Geological Sciences

Geological science involves the study of the Earth (and other planetary bodies), including their compositions and histories and the physical chemical and biological processes that shape them. The geosciences are highly interdisciplinary, thus students must take some supporting math and science courses. Geoscience courses emphasize a process-oriented approach, with hands-on experiences in labs and on field trips. There is a strong emphasis on active and collaborative learning, and on practice in communication. Students may choose an AB (total of 13 courses) or an ScB (19 total courses, including one semester of research). There are many opportunities for students to do research work (typically in paid positions) during the academic year or in the summer, in areas such as deformation and properties of geological materials, deciphering the geologic history of some local rocks, or analysis of planetary images.

Standard program for the A.B. degree

This program provides a broad introduction to the geological sciences. Recommended for students seeking a liberal education and a general understanding of Earth processes and Earth history. Especially attractive for double concentrations, such as geology and economics as a career path to law or business, or geology and English as a career path to journalism or technical writing.

Basic supporting science courses
CHEM 0330Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure (or advanced placement)1
Select three of the following:3
Introductory Calculus, Part I
Introductory Calculus, Part II (or more advanced)
Foundations of Mechanics
Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics (or more advanced)
Introduction to Engineering
Dynamics and Vibrations (or more advanced)
The Foundation of Living Systems (or more advanced)
Concentration courses
GEOL 0220Physical Processes in Geology1
GEOL 0230Geochemistry: Earth and Planetary Materials and Processes1
GEOL 0240Earth: Evolution of a Habitable Planet1
Select two of the following:2
Mineralogy
Petrology
Structural Geology
Select two of the following:2
Fossil Record
Estuarine Oceanography
Stratigraphy and Sedimentation
Global Environmental Remote Sensing
Weather and Climate
Environmental Geochemistry
A field course
Select two additional courses from upper level geological sciences, mathematics, or supporting sciences with approval from the departmental concentration advisor.2
Total Credits13

Standard program for the Sc.B. degree

This program is recommended for students interested in graduate study and careers in the geosciences and related fields.

Basic supporting science courses
Select two courses in mathematics at the level of:2
Introductory Calculus, Part I
Introductory Calculus, Part II
or another more advanced math or statistics course
CHEM 0330Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure (or advanced placement)1
Select one of the following Series:2
Foundations of Mechanics
   and Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics (or more advanced) 1
Introduction to Engineering
   and Dynamics and Vibrations (or more advanced)
Concentration courses
GEOL 0220Physical Processes in Geology1
GEOL 0230Geochemistry: Earth and Planetary Materials and Processes1
GEOL 0240Earth: Evolution of a Habitable Planet1
GEOL 0310Fossil Record1
GEOL 1240Stratigraphy and Sedimentation1
GEOL 1410Mineralogy1
GEOL 1420Petrology1
GEOL 1450Structural Geology1
A field course1
Select four courses from upper level geological sciences, mathematics, or supporting sciences with approval from the departmental concentration advisor.4
GEOL 1970Individual Study of Geologic Problems (Senior Research Thesis)1
Total Credits19
1

Advanced placement may be substituted for the first semester of physics.