The minor/concentration in Geology is open to students in all majors to provide curricular depth in geosciences. Selection of courses at the 300- or 400- level will depend on the major and interests of the student.

Minor or Integrative Studies Concentration Requirements

A minor or concentration in geology (GEOL) consists of 12 credit hours of upper- level courses in GEOL.

  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for the minor/concentration. The GPA is based on all coursework required within the minor (excluding prerequisites).
  • A minimum of 9 credits must be completed at UM-Dearborn for a 12 credit minor/concentration.
  • A minimum of 12 credits must be completed at UM-Dearborn for a 15 or more credit minor/concentration.
  • Courses within a minor/concentration cannot be taken as Pass/Fail (P/F)
  • Only 3 credit hours of independent study or internship may be used to fulfill the requirements for a 12 credit hour minor/concentration.  Only 6 credit hours of such credit may be used in a 15 or more credit hour minor/concentration.
  • Minors requiring 12 credits may share one course with a major. Minors requiring 15 credits or more may share two courses with a major. This does not apply to concentrations for the Integrative Studies major.

GEOL 118     Physical Geology     4 Credit Hours

An introduction to the study of geologic processes at work in the earth's interior and on its surface. Rocks and minerals, the origin and evolution of the continents, and the gradual and catastrophic processes that shape surface and bedrock features. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. (W).

Corequisite(s): GEOL 118L

GEOL 218     Historical Geology     4 Credit Hours

A generalized study of the history of the earth, with emphasis on the fossil record of life development, the stratigraphic sequence of deposits and paleogeography. Laboratory work will include the study of geologic and topographic maps and fossils of prominent invertebrate phyla. (YR).

Corequisite(s): GEOL 218L

GEOL 303     Geodesy & Cartog. Principles     3 Credit Hours

Understanding the shape, texture, and structure of the Earth's surface and interior is of critical importance for studying and visualizing the physical world around us. This course focuses on the physical and geographical properties of the Earth's surface, how these properties are measured, and how they are effectively displayed as maps and other visual representations. Surveying, Global Postioning Systems (GPS), and cartographic design both microscales (e.g., meter) and macroscales (e.g., light year) are heavily emphasized. (F, YR)

GEOL 305     Intro to GIS     4 Credit Hours

An introductory course that examines the digital representation, manipulation, and analysis of geographic data, with the emphasis on the analytical capabilities that GIS brings solutions to geographic problems. Students will explore and learn GIS principles using ESRI's mapping software, as well as complete a major GIS project.

Corequisite(s): GEOL 305L

GEOL 305D     Intro to GIS     0 Credit Hours

Required discussion session for GEOL 305.

Corequisite(s): GEOL 305

GEOL 313     Earth Materials     4 Credit Hours

This course provides a detailed look at the physical and chemical components that constitute the Earth's surface and subsurface. Critical elements of mineralogy, igenous and metamorphic petrology, sedimentology, and stratigraphy are covered. Laboratory sessions allow students to master the use of a petrographic microscope and sedimentary processes, among other related topics. Field sessions allow for students to identify geologic materials in their natural exposed settings. (W, AY)

Prerequisite(s): CHEM 134 and GEOL 118

GEOL 332     Hazardous Waste Management     3 Credit Hours

Environmental problems associated with solid and hazardous waste. Regulations governing the generation, transport, and disposal of hazardous waste. Waste management techniques, including reduction, reuse, recycling, treatment, incineration, and land disposal. Three hours lecture.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 118 or ESCI 275

GEOL 340     Remote Sensing     3 Credit Hours

This course explores the acquisition, processing, and visualization of remotely derived data, with a particular emphasis on local and environmental applications. ENST 340 covers concepts and foundations of aerial and orbital remote sensing, visual interpretation, reflectance and emission spectroscopy, active and passive sensors, topography, and digital image processing software and techniques.

Can enroll if Class is Junior or Senior or Graduate

GEOL 342     Physical Oceanography     3 Credit Hours

An introduction to physical and chemical oceanography, fundamental marine processes and plate tectonics. Interactions between the oceans and atmosphere and the effect of greenhouse gases on the oceans and the role of physical processes in global climate change will be studied.

GEOL 350     Geomorphology     4 Credit Hours

This introductory course is designed to familiarize students with the fundamentals of river behavior and the general principles in fluvial morphology, sedimentation, and hydraulics and stream bank erosion. Applications of these principles are shown utilizing a stream classification system. Problem solving techniques for watershed management, stream restoration, non-point source pollution and integration of ecosystem concepts in watershed management are presented. A combination of both lecture and field applications are provided. (W, AY).

