The Department of Geosciences offers two undergraduate programs: the Geology major, leading to a Bachelor of Science degree, and the Earth and Space Sciences major, leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Minimum course requirements for the B.S. program in Geology are detailed below. For requirements for the B.A. program in Earth and Space Sciences, see the entry in the alphabetical listing of Approved Majors, Minors, and Programs. Upon declaring the major, the student is assigned a faculty advisor who will assist in the selection of a course sequence leading to the degree. Students should consult frequently with their faculty advisors regarding their progress and regarding appropriate science courses. Because the position of the scientist in society is responsible and complex, the student is cautioned to pay careful attention to general education in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
The science of geology is focused on evaluation of the physical and chemical characteristics of the Earth and other planets and the processes that have controlled evolution of these characteristics over time. The B.S. program has built-in flexibility to allow majors to choose from a variety of electives in environmental geoscience, planetary geoscience, geophysics and geochemistry. This allows students to develop a major that best reflects their interests and career goals, by allowing students to build upon the core curriculum by selecting 15 credits of upper-level science/mathematics electives from both within and outside of the Geosciences. The major aims to provide the student with maximum preparation to carry out graduate and professional work in each of these fields. Students graduating with a B.S. in Geology typically go on to graduate school or obtain professional employment with environmental consulting firms or various government organizations.