Major in Geology

The Geology major contains a basis of the fundamental earth sciences supplemented by essential mathematics and physical sciences. The upper-level Geology classes are generally small, with both lecture and laboratory taught by faculty. Depending on their course selections, Geology majors are prepared to enter successful careers in a range of geoscience industries (e.g., environmental consulting, state or federal scientific or regulatory agencies, petroleum), to teach at the secondary level, or to attend graduate school. Students interested in the teaching certification in Earth and Space Sciences should investigate TU’s Earth-Space Sciences major.

The Geology major requires 47 units in geology and non-geology requirements, plus 17-20 additional units of electives for a total of 64-67 units. 

Required Geology Courses
GEOL 121PHYSICAL GEOLOGY4
or GEOL 122 HONORS PHYSICAL GEOLOGY
GEOL 123HISTORICAL GEOLOGY4
GEOL 305ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY4
GEOL 321STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY4
GEOL 331MINERALOGY4
GEOL 333PETROLOGY OF IGNEOUS AND METAMORPHIC ROCKS4
GEOL 443SEDIMENTOLOGY AND STRATIGRAPHY4
Additional Required Courses
CHEM 131
131L
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LECTURE
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LABORATORY
4
CHEM 132
132L
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LECTURE
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LABORATORY
4
MATH 211CALCULUS FOR APPLICATIONS3-4
or MATH 273 CALCULUS I
Select one of the following sequences:8
GENERAL PHYSICS I; NON CALCULUS-BASED
and GENERAL PHYSICS II; NON CALCULUS-BASED
GENERAL PHYSICS I CALCULUS-BASED
and GENERAL PHYSICS II CALCULUS-BASED
Electives
Select minimum five courses from the following list. Minimum three courses must be from Geology (GEOL). 117-20
INTRODUCTION TO ASTROPHYSICS
PLANETARY ASTRONOMY
GENERAL BOTANY 2
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 2
INSTRUMENTAL ANALYSIS 2
ESSENTIALS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY
INTRODUCTION TO GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY
INTRO TO GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SCIENCE
GEOMORPHOLOGY
ENERGY RESOURCES
SOILS AND VEGETATION
INTRODUCTION TO REMOTE SENSING AND PHOTOGRAMMETRY
CLIMATOLOGY
METEOROLOGY
APPLIED CLIMATOLOGY
ADVANCED REMOTE SENSING: DIGITAL IMAGE PROCESSING AND ANALYSIS
CLIMATE CHANGE: SCIENCE TO POLICY
SUSTAINABILITY AND THE USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
PALEONTOLOGY
OCEANOGRAPHY
METHODS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL GEOCHEMISTRY
HYDROGEOLOGY
TECTONICS
PETROLOGY OF SEDIMENTARY ROCKS
SPECIAL TOPICS IN GEOLOGY
INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH 3
INDEPENDENT RESEARCH IN GEOLOGY 4
GEOLOGICAL FIELD METHODS
TRAVEL STUDY
RESEARCH PROBLEMS IN GEOLOGY 3
BASIC STATISTICS
CALCULUS II
INTRODUCTORY MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS
MECHANICS
THERMODYNAMICS AND KINETIC THEORY 2
MECHANICS II
Total Units64-68
1

Other upper (300-400) level courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Geography may substitute as electives, but must be approved by a student’s adviser prior to ­registration.

2

 Course has prerequisite(s) not listed among the elective courses above.

3

Course requires department permission to be applied toward electives. 

4

If selected as an elective, GEOL 490 must be taken for a minimum of 3 units with the experience culminating in a public oral or poster presentation or equivalent. The presentation should be given in the semester that the 3rd unit of GEOL 490 is taken. Maximum 3 units total of GEOL 490 may be applied toward electives. 

Suggested Four-Year Plan

Based on course availability and student needs and preferences, the selected sequences will probably vary from those presented below. Students should consult with their adviser to make the most appropriate elective choices.

(For students ready to take Calculus)

Freshman
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
CHEM 131
131L (Core 7)
4CHEM 132
132L (Core 8)
4
GEOL 121 or 1224GEOL 1234
MATH 273 or 211 (Core 3)4PHYS 211 or 2414
Core 1 (or Core 2)3Core 2 (or Core 1)3
 Core 53
 15 18
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
GEOL 3314GEOL 3054
PHYS 212 or 2424GEOL 3334
Geology Elective3Core 93
Core 63Core 103
 14 14
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
GEOL 3214GEOL 4434
Geology Elective3Geology Elective4
Core 43Core 133
Core 113Core 143
Core 123Elective3
 16 17
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
Geology Elective4Geology Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 Elective3
 13 15
Total Units 122
  1. Each graduate shall demonstrate a general understanding of the physical constitution of the earth including the chemistry and origin of common earth materials.
  2. Each graduate shall demonstrate a general understanding of both the internal and external dynamic processes of the earth system.
  3. Each graduate will conduct and present a basic geological research project using appropriate tools, technologies and methodologies.