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. The undergraduate educational experience is capped in the senior year by designing and completing a research project involving field and/or laboratory analyses. Depending on their course selections, Geology majors are prepared to enter successful geotechnical careers in environmental geology or hydrogeology, to teach at the secondary level, or to attend graduate school. Students interested in teaching certification in Earth and Space Sciences should investigate TU’s Earth-Space Sciences major.

The Geology major requires 49-50 units in geology and non-geology requirements, plus 15-20 additional units of electives completed with a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher. 

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
GEOL 489INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH1
GEOL 495RESEARCH PROBLEMS IN GEOLOGY1-2
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
or MATH 273 CALCULUS I
Select one of the following: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
Total Units49-50

In addition to the required courses listed above, students must take a minimum of five additional courses (minimum of 15 additional units) from the following list of electives. At least two of these must be geology courses. Note that some electives may require additional prerequisites. Other upper division courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Geography may substitute as electives, but must be approved by a student’s adviser prior to ­registration.

Elective Courses
Select from the following (at least two courses must be from GEOL):15-20
VOLCANOES AND EARTHQUAKES
GEOLOGY OF NATIONAL PARKS
SUSTAINABILITY AND THE USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
METHODS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL GEOCHEMISTRY
HYDROGEOLOGY
TECTONICS
PETROLOGY OF SEDIMENTARY ROCKS
SPECIAL TOPICS IN GEOLOGY
INTRODUCTION TO FIELD METHODS
INTRO TO GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SCIENCE
ENERGY RESOURCES 1
SOILS AND VEGETATION 1
INTERPRETATION OF AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS
PRINCIPLES OF REMOTE SENSING AND DIGITAL IMAGE PROCESSING 1
GENERAL BOTANY 1
HUMANS, SCIENCE AND THE CHESAPEAKE BAY 1
INSTRUMENTAL ANALYSIS 1
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
PRINCIPLES PHYSICAL CHEM
SCIENTIFIC MODELNG AND SIMULATION 1
INTRODUCTORY MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS 1
THERMODYNAMICS AND KINETIC THEORY 1
MECHANICS 1
MECHANICS II 1

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
GEOL 121 (Core 7)4GEOL 123 (Core 8)4
Core 43Core 53
MATH 273 or 211 (Core 3)4CHEM 1323
TSEM 102 (Core 1)3CHEM 132L1
CHEM 1313ENGL 102 (Core 2)3
CHEM 131L1PHYS 2114
 18 18
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
GEOL 301 or 3573GEOL 3054
GEOL 3314Geology elective3
Core course3Core course3
PHYS 2124Core course3
 14 13
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
GEOL 321 or 4154GEOL 333 or 4434
GEOL 357 or 3013GEOL 410 or 4214
Core course3Core course3
Core course3Core course3
 Elective3
 13 17
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
GEOL 415 or 3214GEOL 443 or 3334
GEOL 4891GEOL 421 or 3333
Core course3GEOL 4952
Elective3Core course3
Geology elective3Elective3
 14 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