while those majoring in environmental science, with a sampling of a wide range of disciplines, had more difficulty getting jobs."

"Re-packaging and diluting core disciplines (geology, biology, chemistry, etc.) into the vaguely defined 'environmental science' major provides the student with a program of studies lacking a specific strength."

Demise of St. Joseph's College, Indiana Geology Program

Read an abstract prepared by a former St. Joseph's College geology professor for a presentation made at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Philadelphia, PA:  Read Abstract

Core Geology Programs

Can Field Camps Survive?

Please read this Editorial by Carl N. Drummond, National Association of Geoscience Teachers.

Also available is AGI's Status Report on Geoscience Summer Field Camps (2006).

Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists
116 Forest Drive, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011

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