Scholarships for Geology Majors

Geology rocks! Okay, I’ll try not to make any more puns. The study of geology is one of the most popular natural sciences in terms of college majors, as well as one of the most lucrative upon graduation. Believe it or not, Forbes ranked geology as the seventh most valuable college major. It has a starting median pay of $45,300 and a mid-career salary of $83,300. With such exciting prospects on the horizon for geologists, it’s no wonder that the field is getting more and more crowded. This increased competition leads to students fighting for ways to stand out from their peers. One way to accomplish this goal is through scholarships and grants, with many offered from myriad sources. Here’s a partial list of scholarships geology majors should pursue:

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AIPG National Undergraduate Scholarship

Deadline: TBD for 2021

Amount: $3,000

The American Institute of Professional Geologists—or AIPG—is constantly in search of new, young recruits to enter the field of geology. While geologists may study the “old,” in rocks and minerals, it’s vitally important for any area of study to constantly inject new blood. One way the AIPG does this is through its National Undergraduate Scholarship, awarded annually to ten students pursuing the course of study.

In order to be eligible for the award, students must be at least sophomores in college pursuing a geology track and members of the AIPG’s youth chapter. Their application must include a cover letter and an essay covering the topic “Why I Want To Be A Geologist.” Additionally, potential AIPG scholars must have a GPA of at least 2.8, and, if awarded the top prize, prepare a different short essay that will be published in The American Geologist.

Geological Society of America Grants & Scholarships

Deadline: TBD for 2021

Amount: Varying

Another foundation based on raising interest in science among the youth, the Geological Society of America joins with the National Science Foundation to sponsor a number of scholarships and grants for budding geologists. The prizes come in a number of categories, with some for graduate students, undergraduates, post-doctorates, minorities, and specialized grants. Additionally, the GSA offers travel grants to students who wish to go to different destinations to pursue their passion.

The Farouk El-Baz Student Research Grant is one of their top prizes, open to students who focus on desert geology. The El-Baz Grant allows a Master’s or Ph.D. student to complete their research with financial assistance. GSA grants and scholarships are numerous, and for a full list, interested students can check out their well-organized website. 

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AEG Foundation Scholarships

Deadline: February 1, every year

Amount: Varying

If practical, hands-on fieldwork is your interest, you’ve come to the right place. A third organization devoted to the practice of geology, the Association of Engineering Geologists Foundation was formed in 1992. Their mission statement is to “create a culture of giving back to the profession, and to instill complete confidence in donors that their money is well-invested and well-spent.”

To this end, the AEG Foundation sponsors ten programs for youths hoping to study geology. The programs range from undergraduate (the Marliave Fund) to professional (the Lemke Fund). The AEG Foundation prides itself on the wide variety of options available, and additionally offer other funds for practitioners of geology upon completion of their degree.

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