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Department of Geology and Geophysics|Undergraduate

BS & BA Degree Requirements

Undergraduate Majors

Bachelor of Science


The Bachelor of Science in geology is designed for those students who intend to become professional geologists and/or those who plan to attend graduate school in geosciences. The program includes courses normally expected of graduate school applicants, including a summer field camp and courses in related sciences and mathematics. This degree program prepares students for the examination for the professional geologist license.

Program Objectives:

The primary mission of our B.S. geology program is to provide a quality educational experience that prepares men and women to enter careers in geology and related fields. We expect that our graduates should:

  • Have the basic knowledge and skills demanded for entry-level competence in typical careers in earth science.
  • Be able to apply basic scientific and technical knowledge to specific tasks and problems.
  • Cultivate the specific scientific and technical skills that will allow them effectively to serve their employers and to enhance their own career development.
  • Develop increased capacity in the skills of independent learning, critical thinking, problem definition, and problem solving.
  • Develop enhanced numerical skills and computer literacy as part of an undergraduate program designed to deliver a current and relevant knowledge of their discipline.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally through oral, written, and graphical means and to participate effectively in their workplace and in individual and team-related activities.
  • Have the broad general education needed to appreciate the role of Earth Sciences in the societal context and appreciate the importance of ethics in the practice of the profession.

Program Goals:

The department of Geology and Geophysics has the following specific goals for its B.S. program:

  • Students in the B.S. program will receive a quality preparatory education in the discipline that is current, relevant, practical, and personal.
  • B.S. students who graduate with appropriate grades will be able to compete successfully for positions at graduate schools nationwide.
  • B.S. students who graduate with appropriate grades will be well prepared for entry-level positions as professionals within their and other related disciplines.

Bachelor of Arts


The Bachelor of Arts in geology and Earth sciences is specifically designed for undergraduates who wish to study Earth sciences as a foundation for careers in a variety of areas, such as environmental law, natural resource business, land use planning, Earth science education, science journalism, and many governmental positions. The B.A. program includes a broad spectrum of courses, and focuses both on information about the Earth and on how society makes decisions that affect the Earth system.

Program Objectives:

The primary mission of our B.A. geology program is to provide a broad educational experience that prepares men and women for careers in earth science-related fields. We expect that our graduate should:

  • Have the basic knowledge and skills demanded for entry-level competence in typical careers in earth science-related fields.
  • Be able to apply their knowledge to specific situations or problems.
  • Cultivate the skills and ethics that will allow them effectively to serve their employers and to enhance their own career development.
  • Develop increased capacity for independent learning, critical thinking, and problem solving.
  • Develop basic numerical skills and computer literacy as part of an undergraduate program designed to deliver a current and relevant knowledge of their discipline.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally through oral, written, and graphical means and to participate effectively in the work environment, both in individual and team-related activities.
  • Have the broad general education needed to appreciate the role of Earth Sciences in the societal context and appreciate the importance of ethics in the practice of the profession.

Program Goals:

The department of Geology and Geophysics has the following specific goals for its B.A. program:

  • Students in the B.A. program will receive a broad preparatory education in earth science and related fields that is current, relevant, practical, and personal.
  • B.A. students who graduate with appropriate grades will be able to compete successfully for positions at graduate schools nationwide.
  • B.A. students who graduate with appropriate grades will be well prepared for entry-level positions in the geosciences and other related disciplines.

The Department of Geology and Geophysics also participates in the Earth System Science interdisciplinary program by offering a concentration in geology for the B.S. degree in ESS. Students interested in this major should consult the section on Earth System Science for a curriculum requirements.

Required Academic Performance

In order to graduate with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in geology, the student must earn a letter grade of C (S where appropriate) or better in each course listed herein as part of the required course programs. This grade requirement applies to course work taken outside the department, as well as to transfer courses credited in lieu of resident requirements.

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