Majors and Minors

Requirements for Major in Geology

  • There are two tracks through the geology major. Both require nine geology courses, a field work experience, participation in all departmental colloquia during the junior and senior years, and cognate courses (four or three depending on the track).

TRACK G—designed for the student who plans to pursue graduate studies in some aspect of geology or become a professional geologist, or both.

TRACK L—designed for the student who would like to major in geology, but who does not plan to enter graduate school.

COMMON CORE
required for both tracks
Geol 101: Introductory Geology
Geol 103: Introduction to Earth History
Geol 201: Structural Geology
Geol 203: Mineralogy
Geol 204: Introductory Petrology
Geol 205: Sedimentation and Stratigraphy

TRACK G—At least three additional units, including either Geology 208 or Geology 209 plus two electives at the 300-level (one unit from Geology 314 may be counted toward this requirement). A minimum of four cognate courses including Chemistry 121 and 123 and two of the following: Mathematics 141, 143, 210; Physics 115, 116, 167, 168; Biology 195, 210. Students intending to enter graduate school should be aware that most graduate programs require at least one semester of both calculus and physics in addition to chemistry. In addition, many graduate programs require advanced study (senior- or graduate-level) in a cognate science. Students with specific interests in geology may want to pursue completing appropriate minors in the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry or biology.

Track G majors are required to complete a departmentally-approved independent research project, and are encouraged to complete a senior thesis.

TRACK L—At least three additional units of geology at the 200-level or higher, at least one of which must be at the 300-level. Three cognate courses selected from: Chemistry 121, 123; Biology 195, 210; Physics 115, 116; Mathematics 141, 143, 171, 210.

Requirements for Minor in Geology

  • Five units in geology, including: Geology 101 or 103 plus four other geology courses, three of which are courses at the 200- or 300-level selected in consultation with and approved by the department chair.
  • Completion of a field experience equivalent to one-half unit.
  • All courses for the minor must be taken for a numerical grade.
  • Departmental Colloquia: All geology minors are required to attend departmental colloquia regularly and to participate once each semester for two semesters.

Requirements for Minor in Environmental Geology

  • Six units in geology, including: Geology 101, 202, 208, 216; one unit selected from 306, 307 or 312; one unit selected from Geology 104, 106, 111, 115, 211, or ENVN 102, or a one-unit equivalent of approved independent research (Geology 412, Geology 411 taken twice, or a summer research experience). Note: This minor may not be elected by geology majors.
  • All courses for the minor must be taken for a numerical grade.

Requirements for Minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

  • Three units in GIS and remote sensing: Geology 111, 211, 311.
  • One unit in statistics, mathematics or computer science, selected from Mathematics 109, 210, E&M 235 or 235H, Mathematics 141 (or a higher level mathematics course), or CS 171.
  • One unit selected from Geology 202, 208 or 216, or a pre-approved course with a significant GIS and/or remote sensing component.
  • A pre-approved experience focusing on the application of GIS or remote sensing in the student's field of study. This could be satisfied by a directed study, a summer research experience, or an internship/work experience.
  • Formal presentation of the research or work experience is required at a Geology Department colloquium.
  • All courses for the minor must be taken for a numerical grade, except those offered only on a credit/no credit basis.

Requirements for Minor in Paleontology (for Geology Majors)

  • Six units, including: Biology 195, two units from Biology 216, 225, 227, 237, or 310, Geology 208, 314, and a one-unit equivalent of approved independent research (Geology 412, Geology 411 taken twice, or a summer research experience), selected in consultation with and approved by the department.
  • All courses for the minor must be taken for a numerical grade.
  • Geology majors completing a minor in paleontology must take Geology 209 and Geology/Biology 309 as part of the geology major requirements or as electives beyond the major requirement.

Requirements for Minor in Paleontology (for Biology Majors)

  • Six units, including: Geology 103, 205, 209, Biology 309, and two units from Geology 101, 111 or 211, 208, or a one-unit equivalent of approved independent research (Geology 412, Geology 411 taken twice, or a summer research experience), selected in consultation with and approved by the department.
  • All courses for the minor must be taken for a numerical grade.

