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Geological Sciences B.S.

D Earth & Environmental Sci
Swenson College of Science and Engineering
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2012
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 79 to 103
  • This program requires summer terms.
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
The study of geology provides ways of understanding and appreciating dynamic earth processes, our physical environment, and our place in the long and complex history of the planet and solar system. It is by nature interdisciplinary and attracts students with broad interest in earth science, archaeology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, environmental science, applied mathematics, oceanography, limnology and/or physics. The B.S. degree in geological sciences can lead to rewarding careers in industry, government, conservation, law, business, and academia. Geology requires a solid base of knowledge in related sciences (chemistry and physics) and mathematics, as well as a solid core of geology courses. A summer course in field mapping is also required. The B.S. degree with the exploration and mining track is designed for students interested in a career in the exploration and mining industries. The track includes a solid core of geoscience courses with a focus on courses related to exploration and mining geology. A summer course in field mapping is also required. Honors Requirements: To attain department honors, students must undertake an independent research project and maintain a cumulative overall GPA of 3.00. The research can be part of a UROP, directed research, independent study, or an internship with a faculty member. Students must either make a brief oral presentation to the department summarizing their results and produce a research paper (minimum 10 pages) OR give an oral or poster presentation of their research results at a regional or national meeting (e.g., GSA, AGU, ILSG, or similar campus event).
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
The Board of Regents, on recommendation of the faculty, grants degrees from the University of Minnesota. Requirements for an undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota Duluth include the following:
  1. Students must meet all course and credit requirements of the departments and colleges or schools in which they are enrolled including an advanced writing course. Students seeking two degrees must fulfill the requirements of both degrees. However, two degrees cannot be awarded for the same major.
  2. Students must complete all requirements of the Liberal Education Program.
  3. Students must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits.
  4. At least 30 of the last 60 degree credits earned immediately before graduation must be awarded by UMD.
  5. Students must complete at least half of their courses at the 3xxx-level and higher at UMD. Study-abroad credits earned through courses taught by UM faculty and at institutions with which UMD has international exchange programs may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  6. If a minor is required, students must take at least three upper division credits in their minor field from UMD.
  7. The minimum cumulative UM GPA required for graduation will be 2.00 and will include only University of Minnesota coursework. A minimum UM GPA of 2.00 is required in each UMD undergraduate major and minor. No academic unit may impose higher grade point standards to graduate.
  8. Diploma, transcripts, and certification will be withheld until all financial obligations to the University have been met.
Program Requirements
Requirements for the B.S. in geological sciences include: * Minor or double major.
Geology Core Courses (42-43 cr)
GEOL 2110 - Earth History (4.0 cr)
GEOL 2120 - The Earth's Dynamic Interior (3.0 cr)
GEOL 2311 - Mineralogy (4.0 cr)
GEOL 2312 - Petrology (5.0 cr)
GEOL 3210 - Geomorphology (4.0 cr)
GEOL 3420 - Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4.0 cr)
GEOL 3800 - Principles of Geophysics (4.0 cr)
GEOL 4450 - Structural Geology (5.0 cr)
GEOL 4500 - Field Geology (6.0 cr)
GEOL 1110 - Geology and Earth Systems [LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
or GEOL 1130 - Introduction to Environmental Science [LE CAT4, LEIP CAT04, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
or GEOL 1610 - Oceanography [LE CAT5, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (3.0 cr)
or GEOG 1414 - Physical Geography [LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
Advanced Electives (4-9 cr)
With the exception of GEOL 4110, take 4-9 credits of electives as listed below. GEOG 3563 and 3564 (6 credit total) may be substituted for 4 credits of advanced electives. Six credits of limnology courses may be substituted for advanced electives. Students pursuing the exploration and mining track are required to take 4 credits, all other students are required to take 9 credits.
Take 4 or more credit(s) from the following:
· AST 4110 - Observational Astronomy (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 3xxx
· GEOL 4xxx
· GEOL 5xxx
Courses Required From Other Programs (33 cr)
WRIT 3150 - Advanced Writing: Science (3.0 cr)
Math requirement
MATH 1290 - Calculus for the Natural Sciences [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (5.0 cr)
or MATH 1296 - Calculus I [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (5.0 cr)
MATH 1297 - Calculus II [LOGIC & QR] (5.0 cr)
Physics requirement
PHYS 1001 - Introduction to Physics I [LE CAT4, NAT SCI] (5.0 cr)
PHYS 1002 - Introduction to Physics II (5.0 cr)
or PHYS 2013 - General Physics I [LE CAT5, NAT SCI] (4.0 cr)
PHYS 2014 - General Physics Lab I [NAT SCI] (1.0 cr)
PHYS 2015 - General Physics II (4.0 cr)
PHYS 2016 - General Physics Lab II (1.0 cr)
Chemistry requirement
CHEM 1153 - General Chemistry I [LE CAT5, NAT SCI] (4.0 cr)
CHEM 1154 - General Chemistry Lab I [LE CAT4, NAT SCI] (1.0 cr)
CHEM 1155 - General Chemistry II (4.0 cr)
CHEM 1156 - General Chemistry Lab II (1.0 cr)
or CHEM 1161 - Honors: General Chemistry I [LE CAT4, NAT SCI] (5.0 cr)
CHEM 1162 - Honors: General Chemistry II (5.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
Exploration and Mining Geology
The exploration and mining geology track is designed for students interested in a career in the exploration and/or mining industries. The track includes a solid core of geoscience courses with a focus on courses related to exploration and mining geology. The track includes a course in field mapping.
