Geological Science

The Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences provides students with a strong background in geology, astronomy, and oceanography. It enables them to study and understand processes that have shaped the Earth and the solar system over the last 4.6 billion years.

Students will learn about both the internal and surface processes acting on the earth, including the forces behind plate tectonics and its surface manifestations, earthquakes and volcanoes. The Geological Sciences student will take advantage of new and developing technologies such as the use of global positioning systems and geographic information systems (GIS) in the mapping of geologic, soil, water and other environmental features.

The major leads to a Bachelor of Science 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.

In addition to the major requirements, students must complete all CASL Degree Requirements.

Prerequisites to the Major

BIOL 130Intro Org and Environ Biology4
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 Hours40

Major Requirements

Minimum 35 credit hours required 

Required Core
CHEM 344Quantitative Analysis4
GEOL 303Geodesy & Cartog. Principles3
GEOL 313Earth Materials4
GEOL 350Geomorphology4
GEOL 377Field Methods 11-3
or GEOL 478 Geology of the National Parks
Research/Internship 2
Select 3 credit 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 35 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
CHEM 325Principles of Organic Chem3
ESCI 330Land Use Planning and Mgmt4
ESCI 390Topics in Environmental Sci1-3
ESCI 485Spatial Analysis3
GEOG 390Topics in Geography1-3
GEOL 300+ level, any courses that have not been used elsewhere in the major
PHYS 390Current Topics in Physics3
PHYS 421Astrophysics3
PHYS 490Topics in Physics1-3

Graduate level (500+ level) courses in Geology (GEOL) can be taken for upper-level credit to satisfy major requirements by Petition.


  1. At least 12 of the 35 upper level credit hours in the major must be elected at UM-Dearborn.
  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.

Learning Goals

  1. Communicating: Speak and write professionally
  2. Reading: Demonstrate literacy in technical literature
  3. Computing: Demonstrate competence with spreadsheet, word processing, and mapping software.
  4. Identifying: Recognize and describe common Earth materials
  5. Acquiring: Obtain geologic data in the laboratory or field
  6. Analyzing: Utilize scientific and quantitative reasoning
  7. Solving: Integrate concepts and scientific interpretations to support views or guide decision making