Geology Major (BA, BS)


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 pursuit of careers in geology leading to professional licensure, and for graduate studies in geochemistry, petroleum exploration, paleontology, hydrogeology, ground water, environmental geology, or sedimentology/stratigraphy.

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare this major.

Program Requirements

General Education Requirements (31-40* credits)

Major Department Requirements (42 credits)

Students in the geology major pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete the corresponding degreeā€™s requirements.

Required core courses (30 credits)

Total number of GEL/ESC credits (42 credits)

Major Co-requisite Requirements (24 credits)

Total Number of Corequisite Credits (24 credits)

*Denotes courses that meet both major and general education requirements.

ESC 350 and ESC 391 should be taken in the junior year.

ESC 494 and ESC 495 should be taken in the senior year.

Currently, all upper division GEL courses (except for GEL 302) are offered once every two years in a specific rotation.

Students who intend to pursue graduate studies, or specialize in a certain field of the geosciences, 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:

Electives (14-20 credits)

Total Credits (120 credits)

Additional Degree Requirements

Completion of all university-wide degree requirements

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. 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).
  2. Properly interpret geology data using discipline-accepted qualitative analysis.
  3. Properly interpret geology data using discipline-accepted quantitative analysis.
  4. Define a scientific question and develop a methodology for answering it.
  5. Locate, evaluate and interpret primary source scientific literature.
  6. Effectively express geology concepts and research results following the accepted written format for the discipline.
  7. Explain geology concepts and communicate research results following the accepted oral format for the discipline.