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The Bachelor of Arts in Geology provides a foundation in geology for students who are not planning a career as a geologist. This program provides a basis for science-related careers, such as environmental law, pre-college teaching, science journalism, and resource management and marketing. Graduates will supplement their curriculum in geology with a minor designed around their career goals. The minor requires a minimum of 15 credit hours in one discipline, to be chosen in consultation with an advisor.
The BA program has less rigorous mathematics and physics requirements and less comprehensive geology requirements than the BS in Geology; therefore, the BS is the more appropriate option for students considering graduate study in geology.
The BS in Geology is considered the preparatory degree in the field of geology. Graduates will be prepared for careers in the energy and environmental industries, and for advanced study at top-ranked graduate programs. The first two years of the BS program in Geology provide students with the basics of geology and geophysics and the allied fields of chemistry, physics and mathematics. The junior and senior years involve more advanced study in the field of geology and the opportunity to concentrate study in specific disciplines through the selection of technical and geology electives. GEOL 300, during the summer following the junior year, serves as a capstone course in which students apply their geologic knowledge to solving real problems and collecting data during a six-week field season. Students are also encouraged to become involved in research problems with faculty members and can receive course credit for this activity through research hours (GEOL 291 and GEOL 491).
The BS is the appropriate degree for students intending to pursue graduate study in geology. Students desiring employment in industry are encouraged to pursue an MS degree. Students planning a research or university teaching career should pursue a PhD degree. Particular selections of elective can be used to refine the degree.