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Geology, Bachelor

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
Washington, D. C., DC, United States
Geology deals with the physical, chemical, and biological study of the earth from its conception to the present day. A background in earth science not only increases the general student's appreciation of the world, but also increases the depth of understanding of a science student's own field. 
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Serious students of geology find opportunities in the environmental, petroleum, mining, teaching, engineering, and geophysics fields, and in hydrology, space science and oceanography. Whitman offers a major in geology, geology combined with environmental studies, geology combined with physics, geology combined with biology, geology combined with chemistry, and geology combined with astronomy. In addition, students can also elect to minor in geology.

Walla Walla has been the site of some of the most catastrophic events in Earth's history. The Columbia Plateau of eastern Washington is the Earth's youngest basalt plateau. The landscape was shaped by enormous basalt flows swept by the largest documented floods in geologic history. This is the world you are poised to explore with the Geology Department at Whitman College. The college offers a great variety of courses in geology, all of which have fascinating field trips and fully equipped laboratories.

Learning Goals

Major-Specific Areas of Knowledge

  • Have the skills and background knowledge necessary to pursue independent investigations in the earth sciences. Construct bedrock and surficial geologic maps utilizing topographic maps, aerial photographs, and fieldwork. Recognize and interpret landforms on topographic maps and aerial photographs. 
  • Construct valid geologic cross-sections of structurally complex regions. Recognize and appreicate the relationships between human activities and geology. Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of Earth processes and history. 
  • Determine the geologic processes responsible for specific landforms. Determine the conditions of mineral and rock formation based on mineral assemblage, chemistry, and textural relationships. Describe how internal atomic structure determines the optical and physical properties of minerals.


Whitman College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

  • Geology courses at Whitman College explore the physical, chemical, and biological evolution of the earth from its conception to the present day. 
  • Unlike most other sciences, in which you may design an experiment to test an idea, in geology, the experiment has already been completed by the course of nature. As a geologist, you will observe and record the results, such as lava flows, glaciers, or layers of sandstone, and then infer the process responsible.
  • If you decide to study geology at Whitman, we encourage you to gain a broad background in science. As a geology student, you will be expected to analyze new information critically and to express yourself both orally and in writing. 
  • Geology majors at Whitman graduate with significant experience in the laboratory and the field, taking courses recommended by the United States Geological Survey and the American Institute of Professional Geologists.

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

General Requirements

  • Common Application
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS score report. (TWE official score report is recommended where available.)
  • CSS Profile (if applying for need-based financial aid)
  • $50 application fee (Application fees are waived for all applicants who apply before Dec. 1)
  • Official SAT or ACT score report

Tuition Fee

  • International

    55560 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 55560 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    55560 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 55560 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Washington, D. C.

  • 1705 - 2980 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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