Students completing the exploration and mining geology track are required to take the 43-44 credits of geology core courses required of all students. They are only required to take 4 credits of advanced electives along with 27-28 credits of courses required from other programs (listed above). They must also complete the requirements below.
Core Courses (11 cr)
GEOL 3000 - Geologic Maps (3.0 cr)
GEOL 4355 - Economic Geology (4.0 cr)
GEOL 4360 - Geologic, Geophysical, and Geochemical Methods of Exploration (4.0 cr)
Courses from other programs (7 cr)
GIS 3563 - Geographic Information Science I: Theory and Analysis (4.0 cr)
STAT 3611 - Introduction to Probability and Statistics (4.0 cr)
 
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· Fall 2014

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· Geological Sciences B.S.
· Geological Sciences B.S.--Exploration and Mining Geology

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· Geological Sciences B.S.
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GEOL 2110 - Earth History
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
The historical development of the science of geology, nature of the geologic record, fossils, the geologic time scale, and tectonic evolution of continents and ocean basins. Concepts presented are developed within the framework of the theory of plate tectonics. prereq: 1110 or 1130 or 2610 or Ast 1040 or Geog 1414 or instructor consent
GEOL 2120 - The Earth's Dynamic Interior
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Treatment of the origin, structure and internal composition of the Earth, synthesizing geological, chemical and physical knowledge bearing on the Earth's inaccessible interior. Emphasis is placed on dynamic processes at all depths in the Earth. prereq: 1110 or 1130 or 2110 or 1610 or Geog 1414
GEOL 2311 - Mineralogy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01406 - Geol 2300/2311
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Systematic study of minerals and their relationship to rocks. Emphasis will be placed on introductory crystal chemistry, crystallography and physical properties; optical mineralogy, and identification of minerals in hand specimen, thin section, and by x-ray diffraction. (Course fee assessed.) prereq: 1110 or 2110, 1 semester college chemistry or instructor consent
GEOL 2312 - Petrology
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Petrology of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, including their occurrence, petrogenesis and tectonic setting. Emphasis on the relationships between mineral assemblages, rock textures, geochemistry, origins, and rock-forming processes. Course fees assessed. prereq: 2311
GEOL 3210 - Geomorphology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01407 - Geol 2210/3210
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study of Earth surface processes emphasizing the origin and evolution of landforms; response of the physical environment to climatic change and tectonic events, and application of physical, chemical, and mathematical principles to the study and interpretation of landforms. prereq: 1110 or 2110, Math 1250 or 1290 or 1296 or 1596 or instructor consent
GEOL 3420 - Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to the concepts, methods, and application of sedimentology and stratigraphy, including the description and interpretation of sediments and sedimentary rocks, their provenance, stratal packaging, and tectonostratigraphic setting. (Course fee assessed.) prereq: 2110, 2311 or instructor consent
GEOL 3800 - Principles of Geophysics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
An introduction to the geophysical concepts and techniques used by practicing geoscientists. prereq: 2120, MATH 1297, PHYS 1002
GEOL 4450 - Structural Geology
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to brittle and ductile deformation, including joints, faults, shear zones, and folds; deformation mechanisms; elementary stress and strain theory. Labs include geometric, structural, and kinematic analysis, and a group project. Course fee assessed. prereq: 2312 or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for 3520
GEOL 4500 - Field Geology
Credits: 6.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Summer
Geological mapping of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic terranes and of Quaternary deposits and landforms; topographic maps and aerial photographs, including preparation of geologic maps and cross sections, and map unit descriptions. prereq: 4450, department consent; no grad credit
GEOL 1110 - Geology and Earth Systems (LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Comprehensive survey of Earth's composition, structure, and dynamics to develop an understanding of internal processes, plate tectonics, and surface processes as a framework for geological history and development of life.
