Geology is the study of the solid earth and how it changes over time with regard to its structure, composition, erosional and tectonic processes, and environments. If you have an interest in geology, our program will give you an opportunity to explore the various complexities of Earth. To excel in geology, you should enjoy working outdoors, be able to identify and solve complex problems, and be able to develop advanced spatial reasoning skills. It is a physical science and therefore requires a solid background in mathematics, chemistry, and physics. Additionally, geologists need to have good computer and communication skills. Geologists find employment in a wide array of fields in both the public and private sectors. Career opportunities include mineral exploration and extraction, oil and gas exploration and extraction, environmental consultation, evaluation of water resources, soil science, academic research, climatology, natural hazard mitigation, and civil engineering, among others.
PLEASE NOTE: The Associate of Arts degree plan is to help students plan coursework with a focus on teaching geosciences in secondary schools. Upon graduation, your degree will be in Liberal Arts and will NOT have an Education - IDoTeach Geosciences focus officially denoted on your transcript and/or degree.
The geology program prepares students to transfer to a four-year institution with a good understanding of basic geology and the processes that indicate how our world is shaped.
Why This Program
The geology program is designed primarily to prepare you to transition to a four-year institution to finish a bachelor’s degree. It will expose you to the fundamentals of geology and help you understand what is needed prior to attending upper division courses.
What You Will Learn to Do
- Identify major geologic formations and understand their causes
- Understand the history of Earth and how it came to look as it does
- Understand the processes that shape Earth, including natural disasters and the environment
The purpose of Geology Club is to provide like-minded students an opportunity to collectively pursue their interests in geology.
A very important aspect of geology is being able to identify geologic features when you see them. Rock samples may be brought to class to help students be able to identify them when they see them, but field trips are used in the program to really get students involved and to be able to see geologic structures that are impossible to bring into the classroom setting.
The College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status. More on Title IX
Requirements and Costs
Degrees and Certificates
Associate of Science in Geology
Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts with IDoTeach Geosciences Focus
Important Dates for Credit Programs
|Spring 2017||Summer 2017||Fall 2017|
|Registration Open||November 14||April 10||April 10|
|Financial Aid Priority Date||December 5||May 15||July 10|
|Admission Deadline||December 30||May 19||August 4|
|Last Day to Register||January 13||June 2||August 18|
|Tuition and Fees Due||January 13||June 2||August 18|
|Classes Begin||January 17*||June 5*||August 21|
|*Some classes begin before or after this date. See the class schedule for more information.|
Skills, Traits, and Prep Classes
- Enjoy working outdoors
- Be able to identify and solve complex problems
- Be able to develop advanced, spatial reasoning skills
- Solid background in math, chemistry, and physics
- Good computer and communication skills
Navigating your way through college can be confusing, especially if you try to go it alone. CWI One Stop Student Services offers advising assistance, to help in deciding which courses you need to take to complete your educational goals. Visit Advising for more information or contact One Stop Student Services to schedule an appointment.
A Recommended Degree Course Progression is available for additional information.
- Please be sure to check the courses required for your final degree at the four-year institution you plan to attend after finishing at CWI. It is absolutely imperative that you know which classes are required to obtain a bachelor’s degree at that institution.
- If you plan to attend the University of Idaho, you can visit their website (http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/transferguides/transferframes.html) to determine how the various courses taken at CWI will transfer. The University of Idaho does not have lower-level GIS coursework, but does offer a GIS certificate program that starts at the junior level. Therefore, our GIS courses do not directly transfer as a GIS course into their program. Our geology 101 and 102 courses transfer fairly well. The other geology courses would transfer as elective credit at this time.
- If you plan to attend Boise State University (BSU), you can visit their website (http://registrar.boisestate.edu/transfers/transfer-equivalency/) to determine just how the various courses you take will transfer. Geol 101, 102, and 275 all transfer into their Geoscience program.
Connecting With Ideas
Connecting With Ideas (CWID 101) is the first semester student success course designed to help CWI students become engaged members of the academic community and cultivate habits for lifelong achievement and success. Each semester, students can select from a variety of themes. More information about next semesters CWID 101 themes
Look beyond your degree at CWI and plan for continuing your education by working closely with CWI advising and representatives of your intended transfer school. Planning before you transfer can save you time and money. Visit Transfer Information for more information or contact One Stop Student Services.
Financial Aid Available
Did you know that as a student in this program you may be eligible for financial aid? Through grants, scholarships, and loans, more than 60 percent of first-time, full-time CWI students receive some form of financial assistance. To learn more about financial aid options and whether you may be eligible, visit Financial Aid.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition for a full-time CWI student averages half the cost of a state university and a third of the cost of a private college. Tuition and fees vary based on program and residence. Visit Tuition and Fees for more information.
- Mineral exploration and extraction
- Oil and gas exploration and extraction
- Environmental consultation
- Evaluation of water resources
- Soil science
- Academic research
- Natural hazard mitigation
- Civil engineering