All schools & programs > College of Liberal Arts and Sciences > Department of Geology >

Bachelor of Science in Geology

Visit their website » Print...

Geology Programs

The B.S. program provides intensive training in geology and other sciences. B.S. majors may emphasize traditional geology, environmental geology (with a specialized track in hydrogeology), engineering geology, geophysics, or earth and space science licensure. The hydrogeology track, the engineering geology option, and the geophysics option combine basic training in geology with training in mathematics, engineering, physics, and geophysics. The environmental geology option combines training in geology with many different sciences.

Degree requirements may be altered to suit particular needs of a student upon petition to the undergraduate studies committee and in consultation with a geology faculty adviser. Special consideration is given to students with strong backgrounds in supporting sciences and students with superior records who decide to major in geology late in their programs.

Go to the top of the page top

First- and Second-Year Preparation

Students interested in geology, especially in the B.S. degree, should see a department adviser as soon as possible. They should enroll in mathematics, chemistry, and English in addition to Introduction to Geology and electives. Students should take GEOL 360 as soon as possible.

Go to the top of the page top

Advising

Developing a strong relationship with a faculty adviser helps students get the most out of their educational programs in the shortest time. Most courses for majors are offered in only one semester each year. Advisers can guide the student through complexities of the curriculum or into a specialized program.

Go to the top of the page top

Requirements for the B.S. Degree

The B.S. program provides intensive training in geology and other sciences. B.S. majors may emphasize traditional geology, environmental geology (with a specialized track in hydrogeology), engineering geology, geophysics, or earth and space science licensure. The hydrogeology track, the engineering geology option, and the geophysics option combine basic training in geology with training in mathematics, engineering, physics, and geophysics. The environmental geology option combines training in geology with many different sciences.

Degree requirements may be altered to suit particular needs of a student upon petition to the undergraduate studies committee and in consultation with a geology faculty adviser. Special consideration is given to students with strong backgrounds in supporting sciences and students with superior records who decide to major in geology late in their programs.

 

Go to the top of the page top

General Geology Option

General Geology Option

Written Communication - Core Skill and Critical Inquiry.

  • Composition. Satisfied by ENGL 101, ACT English score of 27 or above or SAT English score of 600 or above, AP English Literature & Composition score of 3 or above, or equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed during initial term of admission at KU.
  • Critical Reading and Writing. Satisfied by ENGL 102, or ENGL 105 (Honors), AP English Literature & Composition score of 4 or above, or an equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed within the first academic year at KU.
  • Sophomore Reading and Writing II. Satisfied by ENGL 203, or ENGL 205 (Honors), ENGL 209, or ENGL 210 or ENGL 211, or ENGL 362, or AP English Literature & Composition score of 5 or above, or an equivalent

Communications. Satisfied by COMS 130 or COMS 150.

Humanities - Understanding the Human Condition. Satisfied by completing 2 courses (requirement code H). Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal.

Social and Behavioral Sciences - Understanding Society and Behavior. Satisfied by completing 2 courses (requirement code S). Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal. An introductory course in economics is recommended.

Geology Prerequisite or Co-requisite Knowledge. Majors must complete courses as specified in each of the following areas. Majors are advised to take honors courses when eligible. These hours do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.

Geology Core Knowledge and Skills. Majors must complete the following core courses:

  • Introduction to Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 101.
  • Geology Fundamentals Laboratory. Satisfied by GEOL 103.
  • Mineralogy and Structure of the Earth. Satisfied by GEOL 311.
  • Mineral Structures and Equilibria Laboratory. Satisfied by GEOL 312.
  • Sedimentology and Surface Processes. Satisfied by GEOL 331.
  • Field Investigation. Satisfied by GEOL 360.
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. Satisfied by GEOL 512.
  • Petrology Laboratory. Satisfied by GEOL 513
  • Paleontology. Satisfied by GEOL 521.
  • Paleontology Laboratory. Satisfied by GEOL 523.
  • Stratigraphy. Satisfied by GEOL 532.
  • Introductory Field Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 560.
  • Field Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 561.
  • Structural Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 562.
  • Geophysics or Geodynamics and Plate Tectonics. Satisfied by GEOL 572 or GEOL 573.

