Ohio University

Geological Sciences Major B.A.

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

Undergraduate Coordinator: Dr. Greg Nadon

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 - How the Earth Works. However, a number of other introductory-level courses can substitute with students entering the major after taking such diverse classes as GEOL 1200 - The Mobile Earth, GEOL 1350 - Natural Disasters, and GEOL 2310 - Water and Pollution. (A full list is available below). Entering students who have not taken GEOL 1010 or GEOL 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 must take a TIER III course, two of which are GEOL 4080 and GEOL 4290. The former focuses on the interconnected workings of planetary systems. The latter focuses on the modeling the flow of contaminants in groundwater.

Careers and Graduate School

A degree in geological sciences prepares graduates for a variety of career opportunities. Upon graduation, students can pursue positions with employers in the petroleum industry, state and national government agencies, research laboratories, state highway departments, mining companies, civil engineering firms, surveying companies, consulting firms, museums, public and private K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, etc.

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 deficiencies in geology and other sciences to bring their background up to the level of a B.S. degree.

Browse through dozens of internship opportunities and full-time job postings for Ohio University students and alumni on Handshake, OHIO’s key resource for researching jobs, employers, workshops, and professional development events.

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.

Geological Sciences (B.A.) Major Requirements

The major requirement for the (B.A.) degree in Geological Sciences requires 36 hours.

Introductory Geology Course

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

Option 1

Complete one of the following courses:

  • GEOL 1010 - How the Earth Works Credit Hours: 4.0
  • GEOL 2830 – Geology for Engineers 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 1400 - Dinosaurs and the Mesozoic Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2080 - Geology of the Solar System 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

Geological Sciences Core Courses

Complete the following core course:

  • GEOL 2550 - Historical Geology Credit Hours: 3.0

Plus one of the following courses:

  • GEOL 3120 - Earth Materials and Resources Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 3150 - Mineralogy Credit Hours: 4.0

Geological Sciences Elective

Complete a minimum of 26 hours of GEOL elective coursework at the 3000-4000 level (excluding GEOL 3120 and GEOL 3150).

Extra-departmental Requirements

Complete the following courses:

  • CHEM 1210 - Principles of Chemistry I Credit Hours: 4.0
  • MATH 1300 - Pre-Calculus Credit Hours: 4.0

Plus two of the following requirements for a total of 8 hours:

  • BIOS 1700 - Biological Sciences I: Molecules and Cells Credit Hours: 3
  • BIOS 1700 - Biological Sciences I: Molecules and Cells Credit Hours: 3
  • BIOS 1705 - Biological Sciences I Laboratory Credit Hours: 1

(Note: BIOS 1700 and 1705 need to be taken together)

  • BIOS 1710 - Biological Sciences II: Ecology, Evolution, Animal Body Systems Credit Hours: 3
  • BIOS 1715 - Biological Sciences II Laboratory Credit Hours: 1

(Note: BIOS 1710 and 1715 need to be taken together)

  • CHEM 1220 - Principles of Chemistry II Credit Hours: 4
  • PBIO 1140 - Foundations of Plant Biology Credit Hours: 4
  • PHYS 2001 - Introduction to Physics Credit Hours: 4
  • PHYS 2002 - Introduction to Physics Credit Hours: 4