Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Science

Nature of Program

The bachelor of science degree in geology is designed for students interested in geology positions in  the private or public sector or in academia. 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.

Instructional facilities and equipment include laboratories for mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, sedimentology, paleontology, hydrogeology, geophysics, geomorphology, structural geology, and excellent computer facilities. Field studies are stressed in upper-level classes, capped by a six-credit field course examining folded and faulted sedimentary rocks as well as igneous and metamorphic rocks in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. Internships are encouraged to broaden the learning experience and to enhance employment prospects.


All students have the possibility of earning one or more minors; a list of all available minors and their requirements is available at Please note that students may not earn a minor in their major field.

Certificate of Global Engagement

Students in the Eberly College, regardless of their major, can earn a Certificate of Global Engagement. Completion of the Certificate demonstrates the student’s knowledge of diverse cultures, as well as the ability to communicate and interact effectively with people of different cultural backgrounds.  Students will be required to apply their knowledge of contemporary issues and global social contexts to their course work and their broader citizenship.  For details regarding Certificate requirements, please visit the Eberly College page.

Entering freshmen are admitted directly into the Geology major.  Students coming from the Center for Learning, Advising, and Student Success or another unit must meet minimum requirements set by the department: have a 2.00 overall GPA.  Please see an adviser in the Geology and Geography Department for details.

Benchmark Expectations

By the 4th semester in the major students will have a mid-semester review and should be progressing through calculus, chemistry, physics, and GEOL 286 with an adviser-approved plan and maintain a 2.0 GPA in Geology. All majors must meet with a G&G department adviser each semester.  Students who do not meet these benchmarks may be removed from their major.

Click here to view the Suggested Plan of Study

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.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete WVU General Education Foundations requirements, College B.S. requirements, major requirements, and electives to total a minimum of 120 hours. For complete details on these requirements, visit the B.S. Degrees tab on the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences page

Departmental Requirements for the B.S. in Geology

Students who wish to graduate with a degree in Geology must successfully complete a  total of forty-two hours of geology courses (excluding GEOL 203 and GEOL 351).

  • Capstone Requirement: The university requires the successful completion of a Capstone course.  Geology majors must complete GEOL 404 to fulfill this requirement.

  • Writing and Communication Requirement: Geology Bachelor of Science students fulfill the Writing and Communication Skills requirement by completing ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 (or ENGL 103), and two additional SpeakWrite Certified CoursesTM: GEOL 404, and a 2nd course selected from  GEOL 311, GEOL 341, GEOL 411 ENGL 305.

  • Calculation of the GPA in the Major:  An average of at least 2.0 must be attained in all GEOL courses, excluding GEOL 351.  A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for all 300 and 400 level GEOL courses. If a course is repeated, all attempts will be included in calculation of the GPA unless the course is eligible for D/F repeat. 

  • Benchmark Expectations:  For details, go the Geology admissions tab.

We also offer the opportunity to pursue a dual degree in Geology and Mining Engineering.

Curriculum Requirements

First-Year Seminar
GEF Requirements
ECAS B.S. Requirements4
Global Studies & Diversity Requirement
Math Requirement
Select one of the following:
Calculus 1a with Precalculus
and Calculus 1b with Precalculus
Calculus 1
Science Requirement: Please see the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences' Bachelor of Science (B.S.) tab.
Geology Math & Science Requirements:22
Fundamentals of Chemistry
and Fundamentals of Chemistry
Select one of the following:
Introductory Physics
and Introductory Physics
General Physics
and General Physics
Select one of the following:
Elementary Statistical Inference
Intro to Computer Applications
Select one of the following:
Calculus 2
Geology Core Requirements:21
Planet Earth
and Planet Earth Laboratory
Earth Through Time
and Earth Through Time Laboratory
Introduction to Minerals & Rocks
Stratigraphy and Sedimentation
Structural Geology
Junior-Senior Seminar
Geology Advanced Requirements18
Select 6 courses from the following two lists. At least 3 courses must be from the Rocks and Energy list, and 3 courses from the Surficial Processes and Water list.
Rocks and Energy:
Geology of West Virginia
Geology of the National Parks
Deep Time Earth Systems
Advanced Petroleum Geology
Environmental and Exploration of Geophysics 1
Log Analysis-Reading the Rocks
Geographic Information Systems and Science
Surficial Processes and Water:
Environmental Geology
Introduction to Geochemistry
Introduction to Remote Sensing
Introductory Hydrogeology
Physical Hydrogeology
Cave and Karst Geology
Minerals and the Environment
Environmental Isotopes
Environmental Geochemistry
Geology Capstone Requirement6
Geology Field Camp
Number of general electives varies depending on overlap between GEF, College and Geology major requirements
Total Hours120

