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 Elective: 3-4
Minimum of 4 credits of field courses from the following:
Ancillary Sciences: 6
Select two courses from the following:
Controlled Electives: 22
Select 22cr from the following: (1,3)
- One 100-level GEOS course (4)
- Any 300-level GEOS course(s)
- Any 400-level GEOS course(s)
Students interested in pursuing a more generalized career in Geology or considering graduate school are encouraged to take three from the following: GEOS 323 , GEOS 345 , GEOS 352 , GEOS 353 , GEOS 355 , GEOS 362 , GEOS 481 (with departmental approval)
Students interested in Environmental Geosciences are encouraged to take three from the following: GEOS 310 , GEOS 311 , GEOS 312 , GEOS 323 , GEOS 352 , GEOS 356 , GEOS 481 (with departmental approval)
Students interested in careers in Energy are encouraged to take three from the following: GEOS 323 , GEOS 324 , GEOS 352 , GEOS 353 , GEOS 355 , GEOS 481 (with departmental approval)
Students interested in becoming certified classroom teachers (Earth and Space science grades 7-12) are encouraged to take three from the following: GEOS 203 (1), GEOS 341 ,GEOS 342 , GEOS 353 , GEOS 370 , GEOS 371 , BIOL 201
- Foreign Language Intermediate Level
- BIOL 201 - Principles of Ecology and Evolution Credits: 4
- BIOL 202 - Principles of Cell and Molecular Biology Credits: 4
- BIOL 221 - Environmental Health and Protection Credits: 4
- CHEM 231 - Organic Chemistry I Credits: 4
- CHEM 325 - Analytical Chemistry I Credits: 4
- CHEM 326 - Analytical Chemistry II Credits: 4
- CHEM 332 - Organic Chemistry II Credits: 4
- CHEM 341 - Physical Chemistry I Credits: 4
- COSC 110 - Problem Solving and Structured Programming Credits: 3
- COSC 210 - Object-Oriented and GUI Programming Credits: 3
- COSC 310 - Data Structures and Algorithms Credits: 3
- COSC 341 - Introduction to Database Management Systems Credits: 3
- COSC 362 - Unix Systems Credits: 3
- COSC 343 - Introduction to Numerical Methods Credits: 3
- MATH 343 - Introduction to Numerical Methods Credits: 3
- ENVE 101 - Introduction to Environmental Engineering Credits: 3
- GEOG 314 - Map and Photograph Interpretation Credits: 3
- GEOG 316 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems Credits: 3
- GEOG 341 - Climatology Credits: 3
- GEOG 343 - Fresh Water Resources Credits: 3
- GEOG 415 - Introduction to Remote Sensing Credits: 3
- GEOG 419 - Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Environmental Applications Credits: 3
- GEOG 435 - Geography of Energy Credits: 3
- IFMG 390 - Database Theory and Practice Credits: 3
- MATH 216 - Probability and Statistics for Natural Sciences Credits: 3
- MATH 217 - Probability and Statistics Credits: 3 (5)
- MATH 341 - Differential Equations Credits: 3
- PHYS 121 - Physics I Lab Credits: 1
- PHYS 141 - Physics I-C Lab Credits: 1
- PHYS 122 - Physics II Lab Credits: 1
- PHYS 142 - Physics II-C Lab Credits: 1
- PHYS 342 - Thermal and Statistical Physics Credits: 3
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.