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New Mexico State University
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Geological Sciences

The Department of Geological Sciences at New Mexico State University offers both undergraduate and graduate study leading to the B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology. Advanced training offered through the program of study can qualify students for employment in such branches of geological science as environmental geology, hydrology, or the energy industry, for government service, or may serve as preparation for further graduate study. Field trips are a part of many of the classes in this program and the location of NMSU in the southern part of the Rio Grande rift allows students to get hands-on experience with world-class geology within a few hours of campus.

Research Areas

We are actively engaged in research in the following fields (click on the photo to see who is involved in this research):
Sedimentology/Stratigraphy Structure/Tectonics Detrital Zircon Dating
Mineralogy/Petrology Isotope Geochemistry Volcanology

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.

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Organ Mts.
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La Luz Canyon, Sacramento Mts.
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Kilbourne Hole
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Mescal Canyon
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Bishop's Cap
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White Sands Monument
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Florida Mts.
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Burro Mts.
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Elephant Butte
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Palm Park
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San Diego Mt.
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Caballo Mts.

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.

Department of Geological Sciences

Geological Sciences Alumni