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
GEOL 1911ENGL 101 (F1)3 
CHEM 115 (F8 Course 1; B.S. Second Area 1)4CHEM 116 (F8 Course 2; B.S. Second Area 2)4 
GEOL 101
GEOL 102 (F2 B; B.S. First Area 1)
4GEOL 103
GEOL 104 (F8 Course 3; B.S. First Area 2)
MATH 155 (F3)4General Elective3 
General Elective2General Elective1 
 15 15
Second Year
ENGL 102 (F1)3F 43 
GEOL Physics Requirement 1 (B.S. Third Area 1)4F 53 
GEOL 2864GEOL Physics Requirement 2 (B.S. Third Area 2)4 
STAT 211 or CS 1013GEOL Rocks and Energy Requirement 13 
General Elective2General Elective2 
 16 15
Third Year
F 63GEOL 3114GEOL 4046
ECAS Global Studies & Diversity Requirement (F 7)3GEOL 4891 
GEOL Rocks & Energy Requirement 23GEOL Surficial Processes & Water Req. 13 
GEOL 3414GEOL 351 or MATH 1563 
 General Elective3 
 13 14 6
Fourth Year
GEOL Rocks & Energy Requirement 33GEOL Surficial Processes & Water Requirement 33 
GEOL Surficial Processes & Water Requirement 23General Elective3 
General Elective3General Elective3 
General Elective2General Elective3 
General Elective3  
 14 12
Total credit hours: 120

Dual Degree Curriculum for Mining Engineering and Geology

This curriculum allows students to simultaneously pursue a BS.Min.E. degree in mining engineering and a B.S. in geology.  The dual degree program requires satisfactory completion of 154 credits and fulfilling all the requirements for both degrees.

It is important for students to take courses in the order specified as much as possible; all prerequisites and concurrent requirements must be observed.  A typical dual B.S.Min.E. and B.S.Geology program that completes both degree requirements in five years is as follows. 

To be eligible to receive a bachelor’s degree in the Statler College, a student is required to complete satisfactorily the number of semester hours of work as specified in the program curriculum. Students must achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.25 for all courses taken at WVU, a major grade point average of 2.25 or better in courses completed within the student’s major, and a minimum overall grade point average of 2.25.

Students must complete a minimum of 154 credit hours to graduate - the total at the bottom reflects all possible course combinations.
Required Courses
CHEM 115Fundamentals of Chemistry (GEF 2)4
CHEM 116Fundamentals of Chemistry (GEF 8)4
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics (GEF 4)3
ENGR 101Engineering Problem Solving 12
ENGR 102Engineering Problem-Solving 23
ENGR 191First-Year Seminar1
GEOL 101Planet Earth3
GEOL 102Planet Earth Laboratory1
GEOL 103Earth Through Time3
GEOL 104Earth Through Time Laboratory1
GEOL 284Mineralogy3
GEOL 285Introductory Petrology3
GEOL 311Stratigraphy and Sedimentation4
GEOL 321Geomorphology3
GEOL 331Paleontology3
or GEOL 454 Environmental and Exploration of Geophysics 1
GEOL 341Structural Geology4
GEOL 404Geology Field Camp6
GEOL 495Independent Study1
or MINE 495 Independent Study
Geology Elective (upper level GEOL course, excluding GEOL 351)3
MAE 241Statics3
MAE 242Dynamics3
MAE 243Mechanics of Materials3
MAE 320Thermodynamics3
MAE 331Fluid Mechanics3
Select one of the following (GEF 3):4
Calculus 1
Calculus 1a with Precalculus
and Calculus 1b with Precalculus
MATH 156Calculus 2 (GEF 8)4
MATH 251Multivariable Calculus4
MATH 261Elementary Differential Equations4
MINE 201Mine Surveying3
MINE 205Underground Mining Systems3
MINE 206Surface Mining Systems4
MINE 261Engineering Computer Aided Design2
MINE 306Mineral Property Evaluation3
MINE 331Mine Ventilation3
MINE 382Mine Power Systems3
MINE 411Rock Mechanics/Ground Control4
MINE 427Coal Preparation4
MINE 461Applied Mineral Computer Methods3
MINE 471Mine and Safety Management3
MINE 480Multidisciplinary Team Project1
MINE 483Mine Design-Exploration Mapping2
MINE 484Mine Design-Report Capstone (Fulfills Writing and Communications Skills Requirement)4
PHYS 111General Physics (GEF 8)4
PHYS 112General Physics4
STAT 215Introduction to Probability and Statistics3
GEF Electives 1, 5, 6, 715
Total Hours154

