The requirements for a major in geology are: 37 credits in geology, and three supporting science courses. The 37 credits in geology must include GEOL 160 , GEOL 165 , GEOL 250 , GEOL 255 , GEOL 260 , GEOL 265 and GEOL 450 (for a total of 25 credits), and 12 credits of electives. Of the required electives, 8 credits must be derived from GEOL 300 , GEOL 302 , GEOL 303 or GEOL 304 . The three supporting science courses must include CHEM 111 one of the following: MATH 135 , MATH 137 , or higher level calculus, or MATH 155 or higher level statistics. One additional science course can be selected from CHEM 112 , MATH 253 , PHYS 113 or PHYS 226 , or BIOL 265 , BIOL 270 , BIOL 285 , or GEOG 225 or GEOG 365 (consult your advisor for additional options). Additional information about sub-disciplines (environmental geology, glaciology, mineralogy, petrology, structure, geophysics, paleobiology, sedimentology, stratigraphy) and suggested electives is available from the faculty in geology.
All geology majors must complete a capstone project under the guidance of one or more geology faculty. The geology capstone provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and demonstrate their skills in relation to a question of geological significance. In consultation with their capstone advisor, students are encouraged to enroll in GEOL 400 - Capstone Research Methods. In order to fulfill the capstone requirement, students must (1) complete a multi-draft paper that includes significant review of the primary literature and that ideally includes some component of original research (although research is not a requirement - a high quality literature review is acceptable). Completion of an honors thesis also satisfies the written component of the capstone requirement in geology. Students must also (2) present their paper/thesis to their professors and peers at the annual Geology Capstone/Honors Thesis Symposium event, which is scheduled in April of the spring semester. All geology seniors are required to attend this event.