Geology

Faculty: David Goldsmith (Chair), Tiffany Rivera, Dan Byrne, Jennifer Eden

Program Goals

  • To identify the major materials that comprise the earth and describe their origins and significance.
  • To understand and explain the major internal and superficial processes that act on the earth.
  • To be able to infer the action of past geological processes from maps, outcrops, and other data sources.
  • To use the techniques and methods used by geologists to obtain geological data.
  • To understand the large-scale history of the earth and the evidential basis that allows geologists to know that history.
  • To understand the specific geological history of the state of Utah and the Southwestern United States.
  • To be able to read peer-reviewed geologic literature and to communicate their own research.
  • To understand and be able to explain the interactions between geologic processes and human activity.

Objectives

The Geology program offers a Bachelor of Science degree for students interested in understanding the earth. The degree incorporates a diversity of both perspectives and methods.  Classes incorporate lecture, lab, and fieldwork to study our planet’s physical, chemical, and biological history.

Program Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum 2.3 GPA in all courses required for the major.

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Geology major:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore requirements

For course prerequisites, please refer to the course descriptions.

Geology Major

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8
The student must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.
II. Lower Division Geology Courses 18
GEOL 201 Earth Materials I: Mineralogy (4) CHEM 111 and one of: GEOL 110, WCSAM 107, or WCSAM 111
GEOL 202 Earth Materials II: Petrology (4) GEOL 201
GEOL 214 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4) GEOL 110 or WCSAM 107 or WCSAM 111
GEOL 260 Geoliteracy (2) GEOL 110 or WCSAM 107 or WCSAM 111
Choose one of the following courses:
  • WCSAM 107 Geology of the American West (4)
  • WCSAM 111 National Parks Geology (4)
III. Upper Division Geology Courses 14
GEOL 310 Structural Geology and Tectonics (4) GEOL 110 or WCSAM 107 or WCSAM 111, PHYS 152/212
GEOL 315 Principles of Paleontology (4)
GEOL 360 Field Geology (6) GEOL 110 or WCSAM 107 or 111, GEOL 202, GEOL 214, GEOL 310
Electives 9
Students must take an additional nine credits in geology, including at least one course at the 400 level.
Required Courses from Other Programs 24
CHEM 111 Principles of Chemistry I (4) co-requisite: MATH 141 or equivalent
CHEM 112 Principles of Chemistry II (4) co-requisite: MATH 141 or equivalent
MATH 201 Calculus I (4) MATH 142 or consent of instructor
MATH 202 Calculus II (4) MATH 201 or 201B or placement test
PHYS 151/211 Principles of Physics I or Physics for Scientists I (4) MATH 141–142
PHYS 152/212 Principles of Physics II or Physics for Scientists II (4) MATH 141–142
TOTAL HOURS FOR GEOLOGY MAJOR 73

Recommended Plan of Study for Geology

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year Geology Learning Community
CHEM 111
MATH 201
CHEM 112
MATH 202
GEOL 260
Sophomore Year

GEOL 201
PHYS 151


GEOL 202
GEOL 214
PHYS 152

Junior Year

GEOL 315
MATH 150 (recommended for students
considering graduate school)


GEOL 310
GEOL 360 (summer)
GEOL Electives

Senior Year

GEOL Electives


GEOL Electives


Geology Minor

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Lower Division Geology Courses 18
GEOL 201 Earth Materials I: Mineralogy (4) CHEM 111 and one of: GEOL 110, WCSAM 107, or WCSAM 111
GEOL 202 Earth Materials II: Petrology (4) GEOL 201
GEOL 214 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4) GEOL 110 or WCSAM 107 or WCSAM 111
GEOL 260 Geoliteracy (2) GEOL 110 or WCSAM 107 or WCSAM 111
Choose one of the following courses:
  • WCSAM 107 Geology of the American West (4)
  • WCSAM 111 National Parks Geology (4)
Electives 6
Students wishing to complete a minor must take an additional six credits in Geology.
TOTAL HOURS FOR GEOLOGY MINOR 24
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