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Dual MINE and GEOL Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
MATH 155 (GEF 3)4MATH 156 (GEF 8)4 
ENGR 1012ENGR 1023 
ENGR 1911PHYS 111 (GEF 8)4 
CHEM 115 (GEF 2)4ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3 
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3GEOL 103
GEOL 104
GEOL 101
GEOL 102
 18 18
Second Year
GEOL 2843CHEM 116 (GEF 8)4 
MAE 2413GEOL 2853 
MATH 2514MAE 3313 
MINE 2013MINE 2064 
MINE 2053PHYS 1124 
MINE 2612  
 18 18
Third Year
GEOL 3414GEOL 3114GEOL 404***6
MAE 3203MAE 2433 
MATH 2614MINE 3313 
MINE 4613MINE 4274 
STAT 2153MINE 4801 
 17 15 6
Fourth Year
GEF 53GEF 63 
ECON 201 (GEF 4)3GEF 73 
GEOL 331 or 4543GEOL 3213 
MINE 3823GEOL Elective*3 
MINE 3063MAE 2423 
 MINE 4832 
 15 17
Fifth Year
GEOL 495 or MINE 495**1  
MINE 4114  
MINE 4713  
MINE 4844  
Total credit hours: 154

Notes: Discipline substitutions:

  • GEOL 311 and other GEOL upper-division elective courses fulfill the requirements for MinE technical elective and eng/sci technical elective.
  • GEOL requirement for GEOL 341 is substituted for MINE requirement for GEOL 342.
  • MINE requirement of AGRN 455 is fulfilled through GEOL 321.
  • MINE 205 and MINE 206 fulfill the requirement of GEOL upper-division technical electives.
  • MINE 484 and GEOL 311 fulfill the requirement of writing course.
  • ECON 201 and GEOL 101 fulfill two of the GEF requirements in the mining curriculum.

Major Learning Outcomes


Upon successful completion of the B.S. 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. Demonstrate the application of geological principles in solving problems needed for entry-level employment in Earth Science-related professions or for admission to graduate school.
  3. Demonstrate competence in the use of quantitative methods for geological problem solving.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of the Earth as a complex system of interacting rock, water, air, and life in the context of Deep Time.
  5. Understand the origin of energy, mineral, and hydrological resources and the impact of their use on Earth environments and human life.
  6. Characterize and determine the history of a geological site using the appropriate methods.
  7. Generate 2D and 3D representations of geologic data collected by the student in the field and the laboratory.
  8. Communicate geological knowledge through effective written and oral presentation skills.

Geology Minor


Students must achieve a grade point average of at least 2.0 in all geology courses.

Core Courses4
Select one of the following pairs:
Planet Earth
and Planet Earth Laboratory
Environmental Geoscience
and Environmental Geoscience Laboratory
Advanced Electives:9
Choose from any Geology Course at the 300- or 400-level.
General Elective3
Choose from any Geology course
Total Hours16

GEOL 101. Planet Earth. 3 Hours.

Composition and structure of the Earth and the physical processes that change Earth's surface. GEOL 102 not required with GEOL 101. (Accompanied by registration in GEOL 102, class meets requirements for 4 hr. credit in a laboratory science in geology.) (Students cannot receive credit for GEOL 101 and GEOL 110 or GEOG 110.).

GEOL 102. Planet Earth Laboratory. 1 Hour.

PR or CONC: GEOL 101. Laboratory study of the Earth using rocks, minerals and maps. (2 hr. lab.) (Students cannot receive credit for GEOL 102 and GEOL 111 or GEOG 111.).

GEOL 103. Earth Through Time. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 or GEOL 110 or GEOG 110. Evolution of the Earth and its inhabitants. (Accompanied by registration in GEOL 104, class meets requirements for 4 hr. credit in a laboratory science in geology.).

