Degree Offered

  • Associate of Arts

Nature of Program

The associates degree program is designed for a student planning to pursue graduate study in geology or work as a professional geologist. Courses explore earth materials, processes that alter the Earth, and the history of life on Earth. Courses in chemistry, physics, and math develop the necessary knowledge and skills base for higher level geology courses and areas of specialization. The most common types of geology specializations within advanced geology degrees are economic geology, mining geology, engineering geology, and petroleum geology. 

The associate degree program provides the foundation to complete a bachelor program in geology at West Virginia University. Students planning to enter a bachelor program at another institution should determine the transfer equivalencies for the courses offered at Potomac State College of WVU and the institution they plan to attend following completion of the associate degree program.

Career Opportunities

Qualified students are encouraged to seek a graduate degree; however B.S. geologists who have developed solid technical and communication skills have excellent employment prospects in the energy industry and environmental and geotechnical firms. A major in geology prepares students for professional positions in industry and government services, as well as other career options.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

Minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in all GEOL courses.
GEF Elective Requirements (4, 5, and 6)9
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra 5-Day
College Algebra 4-Day
College Algebra 3-Day
MATH 128Plane Trigonometry3
MATH 155Calculus 1 (GEF 3)4
MATH 156Calculus 24
STAT 211Elementary Statistical Inference3
CHEM 115Fundamentals of Chemistry (GEF 8)4
CHEM 116Fundamentals of Chemistry (GEF 8)4
GEOL 101
GEOL 102
Planet Earth
and Planet Earth Laboratory (GEF 2)
GEOL 103
GEOL 104
Earth Through Time
and Earth Through Time Laboratory (GEF 8)
PHYS 101Introductory Physics4
or PHYS 111 General Physics
PHYS 102Introductory Physics4
or PHYS 112 General Physics
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
ECAS International Requirement (GEF 7)3
Total Hours60

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3
GEOL 101
GEOL 102 (GEF 2)
4GEOL 103
GEOL 104 (GEF 8)
Select one of the following:3MATH 1283
 GEF Elective (GEF 5)3
 GEF Elective (GEF 6)3
WVUE 1911 
GEF Elective (GEF 4)3 
 14 16
Second Year
CHEM 115 (GEF 8)4CHEM 116 (GEF 8)4
PHYS 101 or 1114PHYS 102 or 1124
MATH 155 (GEF 3)4MATH 1564
GEF Elective - ECAS International Requirement (GEF 7)3STAT 2113
 15 15
Total credit hours: 60

Major Learning Goals


Upon successful completion of the A.A. degree, Geology majors will be able to:

  1. Show competence in the identification of minerals, rocks, and fossils using various field and lab techniques.
  2. Describe the connections among energy, mineral, and hydrological resource exploitation and their impacts on Earth environments.
  3. Describe an exposure of rocks in the field including rock type, sedimentary structures, and fossils.
  4. Describe the basic geological history of Earth.
  5. Transfer into a bachelor degree program in geology.



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