Explore the science of Geology at Inver Hills Community College, a two-year college in MN

Geology is the earth science that studies the solid features of the planet we call home. When people think of geology, they usually imagine rocks—and rocks are front and center when geologists examine the composition of our world and the processes that drive planetary change over time.

Geology Courses

Contact Information

Erica Wood
Geology Instructor


Admissions Team

College Center

As a major academic discipline, geology interprets the history of the Earth by exploring plate tectonics and climates of the distant past. Geologists play key roles in conserving the resources that support modern civilization, including fossil fuels and minerals, freshwater and a clean environment.

Geology courses at Inver Hills cover the physical and historical aspects of the science as well as the power of natural disasters and their impact on humankind. You can apply your science-with-lab coursework toward the A.A. degree requirements or toward transfer to a four-year college or university.

Course Descriptions

GEOL 1101  Physical Geology   4.0 cr

Course Outline for GEOL 1101

Studies the nature, properties, and processes that shape and alter the Earth. Analysis and study of the nature and character of materials composing the Earth; and processes that have formed, altered, and transformed the Earth's surface. This course is open to all students and meets the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) 8710.3200, Subp. 3, Standard J1, J2 a, b, c, d, e, f, J3, J4.

GEOL 1105  Historical Geology   4.0 cr

Course Outline for GEOL 1105

Examines the Earth's planetary materials and processes as they have evolved and changed over time. Emphasis is placed on the study of evolution and life as it applies to the succession of plants and animals evidenced in the fossil record and the processes which have altered the character of the Earth's continents and oceans through time.

GEOL 1115  Natural Disasters   3.0 cr

Course Outline for GEOL 1115

Investigates the physical processes, origins, and human and economic impacts of natural disasters. Students will examine earthquakes, volcanism, severe weather, climate change, wildfires, and floods among other natural catastrophic phenomena and will engage in lab-like experiences that include mapping and data analysis.

Meet the Faculty

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Education Credentials

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Employment Information

Geologists are the bedrock of many industries

Employment opportunities for geologists and geoscientists are found at government agencies, research institutes and industry. The latter includes petroleum, natural gas, construction and mining companies as well as environmental engineering and consulting firms.

The core skills you need as a geologist include:

  • Solving problems using scientific rules and mathematics
  • Identifying alternative solutions through logic
  • Communicating effectively
  • Enjoying outdoor work
  • Completing detailed and delicate operations
  • Applying strong organizational skills
  • Working well as part of a team

Potential jobs in geology fields

  • Engineering geologist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Environmental geologist
  • Exploration geologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Geological mapper
  • Geochemist
  • Geotechnical engineer
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Mineralogist
  • Paleoecologist
  • Petroleum geologist
  • Planetary geologist
  • Seismologist
  • Structural geologist
  • Volcanologist

Below are just a few examples of possible career paths that can start with taking geology courses at Inver Hills.

Additional resources

Why Inver Hills?

Completing your geology obligations at Inver Hills is smart on several key levels:

  1. You will receive an excellent education with one-on-one interactions with geology faculty
  2. You will get hands-on experience through lab exercises and classroom presentations
  3. You will save money and continue your academic and professional careers with less student debt *

* On a national scale, student loan debt has mushroomed to $1.2 trillion, which is greater than credit card debt and auto loan debt combined. In Minnesota, the average debt for four-year grads tops $30,000; 70 percent carry a student debt load.

Tuition and fees for one year at Inver Hills costs a little less than $5,300. Compare that to $15,000 to $20,000 at a for-profit college, or $40,000 to $50,000 at a private college or university. You can complete your first two years at Inver getting a topflight education firsthand from Ph.D. instructors and then transfer to a four-year as a junior all while saving thousands of dollars. It's a no-brainer.

Scholarship opportunity

A3 Ag: Aspire. Accelerate. Advance.

Inver Hills is offering three $1,000 scholarships for motivated students interested in pursuing a career in agriculture. If you think ag science is all cows and plows, think again. Modern agriculture is focused on achieving the best results in nutrition, ecology and economics. Rewarding jobs are abundant in the fields of food systems, renewable energy and the environment with nowhere near the number of qualified college graduates needed to fill them. To learn more, visit Agricultural Sciences Career Pipeline Scholarship.

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