Jul 20, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geology, Solid Earth and Tectonics Concentration, B.S.

Degree and Major Requirements

The Department of Geology and Environmental Science  aoffers a B.S. and a B.A. degree. Both degree options have a research requirement that includes a formal presentation.

Students must complete 12 hours of upper-level electives (300 or 400 level) to meet the requirements for a B.S. in geology. GEOL 301 GEOL 320 GEOL 367 GEOL 401  and GEOL 477  do not count as upper level electives for the B.S. in geology. Students are strongly advised, but are not required, to select one of three concentrations to fulfill the 12 hours of upper level electives: 

The B.A. degree with a major in Earth Science  prepares individuals to work in a wide range of professional public sector service careers where preparation in earth science and communication of science to nonscientific audiences is a requirement or an asset. This includes the preparation of earth science teachers.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • General Education  41 Credit Hours 1
  • Quantitative requirement (in addition to General Education ) 3 Credit Hours 2
  • Scientific Literacy requirement (in addition to General Education 3-4 Credit Hours 2
  • Major requirements (listed below) 68-76 Credit Hours
  • General Electives 2-11 Credit Hours

Total: 120 Credit Hours


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

2 The quantitative and scientific literacy requirements are met by courses required by the major.

Major Requirements

Research Requirements: 2-6 Credit Hours

In addition to GEOL 291 , choose from the following to complete the research requirement. All majors must complete a minimum of two credits. Students conducting research with faculty should select GEOL 497 ; Honors students doing research with faculty must complete a minimum of six credits in GEOL 499A /GEOL 499B /GEOL 499C . All students must give a formal presentation to fulfill this requirement.

Total: 33-37 Credit Hours


The B.S. degree in geology is designed for students who plan to obtain professional employment in geology or enter graduate school upon graduation. It is recommended that incoming B.S. degree students complete the following courses prior to enrolling in required geology courses numbered 300 and higher.

Choose one of the following two sequences: 8 Credit Hours

Total: 23-26 Credit Hours

Additional Information

Students planning graduate study in some areas of the geosciences should consider courses in mathematics, physics or chemistry beyond those required for the B.S. major.


The B.S. degree option recommends that each student complete at least 12 credit hours chosen from one of the three concentrations.

Solid Earth and Tectonics

The solid Earth and tectonics track is designed for students who are interested in studying the evolution of the Earth and the methods to study it. The recommended course work is designed to provide students with content knowledge and skills to investigate the structure of the Earth.  Possible professional opportunities include, but are not limited to, mining, seismic investigations, and geologic mapping.  

Recommended Schedule for B.S. Degree in Geology

Choose one of the following: 6-8 Credit Hours

Total: 34-36 Credit Hours

Second Year

Choose one of the following: 8 Credit Hours

Total: 31 Credit Hours

Third Year

Total: 34 Credit Hours

Fourth Year

  • Upper-Level geology courses to fulfill concentration 9-20 Credit Hours

Choose from the following: 2-6 Credit Hours

Total: 11-26 Credit Hours