GEOL 1130 - Introduction to Environmental Science (LE CAT4, LEIP CAT04, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Earth's physical and biological systems and human interaction with the environment. Climate, rocks, soils, ecosystems, human population, land use, energy use and its consequences, environmental policy, air and water pollution, and conservation issues.
GEOL 1610 - Oceanography (LE CAT5, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Origin and history of ocean basins, sea floor morphology, chemistry of sea water, currents, waves, tides, life in the sea, primary productivity, nutrient dynamics, human impact. prereq: Credit will not be granted if already received for 2610.
GEOG 1414 - Physical Geography (LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Earth-sun relations, maps and globes, and major factors of the natural environment, including water resources, landforms, weather and climate, natural vegetation, and soils. (3 hrs lect, 2 hrs lab)
AST 4110 - Observational Astronomy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Applied principles of astronomical observation; review of optical telescopes and mounts; locating and tracking objects; remote telescope operation, CCD, CMOS, and film astrophotography, astrometry, photometry, spectroscopy, astronomical image processing and analysis. prereq: Phys 2012 or instructor consent
WRIT 3150 - Advanced Writing: Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Study and practice of writing tasks in science, including oral presentations. Exploration of rhetorical situations in professional practice, including research methods, document design, editing, effective collaboration, and ethical issues in the production of professional documents, such as instructions, lab reports, proposals, short and long reports, and career documents. prereq: 1120 or equivalent, min 60 cr; credit will not be granted if already received for COMP 3150
MATH 1290 - Calculus for the Natural Sciences (LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01420 - Math1290/1296/1596
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Differential and integral calculus needed for modeling in earth and life sciences. Computational software. Not intended for students in mathematics, engineering, or physical sciences. prereq: Math ACT 27 or higher or a grade of at least C- in Math 1250 or department consent
MATH 1296 - Calculus I (LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01420 - Math1290/1296/1596
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
First part of a standard introduction to calculus of functions of a single variable. Limits, continuity, derivatives, integrals, and their applications. prereq: Math ACT 27 or higher or a grade of at least C- in Math 1250 or department consent
MATH 1297 - Calculus II (LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01421 - Math 1597/1297
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Second part of a standard introduction to calculus. Vectors, applications of integrals, transcendental functions, series, and multivariable functions and partial derivatives. prereq: A grade of at least C- in 1290 or 1296 or 1596
PHYS 1001 - Introduction to Physics I (LE CAT4, NAT SCI)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Noncalculus general physics course primarily for certain preprofessional fields. Topics in mechanics, heat, and sound. prereq: Algebra, trig
PHYS 1002 - Introduction to Physics II
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Noncalculus general physics course primarily for certain preprofessional fields. Topics in light, electricity, magnetism, and modern physics. prereq: 1001 or 2013 or 2017
PHYS 2013 - General Physics I (LE CAT5, NAT SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Calculus-based introduction to Newtonian Mechanics, fluid mechanics, and heat. The companion laboratory, PHYS 2014 should be taken concurrently. The combination of PHYS 2013 and 2014 meets liberal education category 4. prereq: previous or concurrent registration in PHYS 2014. Prerequisite of Math 1290 or 1296 or 1596; credit will not be granted if already received for PHYS 1201 or 2011.
PHYS 2014 - General Physics Lab I (NAT SCI)
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Calculus-based introduction to Newtonian Mechanics, fluid mechanics, and heat exemplified by laboratory study. This laboratory accompanies lecture PHYS 2013 and should be taken concurrently. The combination of PHYS 2013 and 2014 meets liberal education category 4. prereq: previous or concurrent enrollment in PHYS 2013
PHYS 2015 - General Physics II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Calculus-based introduction to electricity, magnetism and optics. The companion laboratory, PHYS 2016, should be taken concurrently. prereq: previous or concurrent registration in 2016. Prerequisite of 2011 or 2013 and 2014, Math 1297 or 1597; credit will not be granted if already received for PHYS 1202, 1204 or 2012.
PHYS 2016 - General Physics Lab II
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Calculus-based introduction to electricity, magnetism and optics exemplified by laboratory study. This laboratory accompanies lecture PHYS 2015 and should be taken concurrently. prereq: Previous or concurrently enrollment in PHYS 2015.
CHEM 1153 - General Chemistry I (LE CAT5, NAT SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Fundamental principles of chemistry exemplified by study of elements, compounds, and their reactions. Covers fundamental concepts of the atom, molecule, stoichiometry, chemical reactions, thermochemistry, gas laws, atomic structure, periodic table, chemical bonding, and other selected topics. The companion laboratory, CHEM 1154, should be taken concurrently. The combination of CHEM 1153 and CHEM 1154 meets the lab component of NAT SCI, LE CAT 4. prereq: One year high school chem, high school algebra, Math ACT 21 or higher or a grade of least C- in Math 1005. Credit will not be granted if already received for 1151 and 1161.