GEOL 104. Earth Through Time Laboratory. 1 Hour.

PR or CONC: GEOL 103. Laboratory study of sedimentary rocks, fossils, and geologic maps and their use in interpreting Earth history. (2 hr. lab.).

GEOL 110. Environmental Geoscience. 3 Hours.

Physical aspects of the Earth with emphasis on natural resources, environmental degradation and hazards. (Accompanied by GEOL 111 meets requirements for a 4 hr. credit in laboratory science.) (Also listed as GEOG 110.) (Students may not receive credit for GEOL 110 and GEOG 110 or GEOL 101.).

GEOL 111. Environmental Geoscience Laboratory. 1 Hour.

PR or CONC: GEOL 110. (Also listed as GEOG 111.) (Students may not receive credit for GEOG 111 and GEOL 102 or GEOG 111.).

GEOL 191. First-Year Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

Engages students in active learning strategies that enable effective transition to college life at WVU. Students will explore school, college and university programs, policies and services relevant to academic success. Provides active learning activities that enable effective transition to the academic environment. Students examine school, college and university programs, policies and services.

GEOL 200. Geology for Environmental Scientists. 4 Hours.

PR: (GEOL 110 and GEOL 111) or (GEOG 110 and GEOG 111) or (GEOL 101 and GEOL 102 and GEOL 103 and GEOL 104). Fundamentals of mineralogy, sedimentation, stratigraphy, petrology, and structural geology needed by environmental scientists to understand earth materials. (Required field trips partial student expense.) (3 hr. lec., 1 hr. lab.).

GEOL 203. Physical Oceanography. 3 Hours.

(Not open to upper division geology majors.) The geography and geology of ocean basins and margins, the chemical and physical properties of sea water, and the examination of the source and location of resources in the sea.

GEOL 230. Fossils and Evolution. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 or BIOL 101. Evolutionary history of plants, marine invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals; emphasis on unique contribution of fossil record to evolutionary theory. (2 hr. lec., 1 hr. lab.) (Credit cannot be obtained for both GEOL 103 and GEOL 230.).

GEOL 275. Geologic Field & Computer Methods. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and GEOL 102 and GEOL 103 and GEOL 104. Introduction to geologic methods necessary to describe, measure, map, sample, and report on Earth materials in the field and in the laboratory. Develops communication skills necessary to organize and present data as formal, technical reports and presentations. Includes required field trips during class time and on weekends.

GEOL 284. Mineralogy. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and GEOL 102 and PR or CONC: CHEM 111 or CHEM 115. Elements of crystallography and the systematic study of minerals, identification of minerals in hand specimens according to physical properties. (Required weekend field trip covered by the lab fee.).

GEOL 285. Introductory Petrology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 284. Introduction to the study of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, including mineralogy, processes of formation, tectonic setting, and description and identification of rocks in hand specimens. (Required weekend field trip. Students will be required to pay a portion of the expenses.).

GEOL 298A. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study, or research.

GEOL 300. Geology of West Virginia. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 103 and GEOL 104. Journey through geologic history of West Virginia with emphasis on the geology of public lands and fossil fuels. Local and overnight field trips are a required part of this course.

GEOL 302. Geology of the National Parks. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 103 and GEOL 104. Explore the geology of selected National Parks with emphasis on the plate tectonic setting and in-depth analysis of surface features. One overnight field trip is required as part of this course.

GEOL 311. Stratigraphy and Sedimentation. 4 Hours.

PR: GEOL 103 and GEOL 104 and (GEOL 285 or GEOL 286). Study of sediments and sedimentary rocks with an emphasis on the analysis of facies.

GEOL 321. Geomorphology. 3 Hours.

PR: (GEOL 101 and GEOL 102) or (GEOL 110 and GEOL 111) or (GEOG 110 and GEOG 111). An examination of earth-surface processes and landforms, with emphasis on environmental geomorphology, streams, floods, glaciers, and landslides. (Required field trip at student's expense; also listed as GEOG 321.).

GEOL 331. Paleontology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 103 and GEOL 104 and STAT 211. Uses of paleontological data in geology; biostratigraphy, paleoecology, evolution, extinction, and biogeography; lab emphasis on identification and utilization of marine invertebrate fossils. (Required weekend field trip at student's expense.).

GEOL 341. Structural Geology. 4 Hours.

PR: GEOL 103 and GEOL 104 and GEOL 286 and PR or CONC: (PHYS 101 or PHYS 111). Introduction to rock deformation processes and the interpretation of geologic structure, with applications to the structure and tectonic evolution of the Appalachian Mountains. (Several one-day field trips required.).

GEOL 342. Structural Geology for Engineers. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and PHYS 111. Introduction to rock deformation processes and the development and interpretation of geologic structures. (Several one-day field trips required.).

GEOL 351. Geomathematics. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and (MATH 154 or MATH 155). Mathematical methods and applications in geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and environmental science. Review of basic mathematics, differential and integral calculus. Use of computers (Excel) as geological problem-solving tools.

GEOL 365. Environmental Geology. 3 Hours.

PR or CONC: GEOL 321. Principles, practice, and case histories in application of earth science to environmental problems. Includes: water quality; landslides; subsidence; waste disposal; legal aspects; and geological aspects of land-use planning. (Field trips and independent field project required.).

GEOL 373. Introduction to Petroleum Geology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101. Origin, geologic distribution, methods of exploration and exploitation, uses and future reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world.

GEOL 386. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 284 or GEOL 286 with a minimum grade of C-. An investigation of the processes that produce igneous, volcanic, and metamorphic rocks on Earth and the terrestrial planets, with special emphasis on how processes fit into the plate tectonic paradigm. Labs will focus on the description and interpretation of igneous and metamorphic rocks in hand specimen and thin sections. (Required weekend field trip.).

GEOL 388. Introduction to Geochemistry. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and CHEM 115. This course is an introduction to the big-picture of geochemistry focused on using chemical tools to understand earth processes from the very old to very new, the very small to very large.

GEOL 393. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

GEOL 400. Environmental Practicum. 4 Hours.

PR: GEOL 200. Practical experience in collecting and evaluating data required to address the complex environmental issues facing environmental geoscientists. (Required field trip during spring break.).

GEOL 404. Geology Field Camp. 6 Hours.

PR: GEOL 285 and GEOL 341 and GEOL 311 and Consent. Practical experience in detailed geological field procedures and mapping. (Living expense in addition to tuition must be paid at time of registration.).

GEOL 411. Deep Time Earth Systems. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 103 and GEOL 104 and PR or CONC: GEOL 311. Interrelationships of Earth Systems - the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere - through space and time.

GEOL 419. Advanced Petroleum Geology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 341 and PR or CONC: GEOL 311. Topics include petroleum source rocks, primary and secondary migration of oil, porosity and permeability development in reservoirs. Focus on the nature of hydrocarbon resources, their importance to civilization, and on the role of the petroleum professional in the industry and society.

GEOL 454. Environmental and Exploration of Geophysics 1. 3 Hours.

PR: PHYS 102 and (MATH 156 or GEOL 351). Basic theory, computer modeling, and use of gravitational, magnetic, resistivity, and electromagnetic methods in the evaluation or shallow targets of interest to environmental, hydrological, and hazardous waste site investigations.

GEOL 455. Introduction to Remote Sensing. 3 Hours.

Theory, technology and applications of photo-interpretation and digital image analysis of aerial photography and multispectral images. (2 hr. lec., 1 hr. lab.) (Also listed as GEOG 455.).

GEOL 460. Physical Volcanology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 286 with a minimum grade C- and (MATH 128 or PR or CONC: MATH 129 or MATH 153 or MATH 154 or MATH 155). An investigation of the physical processes that produce volcanic eruptions and their deposits on Earth and in our solar system. Labs will focus on the description, analysis, and interpretation of rocks and deposits, and geospatial and numerical analysis of volcanological data.

GEOL 462. Introductory Hydrogeology. 3 Hours.

PR: (GEOL 101 and GEOL 102) or (GEOL 110 and GEOL 111) or (GEOG 110 and GEOG 111) and (MATH 126 and MATH 128) and (CHEM 110 or (CHEM 110A and CHEM 110B) or CHEM 111 or CHEM 115). Basic principles of hydrogeology, emphasizing geologic occurrence of ground water, vadose (soil) water, wells, springs, ground water interaction with streams, and ground-water chemistry, pollution, and pollution restoration.

GEOL 463. Physical Hydrogeology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and MATH 126. Principles of ground-water hydrology, emphasizing the physical occurrence and movement of ground water. Topics include aquifer properties, flow net analysis, and hydraulic aquifer testing.

