Chadron State College
Chadron State College

Geoscience Home

Geoscience Degree Online or Face to Face

Geoscience degrees are available face-to-face or online. Your online courses will be enhanced with summer field experience.

All online and face-to-face classes are offered on a rotational basis. See the Geoscience Four-Year Template for a typical plan that will get you your degree in four years.

As a Geoscience student you will learn about water and energy, geological hazards and resources. You will develop your skills of observation and problems solving, love of the outdoors and working with people to solve complex problems. Your hard work will pay off when you are ready to become an asset for your community.

For more information, contact Dr. Mike Leite at mleite@csc.edu.

General FAQs

  • What is the CSC Geoscience degree?

    Geoscientists are broadly trained in the physical sciences, with emphasis on problem solving skills related to Earth processes and resources. CSC’s Geoscience degree is field oriented, meaning students are trained in skills of observing and interpreting phenomena in nature. Our Geoscience degree will help you develop the skills to enter technical fields in petroleum, mining, or environmental resource management, or to go on to graduate school in many other fields, such as geophysics or paleontology.

  • How is Geoscience different from geology?

    Geology is one of the Geosciences, among geophysics, hydrology, oceanography, atmospheric and planetary science. CSC’s Geoscience program is called that because we promote a strong foundation in the physical sciences with an emphasis on geology.

  • What jobs are available with a Geoscience degree?

    With degree in Geoscience from Chadron State College you can get a job right out of college in some fields with strong demand, including oilfield mudlogging, water quality sampling, GIS mapping technician, geological field assistant or laboratory assistant. Most entry level jobs involve some field work. Many more Geoscience jobs will be available to you if you decide to go on to graduate school. In fact, the Geoscience field is among the fastest growing job markets for people with a master’s-degree level education.

  • For career information you can browse Career Opportunities

    or go to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

  • What is field camp?

    Field camp is an intensive course in mapping and field geology techniques. Traditionally a six-credit-hour field camp is taken between the junior and senior years of a geology or Geoscience program. However, because of the need to introduce and reinforce field methods, and the challenges of doing this in the online setting, CSC’s field camp is split into three parts, which a student takes at the end of freshman through junior years. In the annual field camp you will practice geology skills learned in the classroom, learn new field mapping skills, gain experience working in different parts of the world, and get to know your fellow online and face-to-face students.

  • How much will a Geoscience degree at CSC cost?

    The Business Office has a cost calculator that you can use to estimate your cost of attendance.

  • How should I prepare in high school?

    You should take high school physical science and as much physics and chemistry as possible. Where available, it would be a good idea to take a geology, earth-science or integrated science course. Also, get a solid grounding in English composition, because geoscientists need to be able to write and speak clearly.

  • Why do I have to take so many difficult classes?

    Geoscience is an applied science; you need to be able to apply the concepts and problem-solving skills of chemistry, physics and math to Earth system concepts. Your Geoscience classes give you experience with rich observational and theoretical practices rooted in field observation. It is the combination of proficiency in analytical sciences and field observation that will make you an effective geoscientist.

  • Can I earn the entire Geoscience degree online?

    Mostly. You can take all your classes online except field camp. There is really no way for you to get good at interpreting geology in the field without the hands-on guidance of a professor. You will be required to attend field camp for two weeks each May. This small sacrifice will make a big difference in your learning throughout the program.

Online FAQs

  • How is CSC’s online Geoscience degree program unique?

    CSC’s online Geoscience degree is the only one of its kind. We think both our online and face-to-face students have an advantage because they learn problem-solving skills along with students in other parts of the world. Collaboration in the information age—in a world without borders—lends a personal perspective to global study of the Earth sciences.

  • How can you teach a field-oriented science like Geoscience in an online setting?

    The distributed “field camp” gives our students significant field experience over their undergraduate career, concentrated in three two-week summer sessions. So technically the online degree program is not 100% online since students are asked to commit to attending these two-week sessions each May. But field experience is critical to understanding how the Earth works and we think the small annual sacrifice is worth the benefits. Students also gain field experience without direct supervision of a professor. Students start developing this autonomy in the first course—physical geology—and keep working at it through the course sequence. Good field practices are reinforced and documented in the writing of professional reports, which are used in every class.

  • Don’t Face-to-Face (F2F) students have an advantage?

    We try as much as possible to give all Geoscience students, whether learning F2F or online, the same experiences. We do this by encouraging F2F students and online students to work in problem-solving teams, and at a higher level to develop a community of Geoscience students. This enhances the learning experience for students in both modes of the course.

  • What opportunities are there for meeting and collaboration?

    All CSC Geoscience students are encouraged to participate in professional conferences and field trips. Students often attend the annual GSA conference, around the end of October. See geosociety.org/meetings. GSA Conferences are held in cities around North America, with alternate years in Denver. The department has a three-day field excursion each fall, usually in late September, stopping at various locations in Wyoming and Nebraska. This excursion is run as a course experience either for sedimentology (odd-numbered years) or rocks and minerals (even-numbered years), but all Geoscience and science education majors are invited to attend Each spring we attend the meetings of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, held at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. The physical science capstone students present result of their research at this conference. This is another opportunity for students taking courses online to interact professionally with those from the face-to-face setting.

Ask a Geoscience Student

Do you have a question for students who have gone through the Geoscience program at CSC? Please fill out this form, and we will try to provide you with an answer.