CHEM 1154 - General Chemistry Lab I (LE CAT4, NAT SCI)
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01808
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Basic laboratory skills while investigating the fundamental principles of chemistry. Covers fundamental concepts of the atom and molecule, stoichiometry, acid-base reactions, oxidation-reduction reactions, thermochemistry, characteristic properties of anions, gas laws and spectrophotometry. This laboratory accompanies lecture CHEM 1153. The combination of CHEM 1153 and CHEM 1154 meets liberal education category 4 requirements. prereq: Previous or concurrent enrollment in CHEM 1153; credit will not be granted if already received for CHEM 1151 or 1161
CHEM 1155 - General Chemistry II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Fundamental principles of chemistry exemplified by study of elements, compounds, and their reactions. Covers intermolecular forces, properties of liquids, solids and solution, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, solubility, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry, and other selected topics. Solid knowledge of college algebra and General Chemistry I is required. The companion laboratory course CHEM 1156 should be taken concurrently. prereq: 1151 or 1153 or 1161; credit will not be granted if already received for 1152 or 1162
CHEM 1156 - General Chemistry Lab II
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Fundamental principles of chemistry exemplified by laboratory study of elements, compounds, and their reactions. Covers titration, intermolecular forces, colligative properties, kinetics, chemical equilibria, and qualitative analysis. This laboratory accompanies lecture CHEM 1155. prereq: 1151 or 1161 or 1154, concurrent or previous enrollment in CHEM 1155; credit will not be granted if already received for Chem 1152 or 1162
CHEM 1161 - Honors: General Chemistry I (LE CAT4, NAT SCI)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01781 - Chem 1154/1161
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Advanced coverage of principles of chemistry exemplified by study of elements, compounds, and their reactions, intended for students with good high school preparation in mathematics and science. Covers concepts of the atom, molecule, stoichiometry, chemical reactions, thermochemistry, gas laws, atomic structure, periodic table, chemical bonding, intermolecular forces, and other selected topics. Mathematically demanding quantitative problems. prereq: High school chem and high school algebra, Math ACT 21 or higher or a grade of at least C- in Math 1005, SCSE student or exercise science or athletic training or teaching life science or teaching earth and space science, or teaching physical science; credit will not be granted if already received for 1151, 1153 or 2172
CHEM 1162 - Honors: General Chemistry II
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01402 - Chem 1152/1162/2172
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Advanced coverage of principles of chemistry exemplified by study of elements, compounds, and their reaction, intended for students with good high school preparation in mathematics and science. Covers properties of liquids, solids and solutions, chemical kinetics and reaction mechanisms, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, solubility, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, descriptive chemistry of the elements, coordination chemistry, nuclear chemistry, and other selected topics. Mathematically demanding quantitative problems. prereq: 1151 or 1153 and 1154 or 1161; credit will not be granted if already received for 1152, 1155 or 2172
GEOL 3000 - Geologic Maps
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 3V
Principles of reading and interpreting geological maps. Emphasis will be placed on interpreting and visualizing published geologic maps, constructing geologic histories, and an introduction to the basic methods of making geologic maps in the field. prereq: 2312
GEOL 4355 - Economic Geology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9O
Geologic description, distribution, and genesis of economic mineral deposits; processes leading to their formation; relationship to plate tectonics; exploration techniques and criteria for finding new deposits. Course fees assessed. prereq: 2312 or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for 4350 or 5350
GEOL 4360 - Geologic, Geophysical, and Geochemical Methods of Exploration
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 3O
Team-taught course will introduce various geologic, geophysical, and geochemical exploration methods used to locate and evaluate the economic viability of metallic ore bodies in a variety of geologic settings. In labs, students will develop skills in ore microscopy, drill core logging, and geophysical field methods. Case studies will be used to highlight various exploration methods and ore deposit types. prereq: 4350, Math 1290 or 1296 or instructor consent; no grad credit
GIS 3563 - Geographic Information Science I: Theory and Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 3564 or 4563 and 4564.
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: 9V3V
Emphasizes the concepts needed to use GIS effectively for manipulating, querying, analyzing and visualizing spatial data. This course will provide an introduction to and basic skills with industry standard GIS software in a wide variety of applications in both the natural and social sciences. The course will cover basic data modeling, data manipulation, and analytical methods and implications of geospatial technologies on society. prereq: credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 3564 or 4563 and 4564.
STAT 3611 - Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V5V
Basic probability, including combinatorial methods, random variables, mathematical expectation. Binomial, normal, and other standard distributions. Moment-generating functions. Basic statistics, including descriptive statistics and sampling distributions. Estimation and statistical hypothesis testing. prereq: A grade of at least C- in Math 1290 or Math 1296