Earth Sciences B.S. – Geology Emphasis

College of Natural and Health Sciences

Contact: William H. Hoyt, Ph.D., Department Chair

Location: Ross Hall 3235

Telephone: 970.351.2647


Advising Information:

Students must consult with their assigned major advisor each semester prior to registering.

Assigned advisor is available through the Ursa login;; under Student tab Academic Profile channel and is term specific. If no advisor is listed, contact the major program for advisor information.

The program consists of three parts:

  1. Liberal Arts Core (LAC) Credits
  2. Required Major Credits
  3. University-Wide Credits

Program Description:

The science of geology explores the physical makeup of the earth, the processes that shape it and the history of its development. This program provides a broad background in geology and emphasizes the study of geology in the field and in the laboratory.

Graduates of the geology program will be prepared for entry-level positions as geologists in the petroleum mining, and environmental industries, in local, state and federal governmental agencies and in a variety of engineering and geological consulting firms. The program also provides the background necessary for admission to graduate programs in geology and related fields.

Program Admission Requirements:

Academic Good Standing

Program Requirements:

  • The course of study for this major, including both required and elective courses, must total at least 60 credits and must be developed in consultation with and be approved by the student's academic advisor.
  • At least one half of the credits in AST, ESCI, GEOL, MET and OCN courses must be numbered 300 or above. No more than 8 credits of AST, ESCI, GEOL, MET and OCN courses numbered below 200 may be counted toward the major.
  • Science and mathematics courses approved for the Liberal Arts Core that are taken as part of this major may also be used to satisfy Liberal Arts Core requirements.
  • A 2.0 grade point average in the courses taken as part of this major is required for graduation. (Secondary Teaching Emphasis: a 2.5 GPA is required in all major courses.)

Degree Requirements — 120 Credits

Degree Requirements

1. Required Specified LAC — 28 credits

LAC area 1b. Intermediate Composition

SCI 291Scientific Writing


LAC area 2 — Mathematics

MATH 124College Algebra


MATH 131Calculus I


MATH 132Calculus II


STAT 150Introduction to Statistical Analysis


LAC area 6 — Physical and Life Sciences

CHEM 111Principles of Chemistry I


CHEM 111LPrinciples of Chemistry I Laboratory


PHYS 220Introductory Physics I


Remaining LAC — 18 credits

See “Liberal Arts Core”.

NOTE: Students need to select a course from Area 7 or 8 that also counts in Areas 3, 4, or 5.

2. Required Major — 64 credits

Take all of the following courses:

CHEM 112Principles of Chemistry II


CHEM 112LPrinciples of Chemistry II Laboratory


ESCI 492Earth Science Internship


GEOG 210Introduction to GIS and GPS


GEOL 201Physical Geology


GEOL 202Historical Geology


GEOL 320Mineralogy


GEOL 340Paleontology


GEOL 421Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology


GEOL 450Sedimentology and Stratigraphy


GEOL 460Geomorphology


GEOL 470Structural Geology


GEOL 481Geologic Field Techniques


PHYS 221Introductory Physics II


Geology electives — GEOL prefix course(s) that are numbered 300 or higher


ESCI 492: Take 6 credits, which could be a transferred in 6-credit geology field camp or approved internship

3. University-Wide Credits — 10 credits

Complete additional credits to achieve the minimum credits needed for this degree at UNC; for this degree, that will typically be 10 credits.