Geology Required Electives. Majors must complete additional courses to total at least 9 hours numbered 500 or above.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 49 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 18 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Go to the top of the page top

Engineering Geology Option

Engineering Geology Option

Written Communication - Core Skill and Critical Inquiry.

  • Composition. Satisfied by ENGL 101, ACT English score of 27 or above or SAT English score of 600 or above, AP English Literature & Composition score of 3 or above, or equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed during initial term of admission at KU.
  • Critical Reading and Writing. Satisfied by ENGL 102, or ENGL 105 (Honors), AP English Literature & Composition score of 4 or above, or an equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed within the first academic year at KU.
  • Sophomore Reading and Writing II. Satisfied by ENGL 203, or ENGL 205 (Honors), ENGL 209, or ENGL 210 or ENGL 211, or ENGL 362, or AP English Literature & Composition score of 5 or above, or an equivalent

Communications. Satisfied by COMS 130 or COMS 150.

Humanities - Understanding the Human Condition. Satisfied by completing 2 courses (requirement code H). Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal.

Social and Behavioral Sciences - Understanding Society and Behavior. Satisfied by completing 2 courses (requirement code S). Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal. An introductory course in economics is recommended.

Geology Prerequisite or Co-requisite Knowledge. Majors must complete courses as specified in each of the following areas. Majors are advised to take honors courses when eligible. These hours do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.

Geology Core Knowledge and Skills. Majors must complete the following core courses:

  • Introduction to Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 101 and GEOL 103, or GEOL 105.
  • Mineralogy and Structure of the Earth.Satisfied by GEOL 311.
  • Mineral Structures and Equilibria Laboratory. Satisfied by GEOL 312.
  • Sedimentology and Surface Processes. Satisfied by GEOL 331.
  • Environmental Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 351.
  • Field Investigation. Satisfied by GEOL 360.
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. Satisfied by GEOL 512.
  • Petrology Laboratory. Satisfied by GEOL 513.
  • Geomorphology. Satisfied by GEOL 541.
  • Introductory Field Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 560.
  • Field Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 561.
  • Structural Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 562.
  • Geophysics or Geodynamics and Plate Tectonics. Satisfied by GEOL 572 or GEOL 573.

Geology or Civil Engineering Required Electives. Majors must complete 3 additional geology or civil engineering courses, at least 2 of which must be from the following: GEOL 521, GEOL 532, GEOL 535, GEOL 715, GEOL 751, CE 770 and CE 771.

Electives may include an upper-division course in statistics (MATH 365 or BIOL 570).

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 45 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 18 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Go to the top of the page top

Environmental Geology Option

Environmental Geology Option

Written Communication - Core Skill and Critical Inquiry.

  • Composition. Satisfied by: ENGL 101, ACT English score of 27 or above or SAT English score of 600 or above, AP English Literature & Composition score of 3 or above, or equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed during initial term of admission at KU.
  • Critical Reading and Writing. Satisfied by ENGL 102, or ENGL 105 (Honors), AP English Literature & Composition score of 4 or above, or an equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed within the first academic year at KU.
  • Sophomore Reading and Writing II. Satisfied by ENGL 203, or ENGL 205 (Honors), ENGL 209, or ENGL 210 or ENGL 211, or ENGL 362, or AP English Literature & Composition score of 5 or above, or an equivalent

Communications. Satisfied by COMS 130 or COMS 150.

Humanities - Understanding the Human Condition. Satisfied by completing 2 courses (requirement code H). Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal.

Social and Behavioral Sciences - Understanding Society and Behavior. Satisfied by completing 2 courses (requirement code S). Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal. An introductory course in economics is recommended.

Geology Prerequisite or Co-requisite Knowledge. Majors must complete courses as specified in each of the following areas. Majors are advised to take honors courses when eligible. These hours do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.