Requirements for Minor in Paleontology (for Majors Except Biology and Geology)

  • Six units, including: Geology 103, 205, 209, 309, Biology 195, and one unit from Biology 216, 225, 227, 237, or a one-unit equivalent of approved independent research (Geology 412, Geology 411 taken twice, or a summer research experience), selected in consultation with and approved by the department.
  • All courses for the minor must be taken for a numerical grade.

Requirements for Major in Geology with Secondary Education Certification

  • Nine units in geology and the completion of all other requirements as outlined above in the section "Requirements for Major in Geology." Track L or Track G may be elected.
  • Physics 105.
  • Demonstrated mathematics proficiency at the Mathematics 125 level.
  • Completion of all other requirements for teacher certification in earth science, including professional education courses.
  • Geology 104 and 115 (taken as electives outside the major).

Requirements for Major in Earth Science

This program is intended for students who do not intend to pursue a career in geology.

  • Eight units in geology, including: 101 and 103; 201, 203 or 205; 216; one 300-level elective; and three other geology courses, two of which must be at the 200-level or higher. These may not include Geology 210, summer field camp or a directed study. Geology 202, 208 or 306 may be substituted for 216 with departmental approval.
  • Two cognate courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics and/or biology; may include Physics 105 or 206 and one of the courses listed under Track L (above).

Requirements for Major in Earth Science with Secondary Education Certification

  • Nine units in geology, including: 101, 103, 104, 115, and five other geology courses at the 200-level or higher (one must be at the 300-level), selected in consultation with, and approved by, the department. These may not include Geology 210, summer field camp, or a directed study.
  • Completion of all other requirements as outlined below in the section "Requirements for All Students Majoring in Geology or Earth Science."
  • Two cognate courses including Physics 105 and one course selected from those listed under Track L (above).
  • Demonstrated mathematics proficiency at the Mathematics 125 level.
  • Completion of all other requirements for teacher certification.

Requirements for Minor in Earth Science with Secondary Education Certification

  • Six units in geology, including: Geology 101, 103, 104 and 115 and the completion of all other requirements as outlined above in the section "Requirements for Minor in Geology."
  • Physics 105.
  • Demonstrated mathematics proficiency at the Mathematics 125 level.
  • Completion of all other requirements for teacher certification.

Requirements for Interdisciplinary Major in Integrated Science with Elementary Education Certification

Students interested in pursuing elementary education certification may wish to consider an interdisciplinary major in integrated science. The integrated science major is primarily intended for students seeking a broad, cross-disciplinary understanding of the natural sciences. Students completing a major in integrated science are required to take courses in all the natural sciences and also to choose a minor in biology, chemistry, geology or physics. The detailed requirements for the major are provided in this catalog or are available from the Education Department.

Requirements for All Students Majoring in Geology or Earth Science

  • All students completing a major in geology or earth science must satisfy a field work requirement equivalent to one unit of study. This requirement may be fulfilled by summer research, internship or work experiences, academic year directed studies, completion of Geology 210 or 314, other suitable field experiences approved by the faculty (such as field trips sponsored by GSA), or some combination of the above.
  • A maximum of one geographic information systems course (Geology 111, 211 or 311) may be counted toward the major.
  • Departmental Colloquia: All geology and earth science majors are required to attend Departmental Colloquia regularly and to participate once each semester for four semesters.
  • The geology units and the required cognate courses must be taken for a numerical grade. Students considering a geology major are urged to complete the cognate units as early as possible in their Albion career.
  • After completing three or four geology courses or at the end of their junior year, majors are urged to attend either the Albion summer field camp in the Rocky Mountains or a similar summer geology field course offered by another college or university. This experience is required by most graduate schools before entering a graduate program and is required by many industries and institutions employing geologists.