In this ranking, we examine the best value colleges for online geology programs in 2016.

What do geologists study exactly? As a discipline, geology is an earth science that focuses on the study of rocks, soil, minerals, and sediment. At first glance, this might sound boring. But geologists use these earthly elements as clues to inform their broader interest in plate tectonics, natural events (like earthquakes), climate change, environmental issues, and even geotechnological engineering. That being said, geology isn’t one of the more common college programs – especially at the undergraduate level. The hands-on nature of the degree and the requirement for students to participate in labs and evaluate materials face-to-face also makes it difficult for most schools to offer their geology degrees online. But that doesn’t mean colleges aren’t still trying! A few brave pioneers have carefully cultivated the very first distance ed. programs in geology – both of which are listed on this online geology programs ranking. Although the list is small for now, it’s only a matter of time before more colleges figure out creative ways for their students to study geology over the internet. We have our ear to the ground and will be sure to add more programs to this page as we hear of more eligible options – so stay tuned!

Pennsylvania State World Campus Best Online Geology Programs

Master’s students can earn an inexpensive online geology degree from Penn State without sacrificing quality.

2. Pennsylvania State University World Campus

Online Master of Education in Earth Sciences

Website
While not technically an online geology program, this degree from Penn State University is a close match. The varied curriculum – which covers everything from geoscience and geography to energy and engineering – may even be a preferable option for some students. As a graduate program, this online master’s degree in Earth Sciences is designed to meet the needs of current secondary school science teachers who have a B.S. in a related field. Middle and high school instructors can build on their knowledge and advance in their careers through courses like “Earth Surface Processes in the Critical Zone” and “Plate Tectonics and People.”
Net Price: $12,962/yr
Score: 53.33

University of Florida Best Online Geology Programs

The University of Florida has the best online geology degree program for undergraduates – in fact the only one!

1. University of Florida

Online Bachelor’s in Geology

Website
For an undergraduate online geology program, take a look at the University of Florida’s distance education program. The curriculum takes an in-depth look at geological topics, from mineral resources and petroleum exploration to climatology. However, most graduates do not end up working as professional geologists. UF’s affordable online geology degree is an ideal option for students who want to work in education or public policy, or who plan to attend law school. And distance ed. students at the University of Florida won’t have to worry that they’re “missing out” by not attending classes on campus. In fact, they’ll be constantly “clued in,” thanks to 24/7 access to online and mobile apps, a virtual private network (VPN), and a searchable database of the on-campus library.
Net Price: $17,452/yr
Score: 66.66

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 values in online geology programs.

See our methodology page for more information about how we calculated this ranking.

Sources:
College Navigator

By CVO Staff
June 2016

Related: