Geological Science

The Geological Sciences major is designed to provide students with a strong background in the areas of science that seek to understand Earth and its neighbors in space, including geology, GIS, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy. The  major leads to a BS degree that prepares students for graduate study in any of the geological sciences, for students who wish to qualify for a teaching certificate in Earth Science, or for students interested in the study of geology or astronomy as part of an undergraduate liberal arts education.

Prerequisites to the Major

BIOL 130Intro Org and Environ Biology0,4
CHEM 134General Chemistry IA4
or CHEM 144 Gen Chemistry IB
CHEM 136General Chemistry IIA4
or CHEM 146 General Chemistry IIB
GEOL 118Physical Geology4
GEOL 218Historical Geology4
Select one from the following:8
Calc I for Biology & Life Sci
and Calc II for Biology & Life Sci
Calculus I
and Calculus II
Select one from the following:8
Introductory Physics I
and Introductory Physics II
General Physics I
and General Physics II
ASTR 130Introduction to Astronomy3
ASTR 131Introductory Astronomy Lab1
Total Credit Hours36-40

Dearborn Discovery Core Requirement

The minimum passing grade for a Dearborn Discovery Core (DDC) course is 2.0. The minimum GPA for the program is 2.0. In addition, the DDC permits any approved course to satisfy up to three credit hours within three different categories. Please see the General Education Program: The Dearborn Discovery Core section for additional information.

Foundational Studies

Written and Oral Communication (GEWO) – 6 Credits

Upper Level Writing Intensive (GEWI) – 3 Credits

Quantitative Thinking and Problem Solving (GEQT) – 3 Credits

Critical and Creative Thinking (GECC) – 3 Credits

Areas of Inquiry

Natural Science (GENS) – 7 Credits

  • Lecture/Lab Science Course
  • Additional Science Course

Social and Behavioral Analysis (GESB) – 9 Credits

Humanities and the Arts (GEHA) – 6 Credits

Intersections (GEIN) – 6 Credits


Capstone (GECE) – 3 Credits

Foreign Language Requirement

Complete a two-semester beginning language sequence.

Ancient Greek I and IIMCL 105 and MCL 106
Arabic I and IIARBC 101 and ARBC 102
Armenian I and IIMCL 111 and MCL 112
French I and IIFREN 101 and FREN 102
German I and IIGER 101 and GER 102
Latin I and IILAT 101 and LAT 102
Spanish I and IISPAN 101 and SPAN 102
Required Core
CHEM 344Quantitative Analysis4
Earth Materials
GEOL 342Physical Oceanography3
GEOL 350Geomorphology4
GEOL 377Field Methods 11-3
or GEOL 478 Geology of the National Parks
Research/Internship 2
Select 3 hours from the following:3
Independent Study in Geology
Laboratory and Field Research
Environmental Internship
and Seminar in Environ Topics
Electives in Geological Sciences
Select a minimum of 14 or 16 credit hours upper level, whichever is needed, to reach a total of 31 credit hours for the major (14 hrs. if GEOL 478 is taken in the core, 16 hrs. if GEOL 377 is taken) from the following:14-16
Principles of Organic Chem
Land Use Planning and Mgmt
Topics in Environmental Sci
Topics in Geography
GEOL 300+ level, any courses that have not been used elsewhere in the major
Current Topics in Physics
Topics in Physics
Total Credit Hours29-33

May be repeated.


The research or internship must culminate in an oral or poster presentation.

Graduate-level (500/600 level) courses in Geology can be taken for upper-level credit to satisfy major requirements.


  1. At least 12 of the 31 upper level hours in the major must be elected at UM-D.
  2. A maximum of 6 hrs. of independent study/research in any Dept. of Natural Sciences discipline may count towards the 120 hours required to graduate.