Selecting a geology school requires some basic research. The fist step towards finding the right geology school is to take a close look at third-party school rankings. While school rankings should not be entirely relied upon, they will provide some school insight. School rankings are based upon a number of factors including academic worth, program strength, and professor expertise.
Look for rankings that include the opinions of past and current program students. Often, these reviews are unbiased, and they can list a lot of helpful insider information. Once a few geology schools have been chosen from a list of rankings, the next step is to determine the departmental worth of a geology school.
Geology students spend a large portion of their time working closely with an academic supervisor. Therefore, departmental supervisors should be examined critically. Academics that have achieved prominence within the field of geology are well worth a second look. In fact, it is not uncommon for students to base an opinion of a geology school entirely upon the academic staff.
Still, even schools that hire top academics can often be misleading program-wise. Take a close look at school programs to see what kinds of course are offered. Geology students often require a great deal of hands-on experience in order to excel in the field of geology. Both undergraduate and graduate students frequently spend summer vacations working within the field of geology alongside faculty members. Thus, programs that are strictly textbook based may not be ideal for students seeking a desirable position following graduation.
In addition to discovering an well-rounded school, it is also important to consider schools that offer specialized programs. Some geology specializations include economic geology, engineering geology, geophysics, geochemistry, geochronology, marine geology, paleontology, petroleum geology, volcanology, and many others. Students that excel in one particular geological field often have a better chance of obtaining a sought-after position following graduation.
Finally, think about the location of the geology school being considered. Some schools are better situated than others, since graduates will often obtain positions within the geology field directly following graduation. Thus, attending a school that is surrounded by professional opportunities might be worthwhile. Other things to consider include the student to faculty ratio of a school, and whether or not the school in question has a job placement program. Overall, applying to a geology school that possesses all of the important elements listed above is ideal.