Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Course Requirements in the Geology Concentration

The Geology concentration is designed to provide students with a detailed understanding of rock forming minerals; the physical, chemical, and biological processes involved in rock formation (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic); the biologic and tectonic evolution of the Earth; field recognition of geologic processes; and the composition and evolution of extraterrestrial planets. Students then select a suite of upper-level electives to enhance interests in specific geologic disciplines.

Prerequisites and Corequisites Course Requirements
  • Prerequisites
    • Select one sequence
      • CHEM 120–130 General Chemistry
      • CHEM 128–138 Honors General Chemistry
    • Select two courses
      • GEOL 101 The Dynamic Earth
      • GEOL 102 Earth, Life, and Time
      • GEOL 103 The Earth's Environments
      • GEOL 104 Exploring the Planets
  • Corequisites
    • Select one sequence
      • MATH 141–142 Calculus
      • MATH 147–148 Honors Calculus
      • MATH 151–152 Mathematics for the life sciences
    • Select one course
      • EF 151 Physics for Engineers I
      • EF 157 Honors Physics for Engineers I
      • PHYS 135 Introduction to Physics for Physical Science and Mathematics Majors I
      • PHYS 137 Honors Introduction to Physics for Physics Majors I
      • PHYS 221 Elements of Physics
    • Select one course
      • BIOL 111 General Botany
      • BIOL 130 Biodiversity
      • BIOL 138 Honors Biodiversity
  • Core Courses
    • GEOL 310 Mineralogy
    • GEOL 320 Paleobiology
    • GEOL 330 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
    • GEOL 340 Earth Sedimentary Processes
    • GEOL 370 Earth Structure and Geophysics
    • GEOL 380 Planetary Geoscience
  • Electives
    • Select nine hours of 400-level or above GEOL courses
  • Field Camp
    • Complete at least five hours of GEOL 440 or equivalent

Honors Concentration

Students who have completed five upper-division courses in either the Geology or Environmental Studies concentration and have maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 are encouraged to pursue an honors concentration. In addition to fulfilling all requirements for their preferred concentration, an honors concentration requires 3 hours of GEOL 491, GEOL 492, or GEOL 493; 3 hours of GEOL 497, during which students will complete written and oral presentation of thesis results; and an additional 9 hours of honors coursework (including honors-by-contract). A GPA of at least 3.25 must be maintained throughout matriculation. Interested students should consult their academic advisor for details.


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