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Morris Campus

Geology B.A.

Division of Science & Mathematics - Adm
Division of Science and Mathematics
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 60
  • This program requires summer terms.
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Geology offers courses that satisfy a variety of requirements, as well as a curriculum leading to a bachelor of arts degree in geology. Objectives The mission of the geology discipline is provide a firm foundation in the geological and cognate sciences for students interested in the investigation and solution of geologic problems; to prepare students for graduate study in the geosciences; to provide the necessary background in earth science for those who plan to teach in this field at the secondary level; and to serve those in other professional or interdisciplinary programs who need a basic understanding of the geosciences. The geology curriculum serves the liberal arts by offering courses that allow students to gain a better appreciation of the natural environment; increase their awareness of the impact of dynamic geological events and processes on society; help them recognize the importance of Earth resources, and introduce them to the methodologies and reasoning used in the sciences. The geology curriculum is designed to provide students with a understanding of the evolution of the Earth as a planetary body and the fundamental geologic principles used to reconstruct Earth history; how to recognize geologic features and Earth materials, and to infer the processes responsible for their formation; and provide the requisite skill set to solve geologic problems. The curriculum seeks to help students hone their observation skills in order to interpret geology in a natural setting, emphasizing the integration of knowledge acquired in the classroom. The curriculum stresses familiarization with current geologic literature, and encourages critical thinking in both approaching research problems and evaluating the literature. The geology program encourages students to pursue independent research projects and has an outstanding track record of student involvement in research. The curriculum is also designed to help students develop and enhance their oral and written communication skills. The curriculum prepares students to enter graduate school and/or find careers as professional geologists.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students are required to complete general University and college requirements. For more information, see the general education requirements.
Program Requirements
Students are required to complete 2 semester(s) of any second language. with a grade of C-, or better, or S, or demonstrate proficiency in the language(s) as defined by the department or college.
Up to 8 credits of coursework with a grade of D or D+ may be used to meet the major requirements if offset by an equivalent number of credits of A or B. Courses may not be taken S-N unless offered S-N only. A minimum GPA of 2.00 is required in the major to graduate. The GPA includes all, and only, University of Minnesota coursework. Grades of "F" are included in GPA calculation until they are replaced.
Required Courses
CHEM 1101 - General Chemistry I [SCI-L] (5.0 cr)
CHEM 1102 - General Chemistry II [SCI-L] (5.0 cr)
GEOL 1101 - Physical Geology [SCI-L] (4.0 cr)
GEOL 2101 - Mineralogy and Crystallography [SCI-L] (4.0 cr)
GEOL 2111 - Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology [SCI-L] (4.0 cr)
GEOL 2121 - Sedimentology and Stratigraphy [SCI-L] (4.0 cr)
GEOL 3101 - Structural Geology [SCI-L] (4.0 cr)
GEOL 4901 - Geology Senior Seminar (1.0 cr)
GEOL 4902 - Geology Senior Seminar Presentations (1.0 cr)
MATH 1021 - Survey of Calculus [M/SR] (4.0 cr)
or MATH 1101 - Calculus I [M/SR] (5.0 cr)
Completion of approved Geology Field Camp (6 cr)
Elective Courses
Take 10 or more credit(s) from the following:
· GEOL 2131 - Geomorphology [SCI] (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 2141 - Glacial and Quaternary Geology [SCI] (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 2161 - GIS and Remote Sensing [SCI] (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 3001 - Global Tectonics [SCI] (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 3011 - Earth Resources [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 3111 - Introduction to Paleontology [SCI-L] (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 3401 - Geophysics [SCI] (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 3501 - Hydrology [SCI] (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 3601 - Introduction to Geochemistry [SCI] (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 4130 - Advanced Geomorphology (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 4140 - Advanced Glacial and Quaternary Geology (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 3993 - Directed Study (1.0-5.0 cr)
or GEOL 4993 - Directed Study (1.0-5.0 cr)
· Recommended for graduate studies:
· GEOL 2151 - Historical Geology: Earth History and Changing Scientific Perspectives [SCI-L] (4.0 cr)
Additional Electives
Courses must be chosen in consultation with a geology adviser.