GEOL 466. Cave and Karst Geology. 3 Hours.

PR: (GEOL 101 and GEOL 102) or (GEOL 110 and GEOL 111) or (GEOG 110 and GEOG 111) and (CHEM 110 or (CHEM 110A and CHEM 110B) or CHEM 111 or CHEM 115). Study of the nature and origins of cave and karst landforms, terrains, geomorphology, hydrogeology, environmental hazards, and petroleum and mineral ore deposits. (Two required field trips.).

GEOL 469. Applied Hydrogeology Seminar. 1 Hour.

A review of professional practices and opportunities in hydrogeology. Seminar talks by hydrogeological professionals from WVU, industry, and government agencies. Field trips to examine hydrogeological practices and techniques.

GEOL 470. Mineral Resources. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and GEOL 284. Description, mode of occurrence, and principles governing the formation of ore deposits.

GEOL 479. Log Analysis-Reading the Rocks. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. The Geosciences require knowledge of the sub-surface properties. Students learn the theory and practice behind a range of subsurface methods. Experience with challenges in geology.

GEOL 484. Minerals and the Environment. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 284 or GEOL 200. Study of the importance of minerals in human health and the environment. Includes examples of environmental problems that are caused by minerals and solutions to environmental problems that involve minerals.

GEOL 486. Environmental Isotopes. 3 Hours.

PR: CHEM 111 or CHEM 115. Isotopes are excellent natural tracers and integrators of important environmental, geological and ecological processes. Topics include basic principles of stable isotope geochemistry and their applications in environmental sciences, hydrology, plant/animal ecology, climate reconstruction, and energy.

GEOL 488. Environmental Geochemistry. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 351 and CHEM 116. Basic review of physical and aqueous chemistry, discussion of basic geochemical processes; calcium carbonate chemistry, digenetic processes, weathering, the silicate and iron system.

GEOL 489. Junior-Senior Seminar. 1 Hour.

The presentation and discussion of topics regarding graduate school and career preparation for geology majors. Grading will be Pass/Fail.

GEOL 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant.

GEOL 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

GEOL 492. Directed Study. 1-3 Hours.

Directed study, reading and/or research.

GEOL 493. Special Topics. 0-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

GEOL 494. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

GEOL 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

GEOL 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

GEOL 497. Research. 1-6 Hours.

Independent research projects.

GEOL 498. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study or research.



  • Tim Carr - PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Petroleum Geology

Associate Chair in Geology

  • Shikha Sharma - PhD (Lucknow University)
    Isotope Geochemistry


  • Timothy Carr - Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Sedimentary, Petroleum Geology
  • Joseph J. Donovan - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
    Quantitative Hydrogeology, Mining Hydrogeology, Groundwater-lake Interaction, Holocene Paleoclimate
  • Dengliang Gao - Ph.D. (Duke University)
    Exploration Geophysics, Petroleum and Structural Geology
  • Jaime Toro - PhD (Stanford University)
    Structure and Tectonics
  • Timothy A. Warner - Ph.D. (Purdue University)
    Remote Sensing

Associate Professors

  • Kathleen Benison - Ph.D. (The University of Kansas)
    Sedimentary Geology, Low-temperature Geochemistry
  • J. Steven Kite - Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Surficial Geology, Geomorphology
  • Joseph Lebold - PhD (WVU)
    Paleoecology, Paleontology, Regional Geology
  • Shikha Sharma - Ph.D. (Lucknow University)
    Isotope Geochemistry
  • Dorothy J. Vesper - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
    Aqueous Geochemistry, Hydrogeology
  • Amy Weislogel - PhD (Stanford University)

Assistant Professors

  • Graham Andrews - PhD (Univ. of Leicester)
  • Kenneth Brown - PhD (Miami University)
  • James Lamsdell - PhD (Univ. of Kansas)

Professors Emeriti

  • Bob Behling - PhD
  • Alan C. Donaldson - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
    Stratigraphy, Sedimentology
  • Tom Kammer - PhD
  • Henry Rauch - PhD
  • Robert C. Shumaker - Ph.D. (Cornell University)
    Structural Geology, Petroleum Geology
  • Richard Smosna - Ph.D. (University of Illinois)
    Stratigraphy, Sedimentology
  • Tom Wilson - PhD