We offer both B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology. Our students get jobs in environmental geology, the energy industry, government service, and some go on to a Ph.D. We are located in the southern Rio Grande rift with world-class geology right outside campus, providing opportunities for class field trips and research projects.

Undergraduate Program

We offer three options for the BS Degree: Geological Sciences, Earth and Environmental Systems, and Earth Science Education.

Graduate Program

We offer a MS in Geology in the fields of petrology, geochemistry, stratigraphy, structural geology, neotectonics, and volcanology.

Why Choose NMSU?

We have a small group of faculty active in a wide range of research projects. We have extensive analytical equipment, a clean lab, and mineral separation lab. And we have great local geology for field trips and research projects.

Alumni Support

Whether you obtained a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, if the Department of Geological Sciences has helped you in your career, please consider donating to the Department, as we could really use your support. We have scholarships set up for student field work, and general gift funds to help the department continue to function and provide opportunities for student research and field trips. Currently we are soliciting donations for Graduate Student Research Grants. Please donate amounts to cover all or parts of $2500 research grants to help our MS students conduct cutting-edge research! (see here for details). All donations are tax-deductible. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Alumni Hall of Fame

Each year we elect a distinguished alum into our Hall of Fame.

The Zuhl Collection

Part art gallery, part natural history museum, the Zuhl Museum at NMSU is the home of the Zuhl Collection containing over 1,800 beautiful specimens of petrified wood, fossils and minerals.

Research Areas

We are actively engaged in research in the following fields (click on the photo to see who is involved in this research):


Local Geology

Why choose NMSU for your Master’s Degree? Field trips are an essential feature of a geologic education, and Las Cruces is surrounded by excellent field localities. All of these areas are within an hour or two of campus and provide excellent research and learning opportunities.


Job Opportunities and Training for PhD Programs

Students with Master’s degrees from NMSU have gone on to Ph.D. programs at UCLA, Purdue, Stanford, and other top institutions. Those interested in industry jobs have been hired at Shell, Chevron, Devon, Occidental, and Chesapeake. Others work at environmental firms such as Souder Miller in Las Cruces or state agencies such as the Office of the State Engineer. A Master’s degree in Geology creates career opportunities.

Mission Statement

The Department of Geological Sciences is committed to field-based and lab-based teaching and research. We strive to be one of the top departments in the nation at which to earn undergraduate and MS degrees in the geological sciences as a foundation for a career in industry, government, or academia. We are dedicated to a greater understanding of Earth processes through research, service to the geosciences, and outreach to the general public and K-12 classrooms.