Geology Core Knowledge and Skills. Majors must complete the following core courses:

  • Introduction to Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 101.
  • Geology Fundamentals Laboratory. Satisfied by GEOL 103.
  • Mineralogy and Structure of the Earth. Satisfied by GEOL 311.
  • Sedimentology and Surface Processes. Satisfied by GEOL 331.
  • Environmental Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 351.
  • Field Investigation. Satisfied by GEOL 360.
  • Paleontology. Satisfied by GEOL 521.
  • Stratigraphy. Satisfied by GEOL 532.
  • Geomorphology. Satisfied by GEOL 541.
  • Introduction to Hydrogeology. Satisfied by GEOL 552.
  • Introductory Field Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 560.
  • Structural Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 562.
  • Geophysics. Satisfied by GEOL 572.

Geology Required Electives. Majors must complete additional courses to total at least 9 hours numbered 500 or above. The following are recommended: GEOL 391,GEOL 535, GEOL 715, GEOL 751, CE 770 and CE 771, GEOG 535, GEOG 558, GEOL 753, BIOL 400 or C&PE 517.

Environmental Hydrogeology Track

Besides the general program above, a specialized track in hydrogeology satisfies degree requirements. In addition to College, supporting science, and geology courses, the environmental hydrogeology track requires the following mathematics and civil engineering/physics courses:

In addition, Technical Electives (9 hours). These normally are chosen from courses numbered 500 or above in geology, physics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering or computer science. Courses numbered below 500 must be approved by a geology adviser.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 50 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 45 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Go to the top of the page top

Geophysics Option

Geophysics Option

Written Communication - Core Skill and Critical Inquiry.

  • Composition. Satisfied by ENGL 101, ACT English score of 27 or above or SAT English score of 600 or above, AP English Literature & Composition score of 3 or above, or equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed during initial term of admission at KU.
  • Critical Reading and Writing. Satisfied by ENGL 102, or ENGL 105 (Honors), AP English Literature & Composition score of 4 or above, or an equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed within the first academic year at KU.
  • Sophomore Reading and Writing II. Satisfied by ENGL 203, or ENGL 205 (Honors), ENGL 209, or ENGL 210 or ENGL 211, or ENGL 362, or AP English Literature & Composition score of 5 or above, or an equivalent

Communications. Satisfied by COMS 130 or COMS 150.

Humanities - Understanding the Human Condition. Satisfied by completing 2 courses (requirement code H). Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal.

Social and Behavioral Sciences - Understanding Society and Behavior. Satisfied by completing 2 courses (requirement code S). Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal. An introductory course in economics is recommended.

Geology Prerequisite or Co-requisite Knowledge. Majors must complete courses as specified in each of the following areas. Majors are advised to take honors courses when eligible. These hours do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.

  • Calculus I. Satisfied by MATH 121 (MATH 121 Prerequisite: MATH 104; or MATH 103; or three years of college preparatory mathematics including trigonometry and a score of 28 or higher on ACT mathematics or 640 or higher on the SAT; or a qualifying score on the mathematics placement test. Students may complete MATH 115 and 116 prior to completing MATH 122).
  • Calculus II. Satisfied by MATH 122.
  • Vector Calculus and Elementary Linear Algebra. Satisfied by MATH 223 and MATH 290.
  • Elementary Differential Equations. Satisfied by MATH 320.
  • Chemistry. Satisfied by CHEM 184 and CHEM 188.
  • Physics. Satisfied by PHSX 211 and PHSX 212; PHSX 313; PHSX 521; PHSX 531.
  • Information Technology. Satisfied by EECS 128 or demonstrate equivalent programming skills.

Geology Core Knowledge and Skills. Majors must complete the following core courses:

  • Introduction to Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 101.
  • Geology Fundamentals Laboratory. Satisfied by GEOL 103.
  • Mineralogy and Structure of the Earth. Satisfied by GEOL 311.
  • Sedimentology and Surface Processes. Satisfied by GEOL 331.
  • Field Investigation. Satisfied by GEOL 360.
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. Satisfied by GEOL 512.
  • Introductory Field Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 560.
  • Structural Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 562.
  • Geophysics. Satisfied by GEOL 572 or GEOL 573.

