Rock Valley College
Geology Header


Geology is the study of the Earth. It is generally divided into two branches: physical geology and historical geology. Physical geology focuses on the solid materials that make up the Earth, and the processes that affect those materials. Historical geology focuses on the history of the Earth, including fossils and the history of life. 

Physical geology includes the study of volcanoes, earthquakes, the interior of the Earth, hydrology, mineral resources, and fossil fuels. Historical geology includes the investigation of the history of the Earth, from it’s formation through recent times.  

Careers in geology may include searching for oil in the petroleum industry, consulting for environmental firms working in water resources, or site research and mitigation in the construction industry. Research positions are often available with the US Geological Survey, NASA’s Planetary Science and Earth Science divisions, and the Department of Energy.

The following is a comprehensive list of courses offered in this subject or discipline. This is meant to give you an idea of the types of courses offered in each area. Click on any course to learn more about it.

Disclaimer: Not all courses listed here will be offered during this academic year. Please speak with an academic advisor to fulfill specific graduation requirements. 

If this subject or discipline is directly related to a degree or certificate program, you should find links to that information on this page. The degree and certificate pages will go into more detail on the course requirements for each degree or certificate.

It is always recommended that you talk to an academic advisor about your educational goals and to learn more about specific programs.

Number Title Credits
  GEL-101 Introduction to Geology (4)
  GEL-103 Fossils and Earth History (4)
  GEL-107 Geology of the Solar System (3)
  GEL-206 Environmental Geology (3)


You may also be interested in: Astronomy, Atmospheric Science, Chemistry, Physical Geography, Physics