Geology is the study of the composition, structure, and history of the earth and its planetary neighbors. It deals with phenomena on, above, and below the surface of the earth, including those that take place on land, in the oceans, and in the air. It is a basic entry point for studies of natural resources and the human environment. It is a multidisciplinary science, drawing upon and, in turn, contributing to, the body of knowledge in the fields of chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics. In recognition of this fact, the undergraduate geology programs which are offered through the Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences are designed to provide broad training in geological sciences. Students interested in either a B.S. degree in Environmental Sciences (offered by BGES) or a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies (offered through the College of Urban Affairs) should consult the catalog listing for those programs.
Additional information: The Thomas L. Lewis Award is presented annually to outstanding graduating geology major(s).
Student Organizations: The Biology, Geology, Environmental Science Student Association; the Student Environmental Movement.
The Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degree programs in Geology are designed for students who intend to pursue careers in geology or closely related fields. They provide a solid grounding in the earth sciences, as well as the ancillary subject areas upon which the earth sciences depend. The Bachelor of Science degree is recommended for students wishing to go on to graduate school in the sciences or engineering and whose career directions are primarily technical or scientific. The Bachelor of Arts degree is designed for students wishing to acquire a general knowledge of geology as preparation for careers in related fields, such as law, business, or earth science certification in secondary education.
All geology programs are modular. They include a common core in the earth sciences and a series of courses common to the B.A. and/or B.S. degree. A grade of C is the minimum passing grade for all required major courses offered by the department. A major program in Geology is not available for evening students.
All geology majors must take the following first- and second-year courses in geology, basic science, and mathematics:
- GEO 100 Introductory Geology
- GEO 101 Introductory Geology Laboratory
- GEO 323 Geospatial Concepts and Tools
- CHM 261/266 and 262/267 (or 278) General Chemistry
- MTH 181 and 182 Calculus (required for the B.S.; optional for B.A.)
or 6 credit hours from the MTH 151-156 series (required for B.A. if calculus is not taken)
- PHY 221 and 222 College Physics,
or 241 and 242 University Physics
- GEO 499 Exit Evaluation
All geology majors must take a capstone course chosen from the following:
- GEO 451 Field Geology (4 credits minimum)
- GEO 490 Internship in Geology (3 credits minimum)
- GEO 496 Independent Study in Geology (3 credits minimum)
- GEO 497 Research in Geology (3 credits minimum)
- EST 492 Student Teaching (3 credits minimum)
Candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science must take 28 credit hours of courses chosen from the following list, and candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts must take 20 credit hours of courses chosen from the following list. The array of courses taken will be determined by the student, in consultation with the departmental academic adviser, 216-687-3506.
- GEO 106 Introduction to Meteorology
- GEO 150/151 Geological History of the Earth
- EVS 206 Introduction to Environmental Science
- GEO 204 Mineralogy
- GEO 206 Petrology
- GEO 230 Natural Resources
- GEO 302 Paleobiology
- GEO 312/313 Sedimentation and Stratigraphy
- GEO 320/321 Structural Geology
- GEO 354 Geochemistry
- GEO 425 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing
- GEO 427 Advanced Topics in Remote Sensing and GIS
- GEO 444/445 Hydrogeology
- GEO 451 Field Geology (4 credits minimum; may also count toward capstone requirement)
- GEO 460 Geomorphology (may also count toward Writing Across the Curriculum requirements)
Students have the option of a single field licensure in earth science or an integrated science licensure with a concentration in earth science. Both licensure programs require coursework from the College of Sciences and Health Professions and the College of Education and Human Services. Contact the Geology adviser for required science courses. Contact the Education Student Service Center for the education courses required for licensure or for information on the requirements for Post-Baccalaureate Secondary Teacher Licensure (216-687-4697 or JH 302).
The minor in Geological Sciences is intended as a flexible opportunity for students to incorporate significant course work dealing with the earth sciences into their university careers. All Geology minors must be approved by the departmental adviser and must meet the following criteria:
- The geology minor consists of GEO 100/101 (Introductory Geology and Laboratory) and at least 13 credit hours above the 100 level. At least 9 credit hours must be above the 200 level.
- The courses making up the geology minor must comprise a consistent set of courses that makes sense to be taken together as a sequence. The sequence of courses will depend on the particular needs of the individual student, but the sequence as a whole must be approved in advance by the departmental adviser.
A grade of "C" is the minimum passing grade for all courses offered by the department and applied toward a minor.
Students interested in the minor program should consult with the departmental adviser (216-687-3506).