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College of Arts & Sciences

Geological Sciences Major (B.A.)

BA

Students work on digging a blowhole discovered using a passive infrared camera.

  • Day- or weekend-long fieldtrips to learn geology in the field
  • Option for rocks and minerals courses
  • Option for oceanography and earth minerals courses
  • Choice from two capstone courses
  • Preparation for careers in education, library science, technical writing and other general earth science areas

Admissions Information

Degree Requirements

Faculty Contact: Dr. Eung Seok Lee

Program Overview

Requirements for the B.A. degree are designed for students interested in applying a general understanding of the geological sciences to such fields as education, library science, technical writing or other areas where a general knowledge of earth sciences is desired.

The program begins with an introductory geology course, most often GEOL 1010. However, a number of other introductory-level courses can substitute with students entering the major after taking such diverse classes as The Mobile Earth (GEOL 1200), Natural Disasters (1350), and Water and Pollution (2310). (A full list is available below). Entering students who have not taken GEOL 1010 or 2830 complete a 1-credit lab (GEOL 2020).

There are six core courses in addition to the introductory course. Some are taken as a student's schedule allows, others form a sequence and must be taken consecutively. Many of the courses include a lab. Most classes take one or more day- or weekend-long fieldtrips to learn geology in the field.

Students must take one of two options. They may take two specialized courses in rocks, minerals, and their formation; or, an oceanography course plus an earth materials courses. The choice typically reflects a student's personal interests and career aspirations.

One 4000-level elective geology course is required in addition to the core and specialized classes.

Students choose from one of two capstone courses, either Earth Systems Evolution or Geodynamics. The former focuses on the interconnected workings of geological processes over long time periods. The latter focuses on the interior behavior and properties of the Earth.

Careers and Graduate School

The B.A. in geological sciences is designed for students pursuing careers such as education, library science, technical writing, and science journalism. However, the core of knowledge in the B.A. program can serve as a springboard to more advanced work in geological sciences. B.A. graduates electing to conduct graduate studies in geological sciences will need to make up numerous deficiencies in geology and other sciences to bring their background up to the level of a B.S. degree.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy: No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Degree Requirements

Major code BA3321

University-wide Graduation Requirements

To complete this program, students must meet all Universitywide graduation requirements.

College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences

View the College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences.

Introductory Geology Course

This requirement may be satisfied by taking one of the three following options.

Option 1

Complete the following course:

  • GEOL 1010 - Introduction to Geology Credit Hours: 4.0
Option 2

Complete the following course, plus an additional course as a prerequisite.

  • GEOL 2020 - Introductory Geology Lab Credit Hours: 1.0

Plus one of the following courses:

  • GEOL 1200 - The Mobile Earth Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 1300 - Geology of the National Parks Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 1350 - Natural Disasters Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 1700 - Metal, Stone, Energy, and Society Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2080 - Geology of the Solar System Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2110 - Introductory Oceanography Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2150 - Environmental Geology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2210 - Earth and Life History Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2310 - Water and Pollution Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2710 - Extreme Ancient Climates Credit Hours: 3.0
Option 3

Complete the following course:

  • GEOL 2830 - Geology for Engineers Credit Hours: 4.0

Geological Sciences Core Courses

Complete a minimum of 36 semester hours of GEOL coursework, including the following:

  • GEOL 2550 - Historical Geology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 3050 - Statistical Methods in Geology Credit Hours: 4.0
  • GEOL 3300 - Principles of Geomorphology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 3400 - Principles of Paleontology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 3500 - Stratigraphy-Sedimentology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 3600 - Structural Geology Credit Hours: 4.0

Mineralogy/Petrology Courses

Complete one of the two following options

Option 1

Complete the following courses:

  • GEOL 3150 - Mineralogy Credit Hours: 4.0
  • GEOL 3201 - Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology Credit Hours: 4.0
Option 2

Complete the following courses:

  • GEOL 2110 - Introductory Oceanography Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 3120 - Earth Materials and Resources Credit Hours: 3.0

Capstone Component

Complete one of the following courses:

  • GEOL 4460 - Earth Systems Evolution Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 4660 - Geodynamics: The Earth's Interior Credit Hours: 3.0

Geological Sciences Elective

Complete one additional GEOL course at the 4000-level.

Extra-departmental Requirements

Complete the following courses:

  • CHEM 1210 - Principles of Chemistry I Credit Hours: 4.0
  • CHEM 1220 - Principles of Chemistry II
  • MATH 1300 - Pre-Calculus Credit Hours: 4.0
  • PHYS 2001 - Introduction to Physics Credit Hours: 4.0

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College of Arts & Sciences