Geology Requirements

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Geology is the study of the Earth and encompasses a broad range of topics including Earth’s history, composition, physical and chemical processes and the evolution of life. It has a unique perspective of time and scale, extending billions of years in the past and to global-wide events. Because of man’s interaction with many Earth systems, geology is an environmental science that is vital to the resolution of such problems as climate change; groundwater supply and pollution; prediction and mitigation of earthquake, flooding and volcanic hazards; and natural resource discovery and utilization. Students majoring in geology acquire knowledge of value to many science and non-science professions.

The geology degree programs consist of a set of core courses that provide a foundation of geological principles and specialization tracks and elective courses that students choose to design a curriculum relevant to their interests. Many courses have a laboratory component where a hands-on, practical problem-solving approach to learning is emphasized. Students are introduced to basic and specialized computer programs and instrumental techniques used to gather and interpret data. Field trips to geological sites or field-based projects are regular features of several courses. Most classes for geology majors are small enough for students to receive individual attention and enjoy close contact with faculty in the classroom.

In the field of geology a student may work toward either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.

The Bachelor of Arts degree requires a major in geology but is a flexible program, permitting a student to combine education in geology with courses in other areas, such as other sciences, management or pre-law. A minor is optional. Having obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree, students may continue their education toward a Master of Science degree in geology.

The Bachelor of Science degree requires a core of Geology courses and courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and science electives. This degree requires a specialization to be obtained in one of the following: Geology, Environmental Geology, Geophysics, or Resource Geology. The specializations allow students to pursue specific career goals in the field of geology and related areas. The summer field course, usually taken between the junior and senior years, is part of the geology core. It is taught at a permanent field camp in the Beartooth Mountains near Red Lodge, Montana. Students desiring to do graduate work or to become a professional geologist will ordinarily pursue the Bachelor of Science degree.

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geology Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
College of Science Academic Requirements 10-12
Biological Sciences - (3 hours included in the UCC Life Science hours) 3
MATH 106 or MATH 108 and MATH 109; or MATH 111 (3 hours included in the UCC Mathematics hours) 1-3
Physical Sciences-Completed with major Supportive Skills - CS 200B or CS 201 or CS 202 or ENGR 222, ENGL 290, ENGL 291 or ENGL 491, MATH 282; or 2 semester sequence of a foreign language 6
Geology Major Requirements 38-41
GEOL 220 or GEOL 222, GEOL 221, GEOL 223, GEOL 224, GEOL 302, GEOL 310, GEOL 315, GEOL 325 (3 hours included in the UCC Physical Science hours) 21
GEOL 450 or GEOL 454 3-6
CHEM 200 or CHEM 200H, CHEM 201, CHEM 202 or CHEM 202H, CHEM 210, CHEM 211, CHEM 212 10
PHYS 203A, PHYS 253A 4
Free Electives 28-31
Total 120

Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
College of Science Academic Requirements 10-12
Biological Sciences - (3 hours included in the UCC Life Science hours) 3
MATH 106 or MATH 108 and MATH 109; or MATH 111 3 hours included in the UCC Mathematics hours 1-3
Physical Sciences-completed with the major Supportive Skills - CS 200B or CS 201 or CS 202 or ENGR 222, ENGL 290, ENGL 291 or ENGL 491, MATH 282; or 2 semester sequence of a foreign language 6
Requirements for Major in Geology 58-59
GEOL 220 or GEOL 222; GEOL 221, GEOL 223, GEOL 224, GEOL 302, GEOL 310, GEOL 315, GEOL 325, GEOL 454 (3 hours included in the UCC Physical Science hours) 27
MATH 150 4
CHEM 200 or CHEM 200H, CHEM 201, CHEM 202 or CHEM 202H, CHEM 210 or CHEM 210 H, CHEM 211, CHEM 212 or CHEM 212H 10
PHYS 203A, PHYS 253A, PHYS 203B, PHYS 253B 8
One of the following specializations 9-10
Geology Specialization - 9 hours of 400-level geology approved by the department advisor 9
Environmental Geology Specialization - Three courses from GEOL 418, GEOL 421, GEOL 470/GEOL 471, GEOL 474, GEOL 476, GEOL 478 9-10
Geophysics Specialization - Three courses from GEOL 435, GEOL 436, GEOL 437, GEOL 466 9
Resource Geology Specialization - Three Courses from GEOL 418, GEOL 419, GEOL 420, GEOL 421, GEOL 480, GEOL 482 9
Electives in Geology, Science, Mathematics or Technology 10-13
Total 120

Geology Minor

A minor consists of 16 hours, determined by consultation with the geology advisor.

Geology Honors Program

Students admitted to the University Honors Program (UHP) and majoring in Geology may participate in the Geology Honors Program. This program offers students more challenging course options and helps them better develop their skills in the geological sciences. Students in the Geology Honors Program must complete at least three honors courses which have special assignments arranged with the course instructor. Honors students are also encouraged to complete an Honors thesis with a member of the Department of Geology faculty. The UHP requirements are found at: honors.siu.edu.