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College of Arts and Sciences

Major Requirements: Geological Sciences

earth and environmental sciences

This major combines elements of traditional earth and environmental sciences programs and is excellent preparation for those working toward graduate school in the geosciences or employment in industry following graduation with a B.S. degree.

Students in this major must complete the following course requirements:

A. Three required courses (12 credits):

Course # Course Name Co-requisites Pre-requisites
GE 132 Exploring the Earth I GE 133  
GE 220 Earth Materials GE 221 GE 132
GE 288* Geological Field Methods and Mapping (or an approved field camp)    

B. At least 11 credits from the following courses:

Course # Course Name Co-requisites Pre-requisites
GE 264* Stratigraphy & Sedimentation GE 265 GE 132
GE 285* Introduction to Structural Geology GE 286 GE 134
GE 391* Introduction to Geophysics    
GE 370* Optical Mineralogy GE 371  
GE 372* Igneous Petrology GE 373 GE 220
GE 374* Sedimentary Petrology GE 375 GE 372
GE 376* Metamorphic Petrology GE 377 GE 220

*Not Offered Every Year

C. At least 15 credits of elective courses, with the following requirements:

  • Electives include all GE courses and approved interdisciplinary options (below).
  • Up to three credits toward this requirement may be from a 100-level course
  • At least seven credits must be from GE courses numbered 300 or above.
  • Up to six credits from approved non-GE courses can count toward this requirement (approved courses: MT 305, PH 301, CH 231, CH 575, or others by permission of the Undergraduate Studies Committee).
  • Up to six credits from independent study or senior thesis (GE 595-GE 599) can count toward this requirement.

D. Five co-requisite courses in Natural Sciences and Mathematics (20 credits)

  • Calculus II (MT 103 or MT 105)
  • Two semesters of Physics (PH 209-210 w/lab PH 203-204)
  • Two semesters of Chemistry (CH 109-110 w/lab CH 111-112 or CH 117-118 w/lab CH 119-120)
  • AP credits cannot substitute for the Physics and Chemistry co-requisite (D) above.

Information for First Year Geological Sciences Majors - Classes of 2014-2015

The following courses are recommended for first-year Geological Sciences majors, if their schedules permit:

  • Exploring the Earth I (GE 132) with laboratory (GE 133)
  • Earth Materials (GE 220) with laboratory (GE 221)
  • Two semesters of Calculus (MT 102-103)
  • Two semesters of Chemistry (CH 109-110) with laboratories (CH 111-112)

Geological Sciences Major: Learning Goals   

All Geological Sciences majors will be able to:

  • Think critically about scientific problems in the geological sciences.
  • Understand geological and geophysical maps and perform geological and/or geophysical field investigations.
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret qualitative and quantitative scientific data in geological sciences.
  • If this is their goal, enter graduate or professional school in geological sciences, environmental science, policy, law or other related fields.
  • If this is their goal, obtain a job or internship in a geological science related field.