Texas Tech University

Leaving College

Teaching Certificate 

          If you are interested in becoming a teacher after graduation consider getting a teaching certificate. Multiple universities offer teaching certificates that can be completed in one to two years. Students can also receive an alternative certification though regional education service centers. Lubbock is served by Region 17 and the requirements for alternative certification can be viewed on their website.

Graduate School / Post-grad

          When applying to graduate school remember you are applying to work with an individual faculty. You will need to reach out to new faculty members and inquire about their research. Be proactive and get suggestions for schools from your TA's, Professors and by attending professional meetings. It will be helpful to make a spreadsheet of schools, faculty advisors, application deadlines, and possible sources of funding. Many MS programs in Geosciences will fully-fund graduate student tuition and fees as well as providing a monthly stipend for living expenses.         

          Graduate school applications usually require a statement of intent, three or more letters of recommendation, the general Graduate Record Exam (GRE), and your undergraduate transcript (minimum GPA 3.0 generally). Applications typically open in September and close in January for admission the following fall with offers starting to roll out in February. The best people to provide letters of recommendation for you are the faculty in your geosciences courses as they can speak to your performance in the classroom, strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to make the best impression possible in you major courses.

         Some graduates wish to focus more on the business side of industry and they will take a Masters of Business Administration. Tech offers a STEM MBA for students who have completed an undergraduate degree in a STEM discipline in which can be completed in one-year time. This program highlights the technical background of these students while also providing the business skills needed to be successful in management and leadership roles. Courses include accounting, business analytics, decision theory, finance, economics, information technology, law, marketing, management, statistics and strategy, along with STEM-specific electives. These applications generally requires a resume, one page essay, two letters of recommendation, and either the GRE or GMAT exam. The Rawls School of Business website has much more information on this program.


Tech offers numerous resources when it comes to finding a career post graduation.The Career Center is a fantastic resource for getting resume help, interview practice, and learning etiquette. All of these resources are free to students! Tech also offers Career shift as a job hunting platform to research job openings and internships. In addition to Career shift, set-up job alerts with companies you are interested in. Job posting platforms like indeed,glassdoor, and LinkedIN can send alerts based on keywords or location you choose. This could be a great way to get variety in your job search. 

Resume hints 

  • Visit the Career Center on campus and get help 
  • Use action verbs when describing things you did or learned while working
  • Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service Programs, class field work and other organizations (professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student; social)
  • Try different resume formats, but keep it professional and easy to read.  Avoid templates because many Applicant Tracking Systems have difficulty reading resume templates.
  • Choose headings that will highlight your assets and make you stand out
  • Make a "master resume" with everything you could possibly put on a resume. Then depending on the job take things out to make the recommended 1 page length. This way you are catering each resume you send out to the job.

LinkedIN help 

  • Think of this as your extended resume, so put everything 
  • Keep descriptions brief, but effective 
  • Look at alumni profiles and people with your similar career interests and model your profile after theirs 
  • Choose the right profile picture. Your face should take up about 60% of the space
  • List all of your relevant skills, experiences, and course work
  • Grow your network! Connect with alumni, friends, and influencers in your field of study

Professional Licensure 

          In the state of Texas, environmental or engineering consulting jobs require geoscientists to be licensed but remember that the requirements for licensure vary state to state. In order to start this process in Texas one must take the ASBOG Fundamentals of Geology Exam (FG) as the first step to becoming a Geologist in Training (GIT). The other requirements to become a GIT are completion of a 4- year degree in geosciences with a minimum of 30 hours of coursework in the field and paying a fee of $25. It is recommended that you take the FG exam in the spring of your senior year because all of the geology information is fresh in your mind. There is a very helpful study guide offered by Reg Review Inc. ($125) that you can use to study for your Fundamentals of Geology Exam and your PG exam. The department has a copy on reserve for student use. The FG exam given only 2 times a year (April and October) in Austin. The exam costs $200 and you must begin the process to apply to take the exam approximately 3-4 months in advance.
           Once you become a GIT, a 5-year timeline begins where you demonstrate that you are qualified to assume the responsibility of the scientific work in geosciences. If you plan to go to graduate school, 2 years of graduate school apply to the 5 year timeline. At the end of your 5-years, to become a Professional Geologist (PG) you will take a more applied exam called the ASBOG Practice of Geology Exam. Along with the exam and experience, you will need five references of moral character, academic transcripts, and other supporting documentation to become licensed. You are encouraged to look at Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists website for application process and more explanation.
          Safety regulations require geoscientists to recieve OSHA training called Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER). This training is available at Community Colleges, online and through some engineering firms. This is a 40-hour training course required by all personnel working on environmental sites. The training is offered online and in person. A reliable online training website is on safety unlimited for $234.