Sunday, October 07, 2012

ASU is not eliminating Geology program

ASU is not eliminating the geology program.

A colleague forwarded messages circulating among geoscientists around the country in response to an article by ASU President Michael Crowe in the October issue of Scientific American ("A.S.U. President: To Encourage Science Literacy, Fix the Universities") that is subtitled, "The best way to teach today's hyperconnected students is to get rid of the departments of geology and biology" [emphasis added].    A sidebar summary repeats that statement - "Arizona State University eliminated some academic departments such as biology and geology and embraced a “transdisciplinary” approach."

Some readers are interpreting the elimination of the geology department to mean the elimination of the geology program. That's not the case. 

Geology is now part of the larger, transdisciplinary School of Earth & Space Exploration, instead of being a separate department but the geological sciences program is alive, dynamic, and continuing to produce outstanding graduates in the field.   It is one of the top-rated programs in the nation.   
Here's the writeup for the major:
 B.S. in Earth and Space Exploration - offers four concentrations -- Geological Sciences, Astrophysics, Astrobiology, and Systems Design -- and emphasizes problem solving through the integration of engineering and science. It is excellent preparation for graduate programs in the physical sciences (specifically earth science and space science) as well as a variety of engineering disciplines.
 Perhaps it would be clearer to say the geology department was merged with others into the school.


  1. Would this change make it any easier for students trying to enter the program to get in (I'm speaking in terms of space, not standards for GPA)? Or would it pretty much be the same? Is there a link that students could use to communicate with the Geology team at ASU to ask questions about entering the program?

  2. I can't speak for the program but the SESE website has a section on the undergraduate page with links to those and related questions, at

    Answers to your questions are just a click away

    Want to know more about our top-ranked geology program?
    Looking for inspiring stories of undergraduates doing amazing things?
    Curious about Science and Society courses?
    Looking for specific classes?
    Preparing for graduation?
    Questions regarding graduation requirements and/or policies?
    How to get involved in student organizations?
    Wondering about the pre-requisites for geology (GLG) courses?