Geology - BS

The BS in Geology is considered the preparatory degree in the field of geology. Graduates will be prepared for careers in the energy and environmental industries, and for advanced study at top-ranked graduate programs. The first two years of the BS program in Geology provide students with the basics of geology and geophysics and the allied fields of chemistry, physics and mathematics. The junior and senior years involve more advanced study in the field of geology and the opportunity to concentrate study in specific disciplines through the selection of technical and geology electives. GEOL 300, during the summer following the junior year, serves as a capstone course in which students apply their geologic knowledge to solving real problems and collecting data during a six-week field season. Students are also encouraged to become involved in research problems with faculty members and can receive course credit for this activity through research hours (GEOL 291 and GEOL 491).

The BS is the appropriate degree for students intending to pursue graduate study in geology. Students desiring employment in industry are encouraged to pursue an MS degree. Students planning a research or university teaching career should pursue a PhD degree.  Particular selections of elective can be used to refine the degree.

The BS is the appropriate degree for students intending to pursue graduate study in geology. Students desiring employment in industry are encouraged to pursue an MS degree. Students planning a research or university teaching career should pursue a PhD degree.  Particular selections of elective can be used to refine the degree.

Some of society’s most pressing problems, including groundwater contamination and remediation, water resources, and geologic hazards such as landslides, flooding and subsidence are addressed in the field of environmental geology. Environmental geologists typically find careers with environmental and engineering consulting companies and other industrial corporations, governmental agencies or academia. Students are well-prepared for the Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) Fundamentals of Geology exam, which is required for appointment as a Professional Geologist in the State of Texas.  Specific classes recommended for the geology and technical electives include CVEN 365, GEOG 331, GEOG 390, GEOL 410, GEOL 420, GEOL 440, GEOS 410 and approved classes in other departments including Soil Science, Chemistry, Physics and Civil Engineering.

Many geologists go on to employment in the field of petroleum exploration and extraction.  Some of the required geology classes prepare students for this field. Additional recommended classes include GEOL 400, GEOL 404, PETE 311, PETE 321, PETE 324 and PETE 402. Qualified students (GPR of 3.0 or higher with dean’s permission) may also take related graduate courses during the senior year. Such classes include GEOL 619, GEOL 622, GEOL 623, GEOL 624, GEOL 668, and GEOP 629. These classes prepare students for graduate study, as well as provide training for those who may be interested in service jobs in the oil and gas industry between their undergraduate and graduate education.

Students must pass two Writing Intensive courses within their major. This requirement is described on page 24of this catalog. GEOL 311 and any geology or geophysics class with a 9xx section number meet the requirement. To remain in satisfactory academic standing, students must maintain a 2.0 or better GPR in all technical courses (geology, geophysics, chemistry, math and physics). Some courses in geophysics require field trips. Students must pay expenses incurred on such trips.

First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
CHEM 101
CHEM 111
Fundamentals of Chemistry I
and Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory I
4
ENGL 104Composition and Rhetoric 3
GEOL 104Physical Geology 4
MATH 151Engineering Mathematics I 4
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
CHEM 102
CHEM 112
Fundamentals of Chemistry II
and Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory II
4
GEOL 106Historical Geology 4
MATH 152Engineering Mathematics II 4
Communication elective 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall
GEOL 203Mineralogy 4
GEOP 341Global Geophysics 3
MATH 251Engineering Mathematics III 3
PHYS 218Mechanics 4
 Term Semester Credit Hours14
Spring
GEOL 302Introduction to Petrology 4
GEOL 309Introduction to Geological Field Methods 3
MATH 308Differential Equations 3
PHYS 208Electricity and Optics 4
 Term Semester Credit Hours14
Third Year
Fall
GEOL 304Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology 4
GEOL 305Paleobiology 3
Select one of the following: 3
American history
Government/Political science
Language, philosophy and culture elective 33
 Term Semester Credit Hours13
Spring
GEOL 306Sedimentology and Stratigraphy 4
GEOL 311Principles of Geological Writing 1
GEOL 312Structural Geology and Tectonics 4
GEOL 451Introduction to Geochemistry 3
Select one of the following: 3
American history
Government/Political science
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
Summer
GEOL 300Field Geology 6
 Term Semester Credit Hours6
Fourth Year
Fall
Select one of the following: 3
American history
Government/Political science
Creative arts elective 33
Geology elective 14
Technical elective 26
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
Spring
Select one of the following: 3
American history
Government/Political science
Social and behavioral science elective 33
Technical elective 26
 Term Semester Credit Hours12
 Total Semester Credit Hours: 120
1

Any approved 400-level geology or geophysics course not already required.

2

Any science, math or engineering course that augments the degree with the approval of the advisor.

3

Six hours must be selected from courses that also satisfy the International and Cultural diversity requirement.