Majors and Minors

Requirements for Major in Geology

The geology major is designed both for the student who plans to pursue graduate studies in some aspect of geology or become a professional geologist, and for the student who has professional aspirations outside of geology.

  • Nine units in geology, including; a field work experience; participation in all departmental colloquia during the junior and senior years; two cognate courses. 

COMMON CORE
Geol 101: Introductory Geology
Geol 103: Introduction to Earth History
Geol 201: Structural Geology
Geol 203: Mineralogy
Geol 205: Sedimentation and Stratigraphy
Geol 208: Geomorphology

At least three additional units of geology at the 200-level or higher, at least one of which must be at the 300-level (one unit from Geology 314 may be counted toward this requirement). A minimum of two cognate courses including Chemistry 121 and another chosen from Chemistry 123, Mathematics 141, 143, 210; Physics 115, 116, 167, 168; Biology 195. We encourage all students to take more cognate courses, and students intending to enter graduate school should be aware that many graduate programs require at least two units of chemistry, calculus and physics. Students with specific interests in geology may want to pursue completing appropriate minors in the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry or biology. All majors are required to complete a departmentally-approved independent research project, and are encouraged to complete a senior college or departmental honors thesis.

Requirements for Major in Earth Science

The earth science major is intended for the student who begins the major in second semester of the sophomore year or later or is doing the major in addition to another major.  

  • Eight units in geology, including: 101 and 103; either 201 or 203; either 205 or 208; 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.
  • One cognate course in mathematics, chemistry, physics and/or biology; may include Physics 105 or 206 or one of the courses listed under the geology major requirements above.

Requirements for Major in Geology with Secondary Education Certification

  • Nine units in geology and the completion of all other requirements as listed under the geology major requirements above.
  • Physics 105.
  • Demonstrated mathematics proficiency at the Mathematics 125 level.
  • Completion of all other requirements for teacher certification in earth science.
  • Geology 104 and 115 (taken as electives outside the major).

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 the geology major requirements above.
  • Demonstrated mathematics proficiency at the Mathematics 125 level.
  • Completion of all other requirements for teacher certification.

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.
    • After completing three or four geology courses or at the end of their junior year, geology majors planning graduate study and/or a professional geology career 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.
  • 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.

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 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.