Geology Major | Geology Minor

General Distribution Requirement

All courses in the geology department count toward the general distribution requirement in natural science and mathematics.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and U.S identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar's web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The geology department participates in the honors program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the department are available from either the department office or the Academic Programs and Advising Office.

Further Preparation

A geological field course is sometimes a requirement for admission to graduate programs in geology. Consult with members of the department for recommended field courses. Students interested in continuing on to graduate school in Geology are strongly encouraged to take additional coursework in Chemistry, Physics, and Math.

Topics Courses

GEOL 194, GEOL 294, GEOL 394, GEOL 494 

One or more topics courses are normally offered. Depending upon student interest these may be courses designed for geology majors requiring some prerequisites, or they may be non-prerequisite courses on some topic in the earth sciences not covered in regular courses. Recent offerings include Vertebrate Paleobiology and Evolution, Global Tectonics, Paleoclimate, and Field Methods. To be announced at registration. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum section of the catalog.

Geology Major

Major Requirements

The requirements for a major in geology are: 36 credits in geology, and three supporting science courses. The 36 credits in geology must include GEOL 160, GEOL 165, GEOL 250, GEOL 255, GEOL 260 and GEOL 265 (for a total of 24 credits), and 12 credits of electives. Of the required electives, 8 credits must be derived from GEOL 300, GEOL 302, GEOL 303 or GEOL 304. The three supporting science courses must include CHEM 111 and one of the following: MATH 135, MATH 137, or higher level calculus, or STAT 155 or higher level statistics. One additional science course can be selected from CHEM 112, STAT 253, PHYS 113 or PHYS 226, or BIOL 200, BIOL 180, BIOL 170, or GEOG 225 or GEOG 365 (consult your advisor for additional options). Additional information about sub-disciplines (environmental geology, glaciology, mineralogy, petrology, structure, geophysics, paleobiology, sedimentology, stratigraphy) and suggested electives is available from the faculty in geology.

All geology majors must complete a capstone project under the guidance of one or more geology faculty. The geology capstone provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and demonstrate their skills in relation to a question of geological significance. In order to fulfill the capstone requirement, students must 1) consult with their capstone advisor to identify a research topic; (2) fulfill any writing requirement that their specific advisor may have (each advisor has their own approach; there is no formal written component of the capstone requirement in geology); and (3) present their research to their professors and peers at the annual Geology Capstone/Honors Thesis Symposium event, which is scheduled in April of the spring semester. All geology seniors are required to attend this event.

Geology Minor

Minor Requirements

A minor in geology consists of GEOL 160 and GEOL 165 and three geology electives.