License Requirements

Geology

General Requirements | Fees | Partial Refunds | Education and Experience Requirements | Examination Requirements | Applicants Applying Under the Grandparent Provision | Applicants Licensed in Another State (Endorsement)

General Requirements

Any use of the title "Professional Geologist" or provision of geological services within New York State requires licensure, except in certain "exempt" settings. These settings are detailed in Section 7208-a of the Education Law.

To be licensed as a professional geologist in New York State you must:

  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least 21 years of age; and
  • meet education, examination and experience requirements.
  • Submit an application for licensure and the other forms indicated, along with the appropriate fee, to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 145, section 7206(b) of New York's Education Law and Part 68 of the Commissioner's Regulations.

You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.

At this time the New York State Education Department is only accepting applications for licensure under the grandparent provision or through endorsement when licensed in another jurisdiction.

Information on licensure through the grandparent provision is available here

Information on licensure through endorsement is available here


Fees

The fee for licensure and first registration is $430.

Fees paid to NYSED cover the processing and evaluation of your application by the Department, as well as, your registration as a professional geologist for three years from the date your New York State license is issued.  Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in effect, by law, when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). You will be billed for the difference if fees have been increased.

  • Do not send cash.
  • Make your personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department. * Your cancelled check is your receipt.
  • Mail your application and fee to:

    NYS Education Department
    Office of the Professions
    P.O. Box 22063
    Albany, NY 12201

*NOTE: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned.


Partial Refunds

Individuals who withdraw their licensure application may be entitled to a partial refund.

  • For the procedure to withdraw your application, contact the Professional Geology Unit at opunit1@nysed.gov or by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 250 or by fax at 518-402-5354.
  • The State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing or credentials verification agency.

If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York State licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant, and you will be required to pay the licensure and registration fees and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time you reapply.


Education and Experience Requirements

To become licensed as a professional geologist in New York State you must complete a combination of education and/or experience for which years of credit are awarded. The credit awarded for your education will determine the required number of years of work experience you will need for licensure purposes.

This table is provided to help you determine your eligibility and the number of years of acceptable work experience you need in order to be made eligible for licensure.

Education

  1. You must document that you have completed a BA or BS degree in geological sciences. (e.g., engineering geology, geophysics, geochemistry, earth science, environmental geoscience, etc.), from an accredited college or university in accordance with Section 52.46 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education or the substantial equivalent as determined by the Department. The program must include the following coursework:
    1. At least six (6) semester hours in mathematics beyond college algebra and trigonometry such as calculus, statistics, linear algebra, differential equations or their equivalent and fifteen (15) additional semester hours in a combination of at least two of the following sciences: physics, chemistry, or biology or their equivalent as determined by the Department; and
    2. a minimum of thirty (30) semester hours, or the substantial equivalent, of approved geological sciences courses**. Twenty-four (24) of the thirty semester hours, or the equivalent, must be from the following subject areas, and must include at least one course from four of eight different areas;
      1. Earth Materials: The study of the structure, composition and origins of naturally occurring geological materials. Subjects that fall within this sub-area include, but are not limited to: mineralogy, optical mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, petrography, geochemistry, and isotope geochemistry.
      2. Sedimentary Geology: The study of sedimentary rocks, sedimentary basins and paleoenvironments. Subjects in this sub-area include, but are not limited to: sedimentology, stratigraphy, sedimentary petrography, sedimentary basin analysis, carbonate geology, marine geology, oceanography, and paleontology.
      3. Geotechnology: The study of interactions between anthropogenic activities and earth systems and the application of geological and environmental technologies. Subjects that fall within this sub-area include, but are not limited to: engineering geology, geotechnical engineering, geologic or natural hazards, engineering hydrology, biogeochemistry, environmental geology, and soil or rock mechanics.
      4. Surficial and Near-Surface Geology: The study of surface deposits, landforms and landscapes and their relationship to surface and endogenic earth processes. Subjects in this sub-area include, but are not limited to: geomorphology, glacial or Quaternary geology, fluvial geomorphology, and tectonic geomorphology.
      5. Hydrogeology: The study of the occurrence, distribution, and movement of surface and ground water, and their chemical and physical interactions. Subjects that fall within this sub-area include, but are not limited to: hydrogeology (or geohydrology), surface water hydrology, aqueous geochemistry, aquifer analysis, fluid mechanics, and solute fate and transport.
      6. Geodynamics and Geophysics: The study of endogenic earth processes and their relationship to plate tectonics, mountain building, earthquakes and geological structures. Subjects in this sub-area include, but are not limited to: geophysics, structural geology, volcanology, seismology, and plate tectonics.
      7. Economic Geology: This subject area includes the exploration, valuation, and extraction of geological materials of economic utility. Subjects in this sub-area include, but are not limited to: energy and mineral resources, mining geology, ore deposits, ore microscopy, petroleum geology, petroleum geochemistry, coal petrology, and geothermal energy.
      8. Geological Skills/Applications: This area includes applying geological principles and skills to analyze and interpret geological information. Subjects in this sub-area include, but are not limited to: field methods, field camp, geological mapping, geological modeling, and remote geological sensing.

