Geomorphology Bachelor's Degree Programs
Geomorphology falls under the geosciences branch. While some schools offer geomorphology degrees, others offer degrees in geology or hydrology that include studies in geomorphology. Programs in geology and hydrology can be found in a number of institutions throughout the United States, and some schools offer the opportunity to concentrate in geomorphology. It's important to carefully review the courses offered to ensure programs offer the types of courses needed for a career in geomorphology.
Admission Requirements for Geomorphology Programs
Colleges and universities that offer bachelor's degree programs in relevant degree fields typically require students to graduate from high school. They review high school transcripts and standardized test scores in order to determine which students will be accepted. Some colleges and universities also consider the nature of an applicant's high school course work. Those interested in pursuing studies in geomorphology should complete at least four high school courses in English and mathematics. Studies in natural science are relevant to this field of study, and those applying should have taken several natural science courses as well. Some schools require students to apply for their major during their first year of study; those students should ensure that any college-level prerequisites for their major are completed during their first year of studies.
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Geomorphology Program Coursework
Studying geomorphology prepares graduates to understand factors that reshape the landscape of Earth. These can be physical features, such as shorelines reshaped by coastal erosion, or environmental conditions affected by global warming or pollution. Studies in this field include training in the technology used by geomorphologists and provide a thorough exploration of man's relationship with Earth and how the activities of mankind are reshaping the landscape and climate.
Courses in human geography look at how the activities of mankind impact the world. How societies and major population centers have developed throughout history may be explored, as well as the interactions of different societies. Studies cover how factors such as migration patterns, tourism, disease, the economy and a number of other factors shape things such as the environment and population growth. The objective is to provide students with an understanding of Earth's relationship with mankind and how it is affected by the actions of people.
Courses in geomorphology study the topography of Earth and the reasons why regions have different geographic shapes and features. Some courses in this area focus on specific types of features and factors that have shaped specific regions. Studies cover how factors such as erosion reshape landscapes and provide the educational foundation required to be able to identify changes that Earth is currently experiencing and how to project the impact of the factors currently altering Earth's landscape.
Geographic information systems (GIS) are commonly used in a range of career fields and a course in GIS prepares students to work with this technology effectively. Students learn how to use GIS and other forms of technology to gather and store data. They can work with GPS data to more accurately identify locations. Courses in GIS and geographic information prepare students to study things like the relationships between geography and medical conditions.
Conservation of Resources
Students learn how to identify environmental issues that are affecting Earth and its inhabitants. The primary focus is on how humans are contributing to environmental issues and determining how to preserve natural resources or prevent environmental damage. This course may also break down the sustainability of specific practices or conditions.
Courses in climate studies specifically look at how mankind is damaging Earth by causing climate change. Students learn about a number of factors that need to be considered when assessing local climates, such as moisture levels and atmospheric conditions. Students also learn about the climate history of specific areas and how to project how climates will change in the future based on current conditions.
How to Choose a Bachelor's Degree in Geomorphology Program
Since there are a limited number of postsecondary institutions offering geomorphology degrees it is important for those interested in this field of study to consider whether they want a specific geomorphology degree or whether they can pursue another degree option, such as geology, with an emphasis on geomorphology. Prospective students should carefully review the courses offered in each program in order to determine if it is suitable to their long-term goals. Some institutions offer master's degree programs in geomorphology and students may also be interested in pursuing undergraduate degree programs that are offered by those institutions if they're considering graduate studies. It is also possible to pursue studies online.
Career Options with a Geomorphology Degree
Geomorphologists are categorized with geoscientists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that geoscientists earned a median income of $89,780 in 2016. The BLS also expects job growth for geoscientists to be 14% from 2016 to 2026, which is double the expected job growth for all occupations during that time period. There are a number of careers that share some common focal areas or utilize the skills developed by geomorphologists, such as natural resource managers, environmental geologists, environmental scientists, petroleum geologists and atmospheric scientists. The links listed below lead to more information about these career fields.