Undergraduate Bulletin

Spring 2023

Requirements for the Major and Minor in Geology

Requirements for the Major

The major in Geology leads to the Bach­elor of Science degree. All courses offered for the major must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher.

Completion of the major requires 63 to 66 credits.

A. Required departmental courses

  • GEO 103 The Earth Through Time and GEO 113 Historical Geology Laboratory
  • GEO 122 Physical Geology OR GEO 102 The Earth and GEO 112 Physical Geology Laboratory
  • GEO 306 Mineralogy and GEO 366 Mineralogy Laboratory
  • GEO 309 Structural Geology and GEO 369 Structural Geology Laboratory
  • GEO 403 Sedimentation and Stratigraphy and GEO 463 Sedimentation and Stratigraphy Laboratory
  • GEO 407 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology and GEO 467 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology Laboratory

B. Required courses in the related sciences

  • AMS 151 Applied Calculus I and AMS 161 Applied Calculus II; or MAT 131 Calculus I and MAT 132 Calculus II; or MAT 125 and MAT 126 and MAT 127; or MAT 141 and MAT 142; or MAT 171. If students do not place into AMS 151 or MAT 125 or MAT 131 on the basis of the math placement examination, MAT 123 becomes a required course for the major. Equivalency for MAT courses achieved by earning the appropriate score on a University mathematics placement examination will be accepted as fulfillment of the requirement without the necessity of substituting other credits.
  • CHE 131 General Chemistry I and CHE 133 General Chemistry Laboratory
  • CHE 132 General Chemistry II
  • PHY 131 Classical Physics I and PHY 133 Classical Physics Laboratory; or PHY 141 and PHY 133, Honors Physics I and laboratory; or PHY 125 Classical Physics A and PHY 126 Classical Physics B and PHY 133 Classical Physics laboratory
  • PHY 132 Classical Physics II or PHY 142 Honors Physics II or PHY 127 Classical Physics C
  • CHE 134 General Chemistry II Laboratory or PHY 134 Classical Physics II Laboratory

C. Related science electives

A set of upper-division science courses, totaling 19 credits, that has been approved by the department.

D. Upper-Division Writing and Speaking Requirement

Before graduation all students in the Geology major must register for the 1-credit GEO 496 WRTD course along with a 300-400 level GEO course. Completion of the WRTD requires that a 15-page paper written by the student receives a B or higher as determined by the instructor of the 300-400 level course. The SBC SPK requirement can be completed with GEO 497 with a grade of ‘S’. 

Suggested Clusters of Science Electives:

Students with interest in Geology:

Students with interest in Environmental Geoscience:

  • GEO 305 Field Geology
  • GEO 315 Groundwater Hydrology
  • GEO 316 Geochemistry of Surficial Processes
  • GEO 347 Remote Sensing
  • GEO 420 Environmental Analysis and Remote Sensing/GIS or GSS 313/314 GIS Design and Application I and GIS Laboratory
  • MAR 340 Environmental Problems

Students with interest in Geological Oceanography:

  • GEO 310 Introduction to Geophysics
  • GEO 316 Geochemistry of Surficial Processes
  • GEO 318 Engineering Geology and Coastal Processes
  • GEO 353 Marine Ecology
  • MAR 304 Waves, Tides, and Beaches 

Honors Program in Geology 

To receive the Bachelor of Science in Geology with departmental honors, the student must satisfy all of the following, in addition to having completed all the degree requirements for the B.S. in Geology:

1. At least 3 credits of GEO 487, Senior Research in Geology, taken with Research Advisor.
2. Prepare and submit a written thesis that is deemed satisfactory by the Research
3. Overall grade point average of at least 3.30 in all science courses numbered 300 or

Requirements for the Minor

For students majoring in other areas who are interested in obtaining a fundamental understanding of the earth sciences, a minor concentration in Geology is available. The Geology minor acquaints students with earth materials, the origin and evolution of life on earth, and physical processes that have shaped the earth through time.

All courses offered for the minor must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher. Completion of the minor requires 20 credits.


  • GEO 103 and GEO 113
  • GEO 122 OR GEO 102 The Earth and GEO 112 Physical Geology Laboratory
  • Twelve additional credits from among GEO courses numbered 300 or higher. Courses must be approved by a departmental advisor.