Professional licensed geologist

How to become a licensed geologist in Washington State

As with many fields, the state of Washington and many other states require that professional geologists be licensed in order to assure that the practice of geology safeguards life, health, property, and public welfare. All of the information that you need about the process is available on the following website:

A summary of the process is provided here:

Education requirements

To apply for your geologist license you must:

  • Graduate from an accredited college or university with a degree in geological sciences or a related degree approved by the board.
  • Have 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of upper division geology courses, including 14 semester or 21 quarter credits (unduplicated) from the following list:
  • Earth Materials (combination of mineralogy and petrology)
  • Economic Geology
  • Engineering Geology
  • Field Camp
  • Geomorphology
  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry
  • Hydrogeology
  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology
  • Sedimentology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Structural Geology


  • Have successfully completed coursework educationally equivalent to the classes listed above, as determined by the board. You must submit documentation that demonstrates your coursework is equivalent, such as course syllabi, copies of study materials, and the tables of contents of books used in the course

Information about graduate programs

Different graduate programs have different requirements for the courses that students should have completed before applying. It will vary by graduate program, both between schools and between areas of specialization. You should spend some time investigating the requirements of various schools and programs in the area(s) of your interest. In most cases the most common requirements are the supporting courses in math (calculus), chemistry and physics.