Search Target

Requirements for the BS in Geological Sciences

Years 1 and 2:
Most students begin with an introductory survey course, choosing any one of the 100-level course. Then, typically in the sophomore year, students take a series of four "core" courses which cover the fundamental concepts, the theoretical basis, and the techniques and methods need by every well educated student in the Geological Sciences. During the first two years, students also begin to take the supporting science and mathematics courses required as background for the upper level courses in Geological Sciences.

One Introductory Course:
GEOL 102 Geology of the Solar System

GEOL 111 Planet Earth

GEOL 115 Global Change

GEOL 116 Geological Hazards

Four Geology 'Core' Courses:
Fall Semester:

GEOL 301 (formerly 213) Rock Record and Earth History

GEOL 302 (formerly 214) Interior of the Earth

Spring Semester:

GEOL 303 (formerly 212) Earth Materials

GEOL 311 (formerly 211) Earth Surface Processes

Cognate Sciences and Math:
CHEM 107 and 108; or CHEM 111
PHYS 121 and 122; or PHYS 131 and 132
MATH 224, 225, 226, and 227 (these were formerly MATH 221 and 222)
(Note: CHEM 107 or 111 is prerequisite or corequisite to GEOL 303)

Additional requirement for the concentration in Geophysics:
MATH 323
(Note: MATH 371 is prerequisite for PHYS 341 and GEOL 451)

Years 3 and 4:
Beginning in Year 3, students choose from sets of advanced courses designed for those who wish to specialize in Geology, Environmental Geology, or Geophysics. Additionally, during the summer between their junior and senior years, students take a field geology course offered through another university.

Geology Track:

GEOL 423 Petrology
GEOL 436 Sedimentology/Stratigraphy or GEOL 366 Paleobiology
GEOL 344 Structural Geology
2 electives chosen from any GEOL courses at the 300 or 400 level

Environmental Geology Track:

GEOL 342 Envi. Hydrology or GEOL 304 (formerly 370) Envi. Geology
GEOL 416 Hydrogeology
GEOL 470 Geochemistry
2 electives chosen from:
GEOL 465 Env. Measurements
GEOL 342 or 304 (if not already taken)
GEOL 436 Sedimentology/Stratigraphy

Geophysics Track:

PHYS 331 E&M I
PHYS 341 Mechanics
GEOL 450 Geophysics
1 elective chosen from:
GEOL 453 Applied Geophysics
GEOL 344 Structural Geology
GEOL 416 Hydrogeology


Summer Between Years 3 and 4 – Field Experience:
GEOL 401 Field Experience (4-6 credits; from another university)
Students on the Geophysics track may substitute GEOL 453 (if not taken to meet track requirements).

It is up to the student to select a field course offered through another university and to make all arrangements to apply, take the course and have the credit transferred to Binghamton. Acceptable programs will involve field work (that is, outdoors rather than in a lab or office) and the application of skills and concepts learned in previous courses to a real-world experiment (doing science, not just collecting data or providing labor). Further details about field camps are available on the Resources for Current Students webpage. If in doubt whether a field course will satisfy our requirements for GEOL 401, see the Undergraduate Program Director.

NOTE: The department requires a grade of C- or better in geology courses counted towards the major. No courses for the major may be taken pass/fail.

Last Updated: 9/12/18