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 118 or ESCI 118

Can enroll if Class is Junior or Senior
Can enroll if Level is Undergraduate

GEOL 370     Environmental Geology     3 Credit Hours

Interactions betweeen people and the physical environment. Geological hazards and natural processes, such as earthquakes, volcanism, floods, landslides, and coastal processes. Relationships between geology and environmental health, including chronic disease, water use and pollution, waste disposal, mineral resources, and energy use. Three hours lecture. (AY).

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 118

GEOL 372     Energy Resources     3 Credit Hours

Origin and development of fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, natural gas) and of radioactive ores used in nuclear power. Renewable and alternative energy sources, including hydro, solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal power. Environmental impacts of energy use. Three hours lecture. (AY).

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 118 or ESCI 275 or ESCI 301

GEOL 375     Groundwater Hydrology     4 Credit Hours

Sources, occurrence, and movement of groundwater. Surface and subsurface investigations. Principles of hydrogeology. Groundwater pollution and management. Three hours lecture. (AY).

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 118

GEOL 377     Environmental Field Methods     1 Credit Hour

An intensive, off-campus field course that provides students an opportunity to observe and critically study different natural and human environments. Students learn how to collect data in a systematic way and formulate scientific inferences about environmental processes, products, and problems. Students also learn preparation techniques for conducting long days in the field under varying weather conditions and in challenging terrains. The course may be repeated for credit when destination varies. There is a mandatory pre-departure meeting and trip length is typically one to two weeks in length. (YR). (YR).

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 118 or ESCI 118

GEOL 390     Current Topics in Geology     1 to 3 Credit Hours

A course in special topics current to the field of geology. Topics and format for the course may vary. See current Schedule of Classes. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 118

GEOL 440     Advanced GIS Applications     3 Credit Hours

This course offers an opportunity for students with a background in the fundamentals of geographic information systems (GIS) to apply the analytical capabilities of geospatial technology to model real-world situations in support of decision making. Particular emphasis is given to data development and management, spatial and statistical analyses, customization, and effective visualization.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 305 or ESCI 305 or GEOG 305

GEOL 460     Structural and Engineering Geology     4 Credit Hours

GEOL 460/560 is the application of structural geology and stratigraphy to the practice of geology and civil engineering. Emphasis is placed on the application of geologic analysis to facilitate the understanding of dynamic Earth processes such as faulting and folding as well as the successful completion of engineering projects. Case histories will be used to evaluate how geologic knowledge has been used in both successful and unsuccessful engineering projects. (AY, W).

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 118

GEOL 475     Contaminant Hydrogeology     3 Credit Hours

Advanced lecture treatment of selected topics in subsurface hydrology including contaminant transport and fate of organic and inorganic constituents, aquifer test analysis, and the use of modeling in the analysis of selected case histories. (AY).

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 375

Can enroll if Class is Junior or Senior

GEOL 478     Geology of the National Parks     3 Credit Hours

Study of the geology (stratigraphy, structure and geomorphology) of major national parks. Specific parks to be visited varies from year to year, enabling the course to be repeated once for credit. Emphasis is placed on taking field notes, describing rock sequences in outcrop, geologic map reading and aerial photograph interpretation. Special attention is focused on the understanding and development of cratonic sequences, particularly the regional correlation (both lithostratigraphic and time-stratigraphic) of sandstone, shale and limestone facies, and small and large scale geologic features such as folds and faults. Depending on the national park being visited the students may explore paleographic and paleoclimatic evidence from fossils as well as sedimentary structures. This is a field-oriented course requiring a significant amount of physical exertion. (YR)

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 118 and GEOL 218

Can enroll if Class is Junior or Senior

GEOL 487     Groundwater Modeling     3 Credit Hours

Lecture and laboratory applications of two- and three- dimensional groundwater flow and contaminant transport problems. Visual Modflow, Modpath (-PLOT and SUTRA), MT3D and Surfer will be used to evaluate remedial alternatives (e.g. pump and treat, funnel and gate, or trench and drain systems). EPA's Basins software combined with ESRI's GIS software ArcView will be used to evaluate and compare the Rouge River watershed with other small-scale watersheds in Michigan. (AY)

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 375

Can enroll if Class is Junior or Senior

GEOL 490     Advanced Topics in Geology     3 Credit Hours

Current topics from various areas in pure and applied geosciences will be reported upon by students, faculty and guest speakers. May include extended field trips. (OC).

GEOL 498     Independent Study in Geology     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Library research and independent study performed under the guidance of a faculty member. Permission of instructor. (F,W,S).

GEOL 499     Laboratory and Field Research     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Directed laboratory or field research performed under the guidance of a faculty member. Four to twelve hours laboratory or field study. Permission of instructor. (F,W,S).

*An asterisk denotes that a course may be taken concurrently.

Frequency of Offering

The following abbreviations are used to denote the frequency of offering: (F) fall term; (W) winter term; (S) summer term; (F, W) fall and winter terms; (YR) once a year; (AY) alternating years; (OC) offered occasionally