May 20, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Geology, B.S.

Program Description

The Department of Geology and Environmental Science  offers 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 four 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 and Major Requirements

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





1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. Some credits may be fulfilled by courses required within the major.

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

Foundational Courses

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.

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 four concentrations.

Environmental and Engineering Geology Concentration

The environmental and engineering geology concentration provides students with the necessary skills to enter the environmental and/or geotechnical engineering industry. Students will have the opportunity to take courses that focus on soil classification, ground water flow mechanics, water chemistry, soil/rock mechanics, geomorphology and geophysics. 

Life, Ocean and Climate Concentration

This concentration is meant for students interested in academic or professional careers that requires a background in the evolution of the Earth system, life and climate. The recommended course work is designed to provide students with content knowledge and research skills to consider questions of evolution, extinction, and global climate change from a geologic perspective.

Solid Earth and Tectonics Concentration

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.  

Choose at least 2 of the following courses:

Recommended Schedule for Majors

Choose one of the following: 6-8 Credit Hours

First Year Total: 34-36 Credit Hours

Second Year

Third Year

Third Year Total: 34 Credit Hours

Fourth Year

  • Upper-Level geology courses to fulfill concentration Credits: 9.00 - 20.00

Choose from the following: 2-6 Credit Hours

Fourth Year Total: 14-29 Credit Hours

Program Total: 120 Credit Hours