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Geoscience Frequently Asked Questions

I’m interested in geology/geoscience. What class should I take?

Try taking Introduction to Geology (GEOS 150). Intro Geo is offered every year in the fall, and counts toward your Natural Science common area requirement.

Can I major in Geoscience?

No, but you can minor it in. If you are thinking you might want to minor in Geosciences, take Intro Geo early, no later than your sophomore year.


Can I do geoscience research at Holy Cross?

Yes! Several faculty advise students on projects relating to the geosciences. Check out their faculty web pages and speak with them about opportunities working in their labs. There are also a wide variety of summer research programs in the geosciences offered by other colleges and universities. Check out the Links page for some examples.


What should I major in if I’m interested in a geoscience graduate program?

If you are interested in the science aspects of the geosciences, we recommend majoring in a science or math here at Holy Cross (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Mathematics). Most Geoscience graduate programs require a year each of calculus, chemistry, and physics for admission, regardless of major. You probably need to take these classes to be competitive for admission, even if your major and the minor don’t require them, so plan ahead.


What could I do with a minor in Geosciences?

Geoscientists are on the forefront of studying, solving, and educating people about the significant environmental problems facing society today. Our understanding of climate change, natural hazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes, and the distribution and extraction of natural resources, come from the work done by geoscientists. Geoscientists work in academia, private industry, non-profit organizations, education, and the government. Many geoscience careers require a master’s degree for entry; reputable geoscience graduate programs usually waive tuition and pay a stipend for grad student TAs and RAs. Biology and ENVS majors who specialized in geosciences at Holy Cross before the minor existed have been accepted into competitive MS and PhD geoscience graduate programs.


Are there jobs in the geosciences?

Yes! There are a wide variety of careers in the geosciences, and the US Bureau of Labor projects that the number of available jobs will continue to grow over the next decade. Many geoscience jobs do require a master’s degree for entry, especially if your BA is not in geology or a closely related discipline.