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Brockport / Earth Sciences / / Geology


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Curriculum Overview

The geology major is structured to provide the fundamental skills in geology and supporting courses in chemistry, physics and math while allowing students the flexibStudents examine the exposed layering of the cliff faceility to tailor their degree to individual interests.  Pursuit of a professional career normally entails postgraduate study; however, direct employment opportunities are available to qualified graduates.  Our graduates have been very successful in gaining admission to graduate schools, and in progressing to professional employment with various governmental agencies and private industry.  Assistantships are sometimes available to cover a substantial part of the costs.

While learning the fundamental concepts of geological science, students are trained to think analytically, creatively, and quantitatively, gaining first-hand experience in laboratory and field techniques used in the study of geological materials. Classes are small, generally 20 or less.  Appropriate field experiences are integral to the program; the development of observational and analytical skills in actual field situations is stressed. Upper-level students with appropriate training and demonstrated ability may participate in faculty research or other Independent Study projects for credit.  In the required senior seminar, geology students gain valuable experience working on a small research project with the guidance of a faculty member.  Results are presented orally to an audience of fellow students and faculty.


Geology majors must earn a minimum of 42 hours in geology/earth science courses, supplementing the required core with electives related to career goals and interests.  At least 21 upper-division hours must be taken at Brockport.  Additionally, you are required to complete one year of study each in chemistry, physics, and calculus.  

The following curriculum provides a strong background in geology and related sciences to prepare a student for employment as a professional geologist or for graduate studies.  For students planning to pursue graduate studies, a minor in chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, or computer science is recommended. 

Core courses (42 cr.)

GEL 201  

Introduction to Physical Geology    

(4 cr.)

GEL 302

Historical Geology

(4 cr.)

GEL 306

Introduction to Paleontology  

(4 cr.)

GEL 312

Mineral Science  

(4 cr.)

GEL 408  

Structural Geology

(4 cr.)

GEL 411

Stratigraphy & Sedimentology    

(4 cr.)

ESC 350 

Computational Methods in the Field Sciences 

(3 cr.)

ESC 391 

Writing in the Earth Sciences    

(1 cr.)

ESC 494  

Senior Research 

(1 cr.)

ESC 495

Senior Seminar

(1 cr.)

To make normal progress toward the degree, students should take ESC 391 and ESC 350 in the sophomore or junior year, and ESC 494 and ESC 495 in the senior year.

Designated electives (12 cr.)

GEL 415


(4 cr.)

ESC 455

Intro to Soil Science

(3 cr.)

GEL 462


(4 cr.)

GEL 457


(4 cr.)


Required corequite courses (24 cr.)

MTH 201-202

Calculus I, II  

(8 cr.)

PHS 235-240

Physics I, II    

(8 cr.)

CHM 205-206  

Chemistry I, II

(8 cr.)

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Last Updated 4/15/14


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