• Home
  • Academics
  • 2019-2020 Catalog
  • Programs
  • Geology Major


    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 (37 credits)*

    Major Departmental 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)

    • 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
    • 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 credits)

    Major Co-requisite Requirements (24 credits)

    • MTH201-202 Calculus I* & II*
    • CHM205-206 Chemistry I* & II
    • PHS235-240 Physics I* & II

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

    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 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

    Electives (17 credits)

    Total Credits (120 credits)

    Additional 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.