2018-2019 Academic Bulletin 
    Sep 25, 2022  
2018-2019 Academic Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geology Major (B.S.)

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Geology Major Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete a major in Geology are expected to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of: physical and chemical properties of the lithosphere and hydrosphere (minerals, rocks, soils, and water); geologic time and earth history; and crustal materials and dynamics in the context of plate tectonics theory;
  • Demonstrate competence in fundamental geological skills including: mineral, rock, and soil identification; interpretation of topographic maps, geologic maps, and various forms of imagery; construction of geologic maps and cross sections; three-dimensional conceptualization; and collection of organized field and laboratory data;
  • Demonstrate competence in quantitative data analysis including: the construction and reading of graphs; construction and use of spreadsheets; and application of mathematical skills (ranging from algebra to calculus) for analysis of geological systems;
  • Make critical and independent inquiry in the geosciences including the ability to: gather and evaluate peer-reviewed literature; identify a research question; design and conduct a research plan to collect laboratory and/or field data; and interpret research results;
  • Gain an understanding of the societal relevance of earth systems;
  • Effectively communicate ideas, research results, and interpretations using written, oral, and graphical design skills on both a formal and an extemporaneous basis.

The Geology Major

At graduation, Geology majors are required to have a GPA of at least 2.0 in departmental courses and in those courses in other departments required for the Geology major. All required courses and electives taken at Allegheny on a letter-grade basis are included in the calculation, with the exception of repeated courses for which only the most recent grade counts. Majors need to secure the permission of the department chair to take required courses on a Credit/No Credit basis.


The department recommends that, where possible, students elect additional science courses in support of the major such as: BIO 220 , an introductory Computer Science course, ENVSC 110 , ENVSC 305 , other 200-300 level Environmental Science courses, 300-level Geology courses, MATH 210 , PHYS 121 , or the sixth course not taken to fulfill item from “Five of the following six allied courses” above. A course in statistics such as BIO 385  or PSYCH 206  is also suggested.

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