Bachelor of Science in Geosciences


Program Description

The Department of Geosciences at Mansfield University is a dynamic and growing program, hosting around 175 undergraduate student majors in eight different academic concentrations.

Our B.S. in Geosciences provides graduates a broad education on geoscience topics, plus gives students the opportunity to focus on a specific field of interest by choosing one of five concentrations:

Environmental Science

The concentration in environmental science is a broad-based curriculum designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in a variety of environmentally-related technical careers. The degree will provide students with rigorous training in the fundamental sciences of the environment and the application of scientific principles to the analysis of environmental problems. Particular emphasis is placed on the acquisition of practical, field-based skills and knowledge that make students desirable in the job market.

Graduates typically obtain careers as scientists in environmental assessment, conservation, regulation, and enforcement, and find jobs in all aspects of the public, private, and governmental sectors. They are employed by parks, consulting firms, county soil, water, and agricultural agencies, solid and hazardous-waste firms, planning agencies, and companies associated with the natural gas industry, to name a few. The program also recommends internships, which prepare students to enter the workforce or pursue advanced degrees at the graduate level.


The B.S. in Geosciences with a concentration in Geology prepares students for a variety of career and post-graduate paths in geological and environmental sciences, business, and education, as well as government and public service. Students graduating with this degree can pursue careers in environmental consulting, geologic engineering, business, and mineral resources and the petroleum industry. Success in these positions requires the experience to collect and assess data in outdoor field locations, the ability to communicate technical data to associates in both oral and written form, and the ability to present and interpret geologic data in maps, charts, and other graphic formats.

This program is designed to provide students with a basic working knowledge of current geologic principles, geologic and geographic data collection methods, basic data assessment and report preparation skills, and hands-on experience in geologic research and professional practices.

Geographic Information Science & Technology

Do you like maps? Do you enjoy graphic design but don't really have an interest in advertising? Do you like working with computers but don't want to major in computer science? Did you realize that you can apply these interests in a career in map making, more formally known as "cartography"? The B.S. in Geosciences (Geographic Information Science and Technology emphasis) can prepare you for a career in this field.

Mapping Technology is a combination of the fields of cartography and geographic information systems. The program at Mansfield provides a strong background in map design and compilation as well as a good understanding of data management and an introduction to programming. The curriculum requires courses in map reading and air photo interpretation, remote sensing, GIS, and cartography. Graduates of this program work for engineering firms, mapping firms, and local and regional government offices.

GIST students work in a modern, cross-platform computer lab reserved for the use of geosciences students. Available to our majors 24/7, the 26 workstations run Windows 7, have full licensure for ESRI's ArcGIS 10.3 software, and are linked to a dedicated file server. The lab is also equipped with a scanner, printers and a 3D printer. Students also have access to other field mapping equipment, including unmanned aerial vehicles, GPS units, a Trimble Total Station, and more. Instruction using this equipment provides students with broad experience in map compilation and production. Students who complete the GIST program have many hours of intensive computer experience in a lab designed to emulate a professional mapping environment.

Watershed Management

Problems relating to water pollution -- including agricultural runoff, acid mine drainage, industrial discharges, floods and water shortages, stream restoration, and inadequate sewage treatment -- are making headlines for their increasing importance as watersheds face growing peril.

Are you concerned about these issues? Do you want to make a difference in how they are resolved? Are you seeking a career with a strong outdoor component? If so, Watershed Management may provide the career path you're seeking. As government agencies and private organizations address these issues, one of the things they will need is properly trained employees who know about watersheds and how to manage them.

Our program in Watershed Management is designed to prepare you for entry-level positions or for graduate school. It is interesting, interdisciplinary and challenging. You will take courses in biology, chemistry, geology, geography, and regional planning, as well as the core classes in watershed management (such as watershed restoration, wetlands, watershed ethics and law, and watershed management policy). In addition, we highly recommend that you complete an internship with a government agency or private organization.

Mansfield University is an especially appropriate location for this program. Why? All of the following are located within our county: diverse water chemistry; acid mine drainage impacted streams and demonstration projects to reduce their effect; varied land uses, bedrock and geologic structure; multiple flood control/water management projects; boundary between glaciated and non-glaciated landscapes; Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and local watershed groups are all active nearby; part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, a focus of much research and remedial work; and, nutrient loading of some streams from intense agriculture. In short, our county is an ideal outdoor laboratory for the study of watershed management and the faculty in our department will introduce you to it.

Outdoor Recreation and Leadership

Situated in north-central Pennsylvania’ s Tioga County, Mansfield University’s rural setting offers many advantages for the student interested in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. The area includes varied and all-season recreation opportunities; existing recreation providers; nearby state parks, state forest, and state game lands; and a reputation as a first-class outdoor vacation destination, all attributes that provide important resources and allow substantive in-the-field training. Of particular note, Pine Creek Gorge, Pennsylvania’s “Grand Canyon,” sits about 20 miles from campus and makes a great place for canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing.

The program in Outdoor Recreation Leadership is designed to provide you with a blend of classroom and experiential learning. In addition to the required recreation-oriented core classes, leadership training and practical geographic skills such as GIS are also stressed. The program also includes supporting coursework in Business, Geology, Watershed Management, Wilderness First Aid, Travel and Tourism, and Leadership Studies. An internship/practicum or similar work experience is highly recommended as well. Does this program include lots of training? Yes. Does the program expect a lot from you? Yes. But we don’t think you would want it any other way!

Possible career paths include outdoor adventure guide, park ranger, environmental interpreter, director of youth camps, ecotourism, working with at-risk youth, outdoor-oriented resorts, civic recreation departments, and opening your own recreation business.

Although some of Mansfield University's programs are designed to prepare students to meet Pennsylvania's licensure/certification requirements, this does not assure their compatibility with out-of-state requirements. Applicants who are applying to Mansfield's programs with the intent to pursue licensure or certification in states other than Pennsylvania must be aware of the professional licensure requirements in those states. Current students who are planning to undertake field experiences outside of Pennsylvania should also be aware of the requirements of other states. Please check licensure requirements by occupation and state

Last updated Sep 2019

About the School

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Welcomes You! Founded in 1857, Mansfield University combines the best qualities of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a comprehensive public univer ... Read More

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Welcomes You! Founded in 1857, Mansfield University combines the best qualities of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a comprehensive public university. We currently enroll about 2000 students who can choose from 40 degree programs and 47 minor programs. Read less