A Department of Geology with an undergraduate major was established at the university in 1973 with 5.5 full-time equivalent faculty, following c. 20 years during which Geology courses had been offered on Campus. Programs for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees started in 1982, by which time the Department comprised ~ 10.5 full-time equivalent faculty. There are currently approximately 34 resident and 10 non-resident faculty, including post-doctoral research associates, approximately 5 FTE staff, approximately 40 graduate students and approximately 40 undergraduate students majoring in Geology. The Department contributes to the University Honors Program, provides leadership of the College Park Scholars Program in Science and Global Change, and sponsors the Earth Surface Processes Specialization within the campus-wide Environmental Science and Policy Program. Office, teaching and research accommodation are divided between the Geology Building, the first and second floors of the Chemistry Building, the first floor of the Biochemistry Building and the third floor of the CSS Building. The Department of Geology encourages interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the Earth and participates in the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC). This Center has been formed through collaboration between the University of Maryland and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to carry out preeminent research and teaching programs in Earth System Science. The Department is part of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences.
The mission of the Department of Geology is to provide high-quality undergraduate and graduate education, to achieve excellence in research, and to interact with society and the State by translating the implications of research through outreach and service, for the benefit of Marylanders, the nation and humankind.