The Geology Department encourages intelligent awareness of the earth and of humans' relationship to their physical environment. Students may major in geology, petroleum geology, or in earth science (a major designed for those who wish to pursue a career in secondary education). The department also encourages interdisciplinary majors of the student's design, and supports programs like Environmental Science.
Geology is one of the most academically productive departments in the University. The faculty-to-student ratio was historically 1:5 throughout the history of the department, although recent years have seen rapid expansion in the number of majors since the addition of the petroleum geology major. One goal of the department is to provide the opportunity for every student to present their senior research work at meetings of the Geological Society of America (GSA).