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.
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 degree’s requirements.
Required core courses (30 credits)
- GEL 201 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:
- BOTH of these courses are required; they are typically taken in the senior year:
- GEL 490 Geology Field Camp (summer)
12 credits of designated electives by advisement from:
- GEL 399 Independent Study
- GEL 410 Mineralogy-Petrology II
- GEL 418 Geomorphology and Surficial Processes
- GEL 450 Low Temperature Geochemistry
- GEL 460 Hydrogeology
- GEL 463 Environmental and Engineering Geology
- ESC 455 Introduction to Soil Science
- GEL 499 Independent Study
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:
ESC 318 Sustainable Land and Water Management
ESC 371 Fundamentals of GIS
- ESC 412 Hydrology
- ESC 431 Environmental Applications of GIS
- BIO 419 Limnology
- BIO 436 Water Quality Analysis
- CHM 302 Inorganic Chemistry I
- CHM 303 Analytic Chemistry
- CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I
- MTH 203 Calculus III
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:
- 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.