Declaring the Major in Geological Sciences

  • Enroll in Introductory Geology 01:460:101
  • Contact the Undergraduate Program Director for an appointment by clicking This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Fill out an online major declaration form at myMajor by clicking here

Requirements of the Major in Geological Sciences

  • Acceptance into the Major in Geological Sciences requires a grade of C or higher in Introductory Geology 01:460:101, or its equivalent
  • Maintaining placement within the Major requires at least an average grade of C in all required core courses in Geological Sciences (01:460).
  • Course schedules for each semester must be approved by the UGPD prior to registration
  • In addition to the core courses listed below, students are encouraged to take additional courses in geology, mathematics, chemistry, computer science, statistics, physical and biological sciences. Students planning professional careers in geology--including graduate study--should take additional courses in mathematics beyond the requirements listed below and would benefit from a minor in mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology. The Undergraduate Program Director will recommend elective courses that best suit the student's career options.

Foundation Courses

  • 01:160:161-162 General Chemistry (4,4)
  • 01:640:CALC1 (4) and 01:640:CALC2 (4)
  • 01:750:203-204 General Physics (3,3)
  • 01:960:379 Basic Probability Theory (3) or 01:960:401. Basic Statistics for Research (3) can serve as alternates for CALC2

Geology Core Courses

  • 01:460:101 Introductory Geology (4)
  • 01:460:301 Mineralogy (4)
  • 01:460:302 Petrology (4)
  • 01:460:303 Paleontology (4)
  • 01:460:304 Introduction to Geochemistry (4)
  • 01:460:306 Introduction to Geophysics (4)
  • 01:460:330 Sedimentary Geology (4)
  • 01:460:407 Structural Geology and Geologic Maps (4)
  • 01:460:410 Field Geology (3) or equivalent (see Field Requirement below)
  • 01:460:480 Major Events in Earth History (3)
  • Elective of 460:XXX (3) at 300 level or higher

Possible electives include:

  • 01:460:305 (3) Evolution and Geologic Time
  • 01:460:414 (3) Hydrologic Processes
  • 01:460:417 (3) Environmental Geochemistry
  • 01:460:428 (3) Hydrogeology
  • 01:460:429 (3) Tectonics & Regional Structure
  • 01:460:494 (3) Geological Context
  • 01:460:451 (3) Marine Geology
  • 01:460:476 (3) History of the Earth System

Geology graduate courses may serve as electives with permission of instructor; students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher

  • 16:460:515 (3) Advanced Tectonics
  • 16:460:528 (3) Groundwater Modeling
  • 16:460:509 (3) Planetary Sciences
  • 16:460:630 (3) Seminar in Planetary Sciences

Introductory Geology is a prerequisite for all upper-level geology courses. Completion of this course with a grade of C or betteris required prior to the declaration of the major. 
Chemistry is a prerequisite for Mineralogy, which is a prerequisite for Petrology.

Physics is a prerequisite for Geophysics
Sedimentary Geology is a prerequisite for Structural Geology and Geologic Maps.

Some of the core courses are "sequential", and must be taken in the prescribed order. As most advanced courses are offered only once a year, it is essential for Majors to discuss scheduling and course selection with the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as early as possible.

Idealized Course Schedule

  • Freshman Year:  Basic Sciences, Introductory Geology
  • Sophomore Year: Basic Sciences, Mineralogy (Fall), Paleontology (Fall), Sedimentary Geology (Fall), Petrology (Spring), Intro to Geophysics (Spring)
  • Junior Year: Intro to Geochemistry (Fall), Structural Geology and Maps (Spring).
  • Junior - Senior summer - FIELD CAMP
  • Senior Year: Major Events in Earth History, elective

Field Requirement
All geology majors must take a minimum of 3 credits in field geology. Most students satisfy this requirement by taking an external field camp. Many geology departments offer external field camps, ask This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for guidance. An ideal time to do the field training is during the summer between the Junior and Senior years.