Aug 15, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Geology, BS

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Geology is the broad science that encompasses all aspects of the Earth system. In addition to the solid Earth, this system includes the oceans and atmosphere, climate change, and most aspects of our immediate environment. Professional geologists are thus engaged in a wide range of activities, depending on their interests. Scientific questions addressed by geologists include the evolution of life, the origin of volcanic activity, the assessment of volcanic and earthquake hazards, the evolution of our planetary neighbors, climate change, mineral and energy resources, and the human impact on the environment. The Geoscience Department offers a BS degree that gives students the necessary foundation to pursue a wide variety of career goals. In addition, the department offers a Certificate in Secondary Science Education that can be added to the BS degree for students who are interested in teaching. The degrees and courses in the program emphasize hands-on learning, including outdoor instruction, student-oriented research, and professional experiential learning opportunities. In addition to on-campus instruction and class-related field trips, the department also offers several regional geology field workshops, which take place in Newfoundland, Colorado, Florida, and the American Southwest.

Students complete a set of core foundational geoscience coursework that provides a basis for understanding concepts used for a variety of subdisciplines including oceanography/marine geology, climate change, volcanology, paleontology, astronomy and geophysics. Working closely with academic advisors, students also select a series of coursework tailored specifically to meet individual career goals that include professional teaching certification, research and graduate studies, or working as professional geologists for energy resource companies, environmental consulting firms, or federal and state regulatory agencies.

Secondary Science Education Teaching Certificate

Completion of the Certificate in Secondary Science Teaching in addition to the BS in Geology prepares students to become certified middle- and high-school teachers in Pennsylvania and other states. Earth and space science teachers in grades 7 to 12 teach subjects that require a broad and solid foundation in the geosciences and astronomy, as well as the cognate sciences and mathematics. Courses in the foundations of education and pedagogy complement the subject matter studies. Students create and present lessons, first in their courses and then in school classrooms, culminating in the student teaching experience in the final semester.

Liberal Studies: 44-46

As outlined in the Liberal Studies Requirements  with the following specifications:

Major: 58

Controlled Electives: 22

Select 22cr from the following: (1,3)

Free Electives: 16-18

Total Degree Requirements: 120

(1) Students in Teacher Education use the above program, but with the following specifications:

a) Liberal Studies social science: PSYC 101 ;
b) EDSP 102  for Liberal Studies elective instead of MATH 122  or MATH 126 ;
c) EDUC 451  instead of GEOS 302 ;
d) EDUC 451  may be counted for 9cr of Controlled Electives;
e) completion of Certificate in Secondary Science Education.

(2) Up to 4cr of a summer field camp, internship, field research study, or independent study, all of which must be approved by the department, may substitute for GEOS 303  or a Geoscience Field Workshop.

(3) No more than 12cr of Controlled Electives may be fulfilled by non-GEOS classes. Only one Geoscience Field Workshop (including prerequisite 1cr Seminar) may be applied toward controlled electives. Six credits of foreign language may count toward controlled electives provided intermediate level is successfully obtained.

(4) When taken before declaring the major or when specifically recommended during freshmen orientation/transfer advising for students who must take preparatory math courses before enrolling in GEOS 200 .

(5) Cannot be counted as a controlled elective if MATH 216  is applied toward ancillary science requirements.

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