Take 7 or more credit(s) from the following:
· BIOL 1xxx
· BIOL 2xxx
· BIOL 3xxx
· BIOL 4xxx
· CHEM 1xxx
· CHEM 2xxx
· CHEM 3xxx
· CHEM 4xxx
· CSCI 1xxx
· CSCI 2xxx
· CSCI 3xxx
· CSCI 4xxx
· MATH 1xxx
· MATH 2xxx
· MATH 3xxx
· MATH 4xxx
· NSCI 1xxx
· NSCI 2xxx
· NSCI 3xxx
· NSCI 4xxx
· PHYS 1xxx
· PHYS 2xxx
· PHYS 3xxx
· PHYS 4xxx
· STAT 1xxx
· STAT 2xxx
· STAT 3xxx
· STAT 4xxx
· ESCI 2xxx
· ESCI 3xxx
 
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CHEM 1101 - General Chemistry I (SCI-L)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Scientific method, measurements, nomenclature, stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure, thermochemistry, chemical periodicity, introduction to chemical bonding, and properties of common elements and ions. Development of scientific reasoning and problem-solving skills. Laboratory exercises concomitant with these topics. (three 65-min lect, 180 min lab) prereq: Math 0901 or placement beyond Math 0901 using ACT/placement exam score
CHEM 1102 - General Chemistry II (SCI-L)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Continuation of Chem 1101. Chemical bonding, states of matter, solutions, acid-base chemistry, chemical equilibrium, oxidation-reduction reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, quantum theory, nuclear chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Lab exercises concomitant with these topics. (three 65-min lect, 180 min lab) prereq: 1101
GEOL 1101 - Physical Geology (SCI-L)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to the materials that make up the Earth and the structures, surface features, and geologic processes involved in its origin and development. Lab work includes study of the major constituents of the Earth's crust, including the important rocks and minerals; study of surface and geologic features using aerial photographs, topographic maps, and satellite imagery. (3 hrs lect, 3 hrs lab)
GEOL 2101 - Mineralogy and Crystallography (SCI-L)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Classification, identification, physical and chemical properties, origin and natural occurrence of major mineral groups. Lab study of crystal systems by use of models; introduction to optical aspects and physical and chemical testing. (3 hrs lect, 6 hrs lab and field trips) prereq: 1101, Chem 1101 or instr consent
GEOL 2111 - Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (SCI-L)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Classification, composition, genesis, and natural occurrence of igneous and metamorphic rocks; lab study and identification of rocks by various macroscopic, microscopic, and chemical means. (3 hrs lect, 6 hrs lab and field trips) prereq: 2101
GEOL 2121 - Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (SCI-L)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Processes of sedimentation, including origin, transportation, and deposition of sediments; interpretation of sedimentary environments. Principles of stratigraphy and their applications. Lab work includes sedimentary particle analysis; stratigraphic sections; and interpretation of ancient sedimentary environments based on stratified sequences of sedimentary rock. (3 hrs lect, 3 hrs lab and field trips) prereq: 2101
GEOL 3101 - Structural Geology (SCI-L)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Elementary concepts of stress and strain, theory of rock deformation; description and classification of structures in the Earth's crust; application of geometric, analytical, and map interpretation techniques to solving structural problems; field mapping problems. (three 50-min lect, 3 hrs lab and field trips) prereq: 2111, Math 1021 or Math 1101 or instr consent
GEOL 4901 - Geology Senior Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Capstone experience in Geology. Discussion of selected topics of geologic interest. prereq: instr consent; required for geol major
GEOL 4902 - Geology Senior Seminar Presentations
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Capstone experience in geology. Presentations of research projects. prereq: instr consent; required for geol major
MATH 1021 - Survey of Calculus (M/SR)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: 1012 or placement; credit will not be granted for Math 1021 if a grade of C- or higher has previously been received for Math 1101
Typically offered: Every Spring
Short course for students in social sciences, biological sciences, and other areas requiring a minimal amount of calculus. Topics include basic concepts of functions, derivatives and integrals, exponential and logarithmic functions, maxima and minima, partial derivatives; applications. prereq: 1012 or placement; credit will not be granted for Math 1021 if a grade of C- or higher has previously been received for Math 1101
MATH 1101 - Calculus I (M/SR)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Limits and continuity; the concepts, properties, and some techniques of differentiation, antidifferentiation, and definite integration and their connection by the Fundamental Theorem. Partial differentiation. Some applications. Students learn the basics of a computer algebra system. prereq: 1012, 1013 or placement
GEOL 2131 - Geomorphology (SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Study of the Earth's surface and surficial processes; weathering, erosion, and deposition, and the resulting landforms and products; the history of the study of landforms in the United States. (3 hrs lect, 3 hrs lab and field trips) prereq: 1101
