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Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences

The Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences (BSGeoSci) serves as a professional degree for students planning careers as geologists, geophysicists, or teachers, as well as for those planning to pursue graduate work in the geosciences or a profession such as law or business. Careers are available in the petroleum and related energy industries, resource evaluation, mineral exploration, geologic hazard monitoring, environmental control and reclamation, building foundation evaluation, groundwater contamination studies, soil testing, regional planning, watershed management, climate modeling, and college or secondary school teaching. Graduates may also work in state or federal agencies, in universities or museums, with consulting firms, or with service companies to the energy and mineral industries.

A plan of study for the Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences includes courses required by the University and required and elective courses in geological sciences (preceded by their prerequisite courses). Taken together, these courses make up an option, a degree plan with a particular concentration or emphasis. Thus, individuals may develop intellectually challenging yet quite different plans of study according to their personal interests and goals. Students seeking the Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences degree must choose one of four options--I: General Geology, II: Geophysics, III: Hydrogeology, V: Teaching. (Option IV: Environmental Science and Sustainability is no longer offered.)

In addition to the prescribed work outlined below, all students must complete the University’s core curriculum . In some cases, a course that is required for the BSGeoSci may also be counted toward the core curriculum; these courses are identified below. In the process of fulfilling the core curriculum and other degree requirements, all students are expected to complete the following Skills and Experience flags:

  1. Writing: two flagged courses beyond Rhetoric and Writing 306 or its equivalent
  2. Quantitative reasoning: one flagged course
  3. Global cultures: one flagged course
  4. Cultural diversity in the United States: one flagged course
  5. Ethic and leadership: one flagged course
  6. Independent inquiry: one flagged course

A course in one prescribed work area may not also be used to fulfill the requirements of another prescribed work area; the only exception to this rule is that a course that fulfills any other requirement may also be used to fulfill a flag requirement if the course carries that flag, unless otherwise specified.

Prescribed Work Common to All Options

  1. Foreign Language: Courses 506 and 507 (or the equivalent) in a single foreign language, or as much of this coursework as required by the student’s score on the appropriate language placement test. Students in the teaching option must fulfill a different foreign language requirement, given with the other option requirements. For students who enter the University with fewer than two high school units in a single foreign language, the first two semesters in a language may not be counted toward the total number of semester hours required for the degree.

  2. Upper-division Coursework: Thirty-six semester hours of upper-division coursework must be completed in residence at the University. For students in options I, II, and III, at least eighteen of these hours must be in geological sciences; for students in option V, at least twelve hours must be in geological sciences. (Option IV: Environmental Science and Sustainability is no longer offered.) For all students, at least twelve of the thirty-six hours must be outside geological sciences.