    ** Semester hours earned in geological sciences, beyond the 30 required, may be utilized to fulfill the 15 required credits of science in #2.a. above.

    OR

  2. hold a bachelor’s degree in a related science or engineering and a master’s or doctoral degree in geological sciences that satisfies the requirements of section 52.46 the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education as described in item 1a and 1 b above.

Please Note in regards to items 1 and 2:

  • Independent study, research projects, theses or dissertations may be used to satisfy the twenty four (24) semester hour geological sciences requirement, or equivalent, only if they are a component of an approved curriculum and the applicant is awarded academic credit from an accredited college or university; and
  • Workshops, professional development, seminars, conferences, short courses, field trips, student internships, or reading courses may not be used to satisfy the thirty (30) hour geological sciences requirement, or equivalent.
  • OR
  1. You may qualify for licensure with twelve years of acceptable experience as described below.

Experience

The Board reviews not only the quantity of the geology experience, but also the quality of that experience to determine credit awards and eiligiblity for the examinations. Experience acceptable to the Board for licensure as a professional geologist must be verified in a manner acceptable to the Board and must:

  1. Encompass a broad range of geological disciplines;
  2. Demonstrate:
    • comprehensive understanding of geological principles and concepts, and
    • the ability to apply those principles and concepts to the practical solution of geological problems or issues.
  3. Demonstrate progressive professional practice beyond data collection, routine sampling, laboratory work or geological drafting, that requires independent judgment, competency and accountability such that you are qualified to assume responsible charge of geological work:
  4. Include the appropriate number of years of experience based on the credit earned for education (see chart)
  5. Your experience must be:
    • under the supervision of a licensed professional geologist or
    • under the supervision of a geologist or engineer whom the Board recognizes as qualified to have responsible charge of geologic work, or
    • where you were in responsible charge of the geological work.  This work must be endorsed by someone who is knowledgeable about and qualified to attest to the geologic work performed. 

In lieu of the practical experience in geological work requirements set forth in part 68.8 of regulations of the commissioner,  the board may accept research in, or the teaching of, geological sciences at the college or university level as qualifying practical experience in geological work, if, in the judgment of the board, the research or teaching is comparable to the practical experience obtained in the practice of geology.

All the experience you wish to have evaluated must be described on Forms 4 and 4A and should be accounted for chronologically. Experience descriptions must include specific duties you personally performed, the complexity of the work, and make clear the extent of your responsibility for the work. You should include the geological problem or issue addressed in each project described. You should show the geological principles and concepts that you personally applied to the issue, and include how the practical solution depended on the principles and concepts presented.

The Department will consider only experience that you have completed by the date the application was signed. Although work projects may overlap, time claimed on the forms cannot exceed actual calendar time.

The quality of the experience will be evaluated, in addition to the calendar time claimed, for the determination of experience acceptable to the Board for licensure purposes.


