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2020 Best Colleges for Geological & Earth Sciences

Approximately 9,816 geological and earth sciences degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be a challenge finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Geological & Earth Sciences ranking analyzed 242 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in geological and earth sciences. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 25 schools for Geological & Earth Sciences students.

Choosing a Great Geological & Earth Sciences School

Best Colleges for Geological & Earth Sciences Your choice of geological and earth sciences school matters. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking while the lowest ranked school on the list is still in the top 19%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 150 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

Geological & Earth Sciences graduates from schools on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average geological and earth sciences bachelors degree from U.S. schools results in an average starting salary of $33,786, graduates of colleges on this list average $39,311.

Starting Salary  ( 29761 to 43038 )
$0
$52,100

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Geological & Earth Sciences students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other geological and earth sciences students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized geological and earth sciences related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Geological & Earth Sciences students.

Best Schools to Study Geological & Earth Sciences in United States

Learn about the top ranked colleges and universities for geological and earth sciences majors. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 242 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Geology Colleges

#1

Stanford University

Stanford, CA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In CA

Stanford University is one of the finest schools in the country for geological and earth sciences. Located in the suburb Stanford, Stanford is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 7 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Stanford is a great school overall.

There are roughly 111 geological and earth sciences undergraduates studying this degree at Stanford.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In TX
12.1% Growth in Graduates

It is difficult to beat Texas A&M University - College Station if you wish to pursue geological and earth sciences as a major. Texas A&M is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of College Station. This college ranks 89th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There are roughly 223 geological and earth sciences undergrads studying this degree at Texas A&M. Students who graduate from the geology program earn around $36,400 for their early career.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In TX
$44,400 Median Starting Salary

The University of Texas at Austin is among your top options if you want to study geological and earth sciences. Located in the city Austin, UT Austin is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 78th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

The University of Texas at Austin is one of the most popular college to study geology in United States exceeding 129 graduates last year. Geological & Earth Sciences majors from The University of Texas at Austin earn a boost of approximately $5,089 over the typical income of geological and earth sciences majors.

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#4

Brown University

Providence, RI
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In RI

Brown University is among your best bets if you're planning on studying geological and earth sciences. Located in the midsize city Providence, Brown is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 11 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Brown is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Brown also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geological and earth sciences, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#5

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In NJ

Located in the large suburb Princeton, Princeton is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 20 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Princeton is a great school overall.

There are approximately 17 geological and earth sciences undergraduates enrolled in this program at Princeton.

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#6

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In NH

Dartmouth is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the remote town of Hanover. A Best Colleges rank of 9 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Dartmouth is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Dartmouth also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geological and earth sciences, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WA
13.0% Growth in Graduates

UW Seattle is a fairly large public school located in the city of Seattle. This school ranks 84th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Washington.

For those interested in something more advanced, UW Seattle also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geological and earth sciences, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Grads of the geology program state that they receive average early career earnings of $33,200.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In NY
25.6% Growth in Graduates

Columbia is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York. A Best Colleges rank of 26 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great school overall.

There are roughly 86 geological and earth sciences undergrads enrolled in this program at Columbia.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In PA
$44,400 Median Starting Salary

Penn State University Park is a fairly large public school located in the city of University Park. This school ranks 170th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

Penn State University Park offers geological and earth sciences degrees as low as a One to Two Year Certificates and all the way up to a Research / Scholarship Based Doctorate's. Pennsylvania State University - University Park geological and earth sciences majors earn $5,089 more than the typical geology graduate.

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#10

Yale University

New Haven, CT
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In CT
10.7% Growth in Graduates

Yale is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of New Haven. A Best Colleges rank of 4 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Yale is a great college overall.

There are roughly 28 geological and earth sciences undergrads studying this program at Yale.

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#11

Bowdoin College

Brunswick, ME
2nd Most Popular In ME

Located in the fringe town Brunswick, Bowdoin is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 25 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Bowdoin is a great school overall.

