Jul 15, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geology, BS

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Department of Geology, College of Science and Engineering

104-117 credits


A geoscientist is someone who studies the Earth’s physical makeup and history. Geology is the science that provides the key to finding new sources of useful Earth materials and to understanding Earth processes that affect our lives. Geoscientists provide basic information to society for solving problems and establishing policy for resource management, environmental protection, public health, safety and welfare.

Geoscientists are curious about the Earth. How was it formed? How is it changing? What effects will shrinking glaciers have on the oceans and climate? How do islands form? What makes a continent move? Why did the dinosaurs become extinct? What makes a mountain?

Geoscientists are concerned about the Earth. How extensive is the global warming trend? How and where should we dispose industrial wastes? How can we fill society’s growing demands for energy and conserve natural resources for future generations?

Geoscientists enjoy the Earth. It is an outdoor laboratory filled with opportunities to observe Earth processes in action. By applying knowledge of forces that shape the Earth, Geoscientists seek to reconstruct the past and anticipate the future.

Why Consider a Geology Major?

Do you like to know why and how things work? Do you enjoy the outdoors? Are you concerned about the environment? Are you interested in travel? Do you like to analyze things? Are science and nature among your favorite subjects? Have you ever wondered why the Earth appears as it does? If you answer “yes” to most of these questions the Geosciences could offer a good career for you.

This Bachelor of Science major is designed to provide students with a broad background in geology. Completion of this program will prepare students for a variety of careers in geology or graduate work in geology. This program is recommended for students who are preparing to become professional geologists and intend to enter industry or enroll in a graduate program upon completion of the degree.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Bernie Housen
Environmental Studies 240A

Undergraduate Advisor
Environmental Studies 240

 Sample Careers

U.S. Geological Survey | Departmental of Natural Resources | Oil Exploration | Mining Geologist | NASA | U.S. Forest Service | Engineering Geologist

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

All 300-400 level courses are major restricted, and 400-level courses are restricted to Phase II majors, so it is important to declare a major as early as possible.

Geology students can declare as a Phase I major at any time as long as they are in good academic standing.

Students who wish to earn the BS Geology degree must compete a set of preparatory courses for admission into Phase II of the degree program. Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in this set of preparatory courses, and be in good academic standing to qualify for admission. Priority for admission will be given to students who have a GPA of 2.5 or higher in these preparatory courses; students with a lower GPA will be admitted on a space-available basis.

Preparatory courses for BS Geology:

  • GEOL 211, GEOL 212 and GEOL 213
  • One of the following: GEOL 306, GEOL 310, GEOL 318, or GEOL 352
  • CHEM 161, MATH 124

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.


Core Program

Elective courses:

Departmental Honors

BA or BS students and students in the University Honors program who have completed at least 4 credits of GEOL 490 and have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher meet the requirements for departmental honors. Those students who have completed at least 4 credits of GEOL 490 and have a cumulative GPA higher than 3.20 meet the requirements for departmental distinction.

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