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.
Students in the earth science major pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete the corresponding degree's requirements.
Required core courses
- GEL201 Introduction to Physical Geology
- GEL 302 Historical Geology
- GEL 305 Paleontology and Paleoenvironments
- GEL 310 Mineralogy-Petrology I
- GEL 409 Structural Geology
- GEL 411 Stratigraphy and Sedimentology
- BOTH of these courses are required; they should be taken no later than junior year to ensure timely graduation:
- ESC 350 Computational Methods in the Field Sciences
- ESC 391 Writing in the Earth Sciences
- BOTH of these courses are required; they are typically taken in the senior year:
- ESC 494 Senior Research
- ESC 495 Senior Seminar
- Geology Field Camp (summer)
Upper-Division Electives (12 hours)
- GEL 418 Geomorphology & Surface Processes
- GEL 450 Low Temp Geochemistry
- GEL 460 Hydrogeology
- GEL 463 Environmental & Engineering Geology
- GEL 410 Mineralogy-Petrology II
- ESC 455 Introduction to Soil Science
Total number of GEL/ESC credits: 42
Required Corequisite Courses
- MTH201 Calculus I
- CHM205 Chemistry I
- PHS235 Physics I
Total number of corequisite Credits: 24
Currently, all upper division GEL courses, except for GEL 302, are offered once every two years in a specific rotation.
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 412 Hydrology
- ESC 418 Watershed Science
- ESC 371 Fundamentals of GIS
- ESC 431 Environmental Applications of GIS
- CHM 302 Inorganic Chemistry I
- CHM 303 Analytic Chemistry
- CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I
- BIO 436 Water Quality Analysis
- BIO 419 Limnology
- MTH 203 Calculus III
Student Learning OutcomesUpon completion of the program, students will be able to:
- Explain the manner with which variables and data, relevant for Geology, are properly collected using discipline appropriate methodology (Fieldwork, Instrumentation, Remote sensing, or derived products from Models).
- Properly Interpret Geology data using discipline-accepted qualitative analysis.
- Properly Interpret Geology data using discipline-accepted quantitative analysis.
- Define a scientific question and develop a methodology for answering it.
- Locate, evaluate and interpret primary source scientific literature.
- Effectively express Geology concepts and research results following the accepted written format for the discipline.
- Explain Geology concepts and communicate research results following the accepted oral format for the discipline.