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Field Camp

Field camp is a three-week course worth three-semester credits.

The course emphasizes field mapping with stratigraphy, structural geology, regional geology, and surface geology. The course is divided between the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming.

The group travels to the northern Black Hills of South Dakota where students learn the Paleozoic stratigraphy and do two mapping projects. Next, there is a trip across Wyoming with stops including a tertiary coal mine, the Big Horn Mountains, and Grand Teton National Parks. The last part of the trip is spent at Sheridan, Wyoming. During the camp students stay in residence halls at Black Hills State University and Sheridan College.

Students overlook the badlands while holding their fieldbooks and shielding their eyes from the sun.

The prerequisites for GEOL 404 are:

  • Geol 311: Stratigrapy and Sedimentology
  • Geol 341: Structural Geology

Field Camp Coordinators

A small heatmap which shows the locations of geology field camp


  • Black Hills (South Dakota)
  • Powder River and Big Horn Basins (Wyoming)
  • Grand Teton National Parks (Wyoming)


Every student needs to cover 3 credits at WVU for Field Camp tuition (in-state or out-of-state depending on their status). You can find the per-credit cost here. In addition, approximately $2,000 will be charged to your account to cover room and board while staying in residence halls at Black Hills State in Spearfish, SD, at Sheridan College in WY, and at motels while traveling. Students are required to have their own health insurance.


Partial scholarships may be awarded to WVU students based on GPA. The geology program distributes approximately $9,000 among the students based on merit. Students are encouraged to apply for external scholarships such as   NAGT/AWG (mid Feb. deadline).


Grades are based on field exercises. The final grade is based on the maps and field notebooks produced by the students.