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About the BYU Geology Program

BYU's Department of Geological Sciences offers students a sound training in the fundamentals of earth processes and geological thinking. Although the department is typically not included in academic rankings because it does not offer a PhD program, few would question the excellence in teaching and mentoring of the BYU Geology program at the undergraduate level. BYU professors are engaged in research all over the world (often in which undergraduates get to serve an integral role), they have authored some of the most successful college textbooks on the subject 1 2 3 4, and BYU is proud to offer 6-8 weeks of field camp every year in some of the most geologically instructive places in the world (fewer than 100 such field programs remain in the US). The undergraduate program is designed to prepare students for a variety of different career paths, whether it be government or industry, research or teaching, etc. Those who complete their degree(s) in geology enter a field where there is high demand, and it is projected that this will be the case for the foreseeable future.

A number of students have continued on to pursue PhDs in geology, to whom this site is dedicated. Because while BYU offers excellent support and many resources for students preparing for and applying to Ph.D. programs at other universities, there is little support for the actual process of completing a PhD and for the what-comes-after of academic life. And although the percentage of BYU graduates who go on to complete a PhD is small, the number of students attempting to do so appears to be on the rise.

Learn more about the BYU Geology department by reading the History of BYU Geology.

The BYU Geological Community

How many doctoral students from BYU are interested in Metamorphic Petrology research? Who of the current BYU faculty has earned their Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison? Which research interest is the most popular among current Ph.D. Prep students? Who could you ask about Harvard's Ph.D. program?
We've collected information to create a sortable list of alumni, faculty and friends of BYU as well as information on each major university. These resources help current faculty, doctoral students, Ph.D. Prep students and potential doctoral students with networking and knowing who to talk to for information.
BYU Alumni and Friends University Information


* The 2015 BYU Spring Research Conference was held on March 21 this year. Check out the schedule and read the abstracts from the 48 geology student presentations to get a feel for the diversity of projects underway at BYU!

* Check out Traveling Geologist- a new geology outreach website developed by BYU alum, Chris Spencer.

Deciding if a Ph.D. is for you?

If you've decided to pursue a Ph.D., it is important to know what is ahead of you. In geology, and many other disciplines, a doctoral degree is required to work as a university professor. Professors split their time between doing research and teaching students. They enjoy flexibility and satisfaction while striving to make a difference in the world. The following links will help you understand a career in academia and what to expect.
Life as a Doctoral Student Life as a Professor
Applying to a Ph.D. Program Preparing for a Doctoral Program
What is Geology Research? The GRE

Advice, Suggestions and Resources

This site is meant to provide useful advice, suggestions, and resources for all users, whether interested in a Ph.D. or already in a doctoral program. Information is separated by topical area:
Ph.D. Prep Track and Doctoral Student Q&A Research
Teaching and Service Other Topics

DISCLAIMER: This website is not paid for, sponsored, nor endorsed by Brigham Young University nor by the LDS Church; and, as such, the opinions and statements contained herein are wholly our own. The concept and some of the early language of this site were taken directly from the PhD Prep program for Accounting students at BYU. We acknowledge their lead in such an initiative and suspect they would be happy to have us mimic their approach for our own students of geology.