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Academics

Academics

Bachelor of Science
Earth and Space Science - Geology Track

College of Letters and Sciences

Department of Earth and Space Science

Program Description

Geology encompasses the study of minerals, rocks, ancient life and Earth history, earthquakes, volcanoes, flooding, coastal erosion, tsunami, mountain belts, economic resources, landslides, environmental pollution and water resources. Geologists are, in fact, among the primary workers engaged in studying and protecting the Earth's environment

Students in the B.S. Earth and Space Sciences-Geology track take fundamental coursework in the fields of mineralogy and petrology, sedimentology and stratigraphy, structural geology and tectonics, hydrology and geochemistry, geomorphology, paleontology, paleoclimate and environmental geology. Most courses include a laboratory, and many include a field component. In preparation for upper level geology coursework, students take one year of chemistry and physics courses, as well as calculus. Interested students may have the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research with geology faculty.

Career Opportunities

From mineral and energy exploration, to monitoring of volcanoes and landslides, to environmental protection and regulation; geologists are employed in a wide variety of fields across the globe. Many geologists work in the fields of energy and mineral exploration, where salaries are the most lucrative. Other geologists work to protect society from volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, and floods. Some geologists study Earth history in order to understand changes in life, climate and other Earth systems through time. A significant number of geologists work to protect society from environmental degradation, including soil and water pollution, and are employed in both the private and public sector. Many of these geologists are employed as environmental scientists, which along with geoscientists are consistently ranked among the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. economy by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Admission Requirements

There are no program specific admission requirements.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the B.S. Earth and Space Science program, Geology track, will be able to:
1. identify and describe fundamental earth materials (e.g. rocks and minerals), explain the internal and surficial processes by which they form, and utilize this knowledge to solve basic geologic problems.
2. describe the major fossil groups present in the geologic record, how these organisms relate to events in geological time, and will be able to utilize this information to interpret ancient environments and the evolution of life on our planet.
3. describe internal Earth processes (i.e. Plate Tectonics) that produce deformation of rock and large scale tectonic features on our planet, and will be able to utilize this information to solve problems in structural geology.
4. describe the interactions between Earth processes and Human societies, including using Earth's geological resources (e.g. water, fossil fuels) and managing Earth's natural and man-made hazards, and will be able to use this information to solve problems related to the Human environment.
5. gather and synthesize a variety of geologic data to create stratigraphic columns, geologic maps and cross-sections, interpret the geologic history of a region, develop strategies for mitigating risk to human societies associated with the interaction of human and geologic processes, and communicate (i.e. written, oral) geologic concepts in an effective manner.

Additional Program Requirements

There are no program specific academic regulations.

Program Of Study

Area A Essential Skills Required Hours: 9
ENGL 1101 (with a grade of "C" or better)
ENGL 1102 (with a grade of "C" or better)
MATH 1113 or MATH 1131*
*Extra hour applied to Area F

Area B Institutional Options Required Hours: 4
COMM 1110
Select one of the following courses:

OR
Select one of the following courses: Foreign Language 1001, 1002, 2001, or 2002
Any Area C-E course with a study abroad component.

Note: the two extra hours may be used as electives.

Area C Humanities/Fine Arts/Ethics Required Hours: 6
Select one of the following humanities courses:

Select one of the following fine arts courses: *ITDS 1145, though listed under both humanities and fine arts, may be taken only once.

Area D Science/Math/Technology Required Hours: 11
Select two lab science courses from below:
CHEM 1211 Principles of Chemistry 1
CHEM 1211L Principles of Chemistry 1 Lab
CHEM 1212 Principles of Chemistry 2
CHEM 1212L Principles of Chemistry 2 Lab

Take one of the following courses:
MATH 1131* or MATH 1132*
*Extra hour applied to Area F

Area E Social Sciences Required Hours: 12
Select one course from the following two courses:
HIST 2111
HIST 2112

Take the following course:
POLS 1101
Select one behavioral science course from the following courses:

Select one world cultures course from the following courses:

Wellness Requirement Required Hours: 3 

PHED 1205
Select any one PEDS course.

Area F Courses Related to Major Required Hours: 18
“C”or better required in each course
GEOL 1121 Intro Geo 1: Physical Geology
GEOL 1121L Intro Geo 1: Physical Geology 1 Lab

Take the following physics sequence:
PHYS 1111 Introductory Physics 1
PHYS 1112 Introductory Physics 2
PHYS 1311 Introductory Physics 1 Lab
PHYS 1312 Introductory Physics 2 Lab

OR
PHYS 2211 Principles of Physics 1
PHYS 2212 Principles of Physics 2
PHYS 2311 Principles of Physics 1 Lab
PHYS 2312 Principles of Physics 2 Lab

Select 3 or more hours from the following:
ASTR 1105 Descriptive Astronomy: The Solar System
ASTR 1305 Descriptive Astronomy Lab
ASTR 1106 Descriptive Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies
BIOL 1215K Principles of Biology
ENVS 1105 Environmental Studies
ENVS 1205K Sustainability and the Environment
GEOL 1110 Natural Disasters

Up to 3 can be added from Areas A, B and/or D with advisor approval.

Area G Program Requirements Required Hours: 35
“C”or better required in each course

Take one of the following:
GEOL 5165 Hydrology
GEOL 5215 Geomorphology

Area H Program Electives Required Hours: 25
Select 25 hours from the following electives:
ENGR 2206
ENGR 2217

Any 3000+ level GEOL or ENVS. Up to 12 hours of ASTR, ATSC, ENGR, GEOG and/or MATH courses may count towards Area H with advisor approval if the 39  hour upper-level course requirement is met. 

Total Hours Required: 123

4 Year Course Schedule

Suggested four year course schedule