University of Southern Indiana
Geology class

Geology and Physics

Geology & Physics offers numerous opportunities to students, including Bachelor of Science degree programs in Biophysics, Environmental Science, Geology, and Physics. The Department also has the following minors: Biophysics, Geography, Geology, and Physics. Geology & Physics also offers the following Bachelor of Science degrees in Secondary Science Teaching: Earth-Space Science, Physical Science, and Physics. Please feel free to stop by and visit with a faculty member in Geology & Physics to learn more about our programs. We are located on the second floor of the Science Center.  

If you have an inquisitive passion for nature and the outdoors, a desire to understand the natural wonders of Earth, and/or a concern for responsible stewardship of global natural resources, then pursuing a geology degree at USI might be right for you. At USI, you will have the opportunity to work with faculty members on hands-on research, to present your ideas at conferences, and to travel on excursions to unique geological locales, such as to the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, Yellowstone National Park, or the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

The USI Geology Program provides numerous Departmental scholarships to students and facilitates internships with local companies. Geology is unique in that it combines aspects of biology, earth science, chemistry, and physics, providing a background that is useful for almost any career path. Geology majors at USI are provided with analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills that are desired by employers and splendidly prepares those interested in pursuing an advanced degree.

Forbes magazine listed Geology as number 7 on its list of the 15 most valuable college majors. Why? Because a Geology stresses problem-solving skills that are in demand and transferable to a wide range of professions that include business, engineering, law, consulting, and education. Such skills include lateral thinking, teamwork, technical writing, verbal communication, observation, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation.

Geology is the primary science that deals with energy, natural hazards, and environmental issues. Demand for the types of skills mastered by our geology majors is high and is predicted to remain high in the future. As we move in to a future of growing human population and need for natural resources, geologists will play an important role in resource management and remediation of the many environmental problems that we will face.

USI Geology alums are working in a variety of professions across the career spectrum including, but not limited to, academia, business, consulting, education, engineering, government, mineral exploration, and the petroleum industry. USI Geology faculty are dedicated to your success.


Physics is the study of the most basic laws of nature and describes such phenomena as electricity, light, sound, magnetism, forces, energy, and heat.  It is a requirement for all science majors and critical in many courses of study. 

The Physics Program at USI offers many options to students with an interest in physics.  For the majors, we offer a BA/BS option in Physics, as well as a BA/BS option in Biophysics.  We also offer minors in Physics and Biophysics that complement degrees in other disciplines. The Physics degree offers four possible tracks for the major: (1) Traditional—for students pursuing further studies in graduate school; (2) Teaching—for students seeking licensure to teach in high school setting; (3) Applied—for students seeking training in physics and engineering that can be applied in industry; and (4) Computational—for students seeking physics and computer training for applications in problem solving and analysis in research or industry. The Biophysics degree offers high level training in multiple disciplines (including biology, chemistry and math) enabling entry into medical school, graduate school or research and development opportunities.

Students in the physics program enjoy small classes with a great deal of personal attention from quality instructors. Our excellent instruction extends outside the classroom as well, with hands-on projects, including research opportunities for all students in our program. Students graduating with degrees in physics are prepared for graduates studies in physics, medical school, engineering, and other post baccalaureate programs—or they qualify for opportunities to work in exciting research and development fields.


Contact Dr. William S. Elliott, Jr.


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