Additional Geology Courses. Satisfied by completion of 2 of the following: GEOL 572, GEOL 573, GEOL 575, GEOL 577.

Technical Required Electives. Majors must complete additional courses to total at least 9 hours numbered 500 or above in geology, physics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, or computer science. The following are recommended: GEOL 391,GEOL 535, GEOL 715, GEOL 751, CE 770 and CE 771, GEOG 535, GEOG 558, GEOL 753, BIOL 400 or C&PE 517.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 42 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Go to the top of the page top

Earth and Space Science Licensure Option

Earth and Space Science Licensure Option

This program fulfills the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in geology. The program also meets course requirements necessary to gain state licensure eligibility in earth and space science to become a secondary teacher in Kansas, but completion of the program does not guarantee the student’s licensure. This list is a guideline. Contact the geology department for further information about meeting degree and additional licensure requirements. You may also contact the UKanTeach Office for information about similar tracks resulting in eligibility for licensure in this and other science and mathematics fields. 

Written Communication - Core Skill and Critical Inquiry.

  • Composition. Satisfied by ENGL 101, ACT English score of 27 or above or SAT English score of 600 or above, AP English Literature & Composition score of 3 or above, or equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed during initial term of admission at KU.
  • Critical Reading and Writing. Satisfied by ENGL 102, or ENGL 105 (Honors), AP English Literature & Composition score of 4 or above, or an equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed within the first academic year at KU.
  • Sophomore Reading and Writing II. Satisfied by ENGL 203, or ENGL 205 (Honors), ENGL 209, or ENGL 210 or ENGL 211, or ENGL 362, or AP English Literature & Composition score of 5 or above, or an equivalent

Communications. Satisfied by COMS 130 or COMS 150.

Humanities - Understanding the Human Condition. Satisfied by completing 2 courses (requirement code H). Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal.

Social and Behavioral Sciences - Understanding Society and Behavior. Satisfied by completing 2 courses (requirement code S). Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal. An introductory course in economics is recommended.

Geology Prerequisite or Co-requisite Knowledge. Majors must complete courses as specified in each of the following areas. Majors are advised to take honors courses when eligible. These hours do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.

Geology Core Knowledge and Skills. Majors must complete the following core courses:

  • Introduction to Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 101.
  • Geology Fundamentals Laboratory. Satisfied by GEOL 103.
  • Mineralogy and Structure of the Earth. Satisfied by GEOL 311.
  • Sedimentology and Surface Processes. Satisfied by GEOL 331.
  • Field Investigation. Satisfied by GEOL 360.
  • Paleontology. Satisfied by GEOL 521 and GEOL 523.
  • Stratigraphy. Satisfied by GEOL 532.
  • Introduction to Hydrogeology. Satisfied by GEOL 552.
  • Introductory Field Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 560.
  • Structural Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 562.

Space Science Core Knowledge and Skills. Majors must complete the following core courses:

  • Introductory Meteorology. Satisfied by ATMO 105.
  • Contemporary Astronomy. Satisfied by ASTR 191.
  • Introductory Astronomy Laboratory. Satisfied by ASTR 196.

Earth and Space Required Electives. Majors must complete one of the areas below:

  • Geology Focus. Satisfied by 4 hours in a geology course numbered 300 or above.
  • Astronomy Focus. Satisfied by 4 hours in astronomy courses numbered 300 or above. This can include 3 hours of ASTR 390 or GEOL 399, GEOL 105, GEOL 304, or GEOL 121 also can count if taken before the completion of 60 hours.

Research Methods. Satisfied by CHEM 598.

Professional Development Course Work. A minimum grade of C is required in all courses.

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences. Satisfied by LA&S 290 and LA&S 291
  • Curriculum and Teaching (19 hours). Satisfied by C&T 448 Reading and Writing across the Curriculum and 16 hours of courses approved by UKanTeach in curriculum and teaching. These should include courses such as Classroom Interactions (3), Knowing and Learning (3), Project Based Instruction (3), Student Teaching (6), and Special Topics Seminar (1).

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 58 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Go to the top of the page top

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.