Degree Requirements

Geosciences Major

There are two possible paths to the bachelor's degree in Geoscience: a Bachelor of Science in anticipation of advanced study in the Geosciences, or a Bachelor of Arts for those who seek a less specialized course of study. Earning a B.A. degree does not preclude a professional career in the Geosciences, although admission to some graduate programs may require completion of additional science and mathematics courses.

A student may graduate with a B.S. degree by taking

One 100 level introductory geoscience course e.g.:
GEOS 111Planet Earth
GEOS 112Special Topics in the Geosciences
GEOS 114Special Topics in the Geosciences
two foundation courses:
GEOS 210Historical Geology
and
GEOS 211Rocks & Minerals
six elective GEOS courses, at least three of which must be at the 300 level;
GEOS 380Geoscience Senior Seminar
and a geoscience field course
GEOS 400Field Course
Required additional science courses are four courses from:
CHEM 131Atoms and Molecules: Structure and Dynamics
CHEM 132Organic Structure and Reactivity
CS 111Discovering Computer Science: Scientific Data and Dynamics
BIOL 210Molecular Biology and Unicellular Life
BIOL 220Multicellular Life
BIOL 230Ecology and Evolution
MATH 135Single Variable Calculus
MATH 145Multi-variable Calculus
MATH 220Applied Statistics
and
PHYS 121General Physics I
PHYS 122General Physics II
or
PHYS 125Principles of Physics I: Quarks to Cosmos
PHYS 126Principles of Physics II

Students who want to pursue graduate study in the geosciences are strongly encouraged to take additional math and science courses beyond this minimum requirement.

Students seeking a B.A. degree must take one 100 level introductory geoscience course (see above); two foundation courses (see above); six elective GEOS courses, at least three of which must be at the 300 level; and GEOS 380 - Geoscience Senior Seminar. One cognate science course may be substituted for a 200 level elective GEOS course.

Both B.S. and B.A. students are required to pass a comprehensive exam, administered early in the second semester of the senior year.

Note that most upper level geoscience courses are offered in alternate years. Therefore careful schedule planning is important, especially if one pursues a semester of off-campus study.

Geosciences Minor

To minor in the Geosciences, a student must take one 100 level introductory geoscience course, GEOS 210 - Historical Geology,GEOS 211 - Rocks & Minerals and three additional Geosciences courses at the 200 or 300 level.

Additional Points of Interest

Geosciences has a long tradition of field trips during the fall and spring semester.  Recent trips include Hawaii, coastal Maine, Arizona & Utah, the Bahamas, Death Valley, the Great Smoky Mountains and the Adirondacks.  

Abundant student research opportunities are available, including working with faculty in the field or laboratory.  Student employment opportunities within the department include working as teaching and laboratory assistants, and assisting in developing and maintaining departmental collections.

The C.L. Herrick Geological Society is an active, student-run organization, which coordinates guest lectures and social events throughout the academic year.

What's Happening

Field Trips

Fall Field Trip 2019

Three faculty and 9 students traveled to Mammoth Cave and the surrounding area, then to Jamestown, KY for the Department’s annual Fall Field Trip.

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