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Geology majors must earn a minimum of 42 credits in required core courses and complete two semesters each of physics, calculus and chemistry. This major offers sound training in the study of the earth and its resources, and equips the student for graduate studies in geochemistry, petroleum exploration, paleontology, hydrogeology, ground water, environmental geology, or sedimentology/stratigraphy. It also provides a strong background in geology for those who seek employment at the bachelor's level, e.g., as a laboratory or environmental technician, in regulatory agencies, and as field geologists.

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare this major.

Program Requirements

Students in the earth science major pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete the corresponding degree's requirements.

Required core courses

  • GEL 201 Introduction to Physical Geology
  • GEL 302 Historical Geology
  • GEL 306 Paleontology
  • GEL 312 Mineral Science
  • GEL 408 Structural Geology
  • GEL 411 Stratigraphy and Sedimentology
  • ESC 350 Computational Methods in the Field Sciences
  • ESC 391 Writing in the Earth Sciences
  • ESC 494 Senior Research
  • ESC 495 Senior Seminar

Required Corequisite Courese

  • MTH201 Calculus I
  • MTH202 Calculus II
  • CHM205 Chemistry I
  • CHM206 Chemistry II
  • PHS235 Physics I
  • PHS240 Physics II

To make normal progress toward the degree, GEL 201 and 302, physics, calculus and college chemistry should be completed before entering the junior year. ESC 494 and ESC 495 should be taken in the senior year. Most required courses are taught once every two years.

A career as a professional geologist requires knowledge of all the natural sciences. Students who intend to pursue graduate studies should consider a minor in chemistry, physics, mathematics, or biology, depending on their specific field of interest within geology. Recommended supporting courses include the following:

  • ESC 230 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • ESC 412 Hydrology
  • ESC 418 Watershed Science
  • ESC 431 Environmental Applications of GIS
  • CHM 303 Analytic Chemistry
  • CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I
  • BIO 436 Water Quality Analysis
  • BIO 419 Limnology
  • MTH 203 Calculus III