Geology Minor

As a geology minor in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Western Michigan University, you will learn to apply the principles of all the sciences to the study of the Earth. The geology minor focuses on fundamental earth systems, including the study of rocks and minerals and rock-forming processes as well as biogeochemical cycles. A basic understanding of geology is critical in the search for and responsible use of mineral and groundwater resources. Geology minors will have the skills to apply their geologic knowledge to their chosen major.

You should minor in geology if...

  • You are fascinated by a broad range of sciences.
  • You are interested in groundwater, petroleum or materials exploration.
  • You are interested in deep Earth and/or extra-terrestrial planetary exploration.
  • You are interested in environmental sustainability and climate change.

Program overview

The geology minor will train you in the basics of the geosciences, as well as in some fundamental mathematics and chemistry, all of which form the basis for the scientific study of the Earth. After completing the required foundation courses, you will choose electives to suit your specific areas of interest. For example, you will have the opportunity to study various areas, from climate change to the geology of our national parks.

  • Program requirements: To learn more about specific program requirements, consult the 2019-20 undergraduate catalog.
  • Course listings: To see which courses will be offered when, check out the WMU course listings. You can also read course descriptions for geosciences classes here.
  • Professional development: Students in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences are encouraged to gain valuable professional, research and field experience through joining our highly active student organizations: Geology Club, Student Chapter of American Institute for Professional Geologists, Student Chapter of American Associate of Petroleum Geologists and the Student Chapter of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

Associated faculty

  • Faculty directory: Learn about our faculty members' professional and academic backgrounds, their teaching and research interests and publishing history.
  • Faculty and staff research specialties: Learn about each faculty and staff members' unique research interests (links to laboratories are also provided here).


The College of Arts and Sciences has a two-tiered advising system for undergraduates. Please consult your departmental and college advisors regularly to ensure that academic requirements are met.

  • Major and minor advising: Unsure which geosciences major/minor is right for you? Curious about job opportunities for geology majors? Contact Dr. Duane Hampton, our prospective undergraduate advisor and career advisor, to set up an appointment. Confused about which classes to take, how to enroll in classes or want to know your progress towards graduation? All of these questions can be discussed with your undergraduate faculty advisor, Dr. Michelle Kominz.
  • College of Arts and Sciences advising: Have a question about general education or graduate requirements? Take advantage of CAS undergraduate advising drop-in hours or make an appointment.


What's next?

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