A pick axe sits on a boulder

Geology Degree, AS

Prepare to transfer to a four-year institution with an Associate of Science (AS) in Geology. Our expert faculty will teach you about our planet's composition, processes, and history. Learn about our dependence on Earth's resources, our effect on the environment, and the natural disasters that affect our communities.

Why Study Geology?

Examining the Earth's history can help us better steward its present and future. Geologists study how the Earth has changed over billions of years. Their discoveries help us protect fragile landscapes and predict natural disasters. They help us find oil and gas, mineral resources, as well as find renewable sources for a sustainable future.

Look for a career in geology if you like solving problems and getting your hands dirty. You'll traverse canyons and hike mountains in your classes and future career, and you'll learn to think critically as you collect and analyze data. See how the field of geology can be the right fit for you. 

Why Earn an Associate Degree in Geology at San Juan College?

Ready to Transfer

The two-year Geology AS at San Juan College provides the coursework you need to transfer to a four-year college. You will learn in supportive small classroom settings with professors who know your name. SJC also connects you with partner institutions for research opportunities to boost your experience. With our program, you'll be ready to earn your bachelor's degree.

Field Experiences

Apply your geology knowledge and practice collecting data through our field experiences. Your classes include trips to:

Your professors will guide these tours that give you a firsthand glimpse at these natural wonders. You'll greatly appreciate and understand the major geological processes that have happened over the Earth's 4.6-billion-year history.

Access to Specimens

As a geology student, you'll have access to our excellent teaching collection of minerals, rocks, and fossils. You'll also be able to study the specimens at the Sherman Dugan Museum of Geology. Located at San Juan College, the Museum has the most comprehensive collection of minerals and fossils in the Four Corners area. You can use these collections in your research and projects.

Affordable Option

Our rigorous, high-quality education and low tuition rates combine to make our Geology AS degree a smart investment for you. You will be ready for the next stages of your academic and career journey. You may also qualify to get your degree tuition-free through the NM Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships

What You'll Learn With the Associate Degree in Geology

Study how to classify and interpret mineral, rocks, soil, and water data. With an associate degree in geology, you'll analyze our relationship with our natural environment and dependence on the Earth's resources.

In your courses, you will learn topics such as:

  • Physical geology
  • Historical geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Igneous and metamorphic petrology
  • Algebra-based physics.
  • You'll also discover how to:
  • Use equipment in a standard geoscience laboratory
  • Utilize field techniques
  • Apply the scientific method
  • Read, write, present, and critically evaluate geologic reports, professional papers, and maps

Geology AS Curriculum

Transfer Options

Be prepared to earn a bachelor's degree at a four-year university with San Juan College. A bachelor's degree will provide access to better job opportunities with higher pay.

With our Geology AS, you can enter as a junior majoring in geology at the following schools:

  • Fort Lewis College
  • New Mexico Highlands University
  • New Mexico State University
  • New Mexico Tech
  • Northern Arizona University
  • The University of New Mexico

Meet with your academic advisor if you wish to transfer to pursue your bachelor's degree in geology. You will need to coordinate your coursework at San Juan College with the transfer institution's requirements.

Learn More About the Transfer Process

A glass display case with shelves of geodes and crystals

Geology on Display

The Sherman Dugan Museum of Geology is a highlight of San Juan College's School of Energy. It hosts an exceptional fossil and mineral collection from around the world, including Mexico, Canada, and Africa. Visit our public collection from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Careers and Outcomes

Geologists use cutting-edge technology and their analytical skills to identify and solve problems. You'll be ready for various roles, from helping extract oil to creating maps. You might even get to travel all over the world to apply your expertise. Many industries and organizations use geologists to help them grow, including:

  • Oil and gas industry
  • Mining industry
  • Environmental companies and nonprofits
  • Government agencies
  • National laboratories
  • Museums

Potential careers for geologists include:

  • Mineralogist
  • Petroleum geologist
  • Geochemist
  • Paleontologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Science teacher

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment of geologists to grow by 5% from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. You'll be able to find a career in this industry after you graduate. 

Next Steps

Start the journey to your Associate of Science in Geology by applying to San Juan College. It's easy, and you can apply online at any time!

Apply Now

If you are already a student at San Juan College, talk to your advisor about our associate degree in geology.

Find Your Advisor


Phone: (505) 566-3320

West Classroom Complex,
Room 1911

M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.