There are approximately 17 geological and earth sciences undergraduates studying this program at Bowdoin.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
7th Most Popular In CA
18.8% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Los Angeles, UCLA is a public college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 49 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UCLA is a great college overall.

With 48 undergraduates, University of California - Los Angeles is one of most popular schools to study geology in United States.

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#13

Union College New York

Schenectady, NY
19th Most Popular In NY

Located in the city Schenectady, Union College Schenectady is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 55th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 12 undergraduates, Union College New York is one of most popular schools to study geology in United States.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In CA
18.4% Growth in Graduates

UCSD is a very large public school located in the city of La Jolla. This college ranks 72nd out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in something more advanced, UCSD also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geological and earth sciences, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship).

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In CA
$32,700 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city Santa Cruz, UC Santa Cruz is a public school with a large student population. This college ranks 259th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

A favorite major for geological and earth sciences undergraduates, there are approximately 66 students studying this program at UC Santa Cruz. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career wages of $32,700.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WI
$52,100 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city Madison, Wisconsin is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 80th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

For those interested in something more advanced, Wisconsin also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geological and earth sciences, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students from the geological and earth sciences major at University of Wisconsin - Madison earn $12,789 more than the typical college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MI
$33,800 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city Ann Arbor, U of Michigan is a public college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 35 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means U of Michigan is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, U of Michigan also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geological and earth sciences, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career wages of $33,800.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
6th Most Popular In CA
17.6% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 65th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

A popular choice for geological and earth sciences undergraduates, there are about 51 learners studying this program at UC Berkeley.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MO
13.2% Growth in Graduates

Located in the town Rolla, Missouri University of Science and Technology is a public school with a medium-sized student population. This school ranks 209th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Missouri.

For those interested in something more advanced, Missouri University of Science and Technology also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geological and earth sciences, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In CO
7.0% Growth in Graduates

Located in the medium-sized city Fort Collins, Colorado State is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 307th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Colorado.

There are approximately 57 geological and earth sciences undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Colorado State. Soon after graduation, geology students generally make around $35,600 in the first five years of their career.

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#21

Duke University

Durham, NC
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
7th Most Popular In NC

Located in the city Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 1 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Duke is a great college overall.

A favorite choice for geological and earth sciences undergrads, there are about 16 individuals studying this degree at Duke.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In GA
25.6% Growth in Graduates

Georgia Tech is a very large public school located in the large city of Atlanta. This college ranks 69th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

For those interested in something more advanced, Georgia Tech also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geological and earth sciences, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship).

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#23

University of Houston

Houston, TX
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In TX
6.5% Growth in Graduates

U of H is a fairly large public school located in the city of Houston. This college ranks 332nd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

For those interested in something more advanced, U of H also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geological and earth sciences, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after graduating, geology students typically make around $41,200 at the beginning of their careers.

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#24

Carleton College

Northfield, MN
2nd Most Popular In MN
14.8% Growth in Graduates

Carleton is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Northfield. A Best Colleges rank of 47 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Carleton is a great college overall.

There are roughly 27 geological and earth sciences undergrads enrolled in this program at Carleton.

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#25

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
6th Most Popular In IL

UChicago is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Chicago. A Best Colleges rank of 8 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UChicago is a great school overall.

With 16 students enrolled, University of Chicago is one of most popular schools to study geology in United States.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Geological & Earth Sciences

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Geology students that almost earned our Best Colleges for Geological & Earth Sciences award.

Rank College Location
37 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
38 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
39 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
40 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
41 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA
42 Hamilton College Clinton, NY
43 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
44 Whitman College Walla Walla, WA
45 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
46 Bates College Lewiston, ME
47 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
48 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL

Geological & Earth Sciences by Region

View the Best Colleges for Geological & Earth Sciences for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 7 majors within the Physical Sciences area of study, Geological & Earth Sciences has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Chemistry 22,389
Physics 13,815
General Physical Sciences 4,387
Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology 1,188
Astronomy & Astrophysics 1,062

View All Geology Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Kelvinsong.

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