GEOL 2141 - Glacial and Quaternary Geology (SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Glaciers, glaciology, glacial deposition, glacial erosion; climatic change and the growth and advance of ice sheets; effect of glaciations on flora and fauna. (3 hrs lect, 3 hrs lab and field trips) prereq: 1101
GEOL 2161 - GIS and Remote Sensing (SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to design, development, and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS); overview of acquisition and utility of satellite data and imagery; emphasis on applications in Earth and environmental sciences; lab component focuses on practical aspects of GIS development and use and involves original semester projects designed and implemented by individual students. prereq: 1101 or Biol 1101 or Biol 1111 or instr consent
GEOL 3001 - Global Tectonics (SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Internal structure and composition of the earth; geometry and motion of lithospheric plates; geological and geophysical processes at plate boundaries; evolution of mountain belts; heat flow, thermal convection, and the driving mechanism for plate movement. prereq: instr consent
GEOL 3011 - Earth Resources (ENVT)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Geology of mineral (base metals, precious metals, and non-metals), energy (fossil fuels, uranium, and alternatives), and other (water and soil) resources; overview of techniques for resource identification, delineation, and extraction; discussion of issues (e.g., environmental, political, and social) surrounding resource identification, extraction, and use; global resource distribution, historical trends, and future outlook. prereq: any 1xxx or 2xxx Geol course or instr consent
GEOL 3111 - Introduction to Paleontology (SCI-L)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
An introduction to the study of the evolutionary history of life on earth as revealed in the fossil and geologic record. Laboratory focuses on study of the classification, morphology, and paleoecology of invertebrate fossils. (two 65-min lect, one 3-hr lab, and weekend collecting trip required) prereq: 2151 or Biol 2101 or EnSt 2101 or instr consent
GEOL 3401 - Geophysics (SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Propagation of seismic waves, earthquake seismology, and the structure of the Earth; the origin and nature of the Earth's magnetic and gravitational fields; the Earth's internal production and flow of heat; composition, state, and rheology of the Earth's interior; plate tectonics and elementary geodynamics. (three 65-min lect) prereq: Math 1101, Phys 1101 or instr consent
GEOL 3501 - Hydrology (SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
An examination of the hydrological cycle; evapotranspiration and precipitation; processes of infiltration; rainfall-runoff relationships and the generation of overland flow; response of the drainage basin to storm events; flood-frequency analysis; elements of groundwater flow and evaluation of aquifer characteristics; water quality, contamination, and contaminant transport. (three 65-min lect) prereq: Math 1021 or Math 1101 or instr consent
GEOL 3601 - Introduction to Geochemistry (SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Applying chemistry to geologic problems such as weathering, sedimentary processes and diagenesis, formation of evaporites and ore deposits, magma genesis and magmatic differentiation; thermodynamic functions and the Phase Rule; oxidation potential and Eh-pH diagrams; isotopic geochemistry and geochronology. (three 65-min lect) prereq: 1101 or Chem 1101 or instr consent
GEOL 4130 - Advanced Geomorphology
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Surficial processes and the resulting landforms; may include catastrophic events, large lakes, arid regions geomorphology or the evolution of the Badlands. (3 hrs lect, 3 hrs lab and field trips) prereq: 2131
GEOL 4140 - Advanced Glacial and Quaternary Geology
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Glacial geology and glacial history; may include pre-pleistocene glaciations, quaternary stratigraphy, or subglacial processes. (3 hrs lect, 3 hrs lab and field trips) prereq: 2141
GEOL 3993 - Directed Study
Credits: 1.0 -5.0 [max 10.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
An on- or off-campus learning experience individually arranged between a student and a faculty member for academic credit in areas not covered in the regular curriculum.
GEOL 4993 - Directed Study
Credits: 1.0 -5.0 [max 10.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
An on- or off-campus learning experience individually arranged between a student and a faculty member for academic credit in areas not covered in the regular curriculum.
GEOL 2151 - Historical Geology: Earth History and Changing Scientific Perspectives (SCI-L)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Development of fundamental theories and principles of geology, including stratigraphy, uniformitarianism, geologic time, evolution, and plate tectonics. Emphasis on how geological thought has evolved through time as the scientific, religious, and political climate has changed. Discussion of the Earth's history and science's changing views of the Earth; continental movements, mountain building, and the evolution and development of organisms and ecosystems. Lab experience on methods of interpreting Earth's history from rocks, fossils, and structures and solving geological problems. (3 hrs lect, 3 hrs lab)