Examination Requirements

Unless applying for licensure under the grand parenting provision, to be licensed as a professional geologist in New York State, you must pass:

  • The Fundamentals of Geology (FG) examination, and
  • The Practice of Geology (PG) examination.

New York State is not offering the Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) Fundamentals of Geology (FG) or Practice of Geology (PG) licensing examinations at this time.  Please check back periodically for further updates.


Applicants Applying Under the Grandparent Provision

(This provision is only available until November 20, 2017.)

You may be eligible for licensure in New York State under the grandparent provision if you meet all the requirements for licensure in New York State with the exception of the licensure examination requirements.

Under this provision:

  • you may or may not be licensed in another jurisdiction;
  • you HAVE NOT taken and passed the Fundamentals of Geology and/or Practice of Geology licensure examinations;
  • you meet the education and/or experience requirements established in Part 68 of the Regulations of the Commissioner. These requirements consist of 4 pathways and are identified on the following table.

Application Forms needed for licensure under the grandparent provision:

  • Form 1 and $430.00 fee
  • Form 2 – send a form 2 to each post-secondary educational institution that has granted you a degree. Ask them to complete the form and send it directly to NYSED at the address on the bottom of the form. Please also request they send an official transcript for any degrees you wish to submit for evaluation. Please be sure to pay any fees for the transcript required by the educational institution.
  • Form 3 – If you are licensed in another jurisdiction(s,) please send a form 3 to the jurisdiction that is your primary place of practice. If this jurisdiction does not license geologists, then send the form to the jurisdiction of your original licensure. The jurisdiction must return the form 3 directly to the Office of the Professions at the address at the end of the form.
  • Form 4 – Please list each endorser to whom you will send a request for endorsement of your work experience
  • Form 4A – Please describe your work experience in detail and then send to your endorser. The endorser is to read, complete, sign and date the endorsement form and send it directly back to the Office of the Professions at the address at the end of the form. This form must be submitted by the endorser. It will not be accepted if submitted by the applicant. Note: A separate form 4A must be submitted for each endorser you list on Form 4.

You must submit full documentation of compliance with all New York State licensure requirements, including professional education and/or satisfactory professional experience, among other requirements, as part of your application for licensure through the grandparent provision.


Applicants Licensed in Another State (Licensure Through Endorsement)

You may be eligible for licensure in New York State via endorsement if you meet all the requirements for licensure in New York State. Please note New York State does not have a reciprocity/comity agreement with any jurisdiction.

Under this provision:

  • you are currently licensed in another jurisdiction;
  • you have taken and passed the Fundamentals of Geology and Practice of Geology licensure examinations;
  • you meet the education and/or experience requirements established in Part 68 of the Regulations of the Commissioner. These requirements consist of 4 pathways and are identified on the following table.

Application Forms needed for licensure through endorsement:

  • Form 1 and $430.00 fee
  • Form 2 – send a form 2 to each post-secondary educational institution that has granted you a degree. Ask them to complete the form and send it directly to NYSED at the address on the bottom of the form. Please also request they send an official transcript for any degrees you wish to submit for evaluation. Please be sure to pay any fees for the transcript required by the educational institution.
  • Form 3 – Please send a form 3 to the jurisdiction that is your primary place of practice. If this jurisdiction does not license geologists, then send the form to the jurisdiction of your original licensure. In addition please send this form to the jurisdiction(s) where you took the licensure exams or to ASBOG and request they verify that you took and passed the examination(s) listed. They need to return the form 3 directly to the Office of the Professions at the address at the end of the form.
  • Form 4 – Please list each endorser to whom you will send a request for endorsement of your work experience
  • Form 4A – Please describe your work experience in detail and then send to your endorser. The endorser is to read, complete, sign and date the endorsement form and send it directly back to the Office of the Professions at the address at the end of the form. This form must be submitted by the endorser. It will not be accepted if submitted by the applicant. Note: A separate form 4A must be submitted for each endorser you list on Form 4.

You must submit full documentation of compliance with all New York State licensure requirements including professional education and/or satisfactory professional experience, among other requirements, as part of your application for licensure through endorsement.

Last Updated: September 29, 2016