Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

Geological Sciences, Bachelor of Science (5008)


Program Coordinator

Margaret E. Crowder, margaret.crowder@wku.edu, (270) 745-5973

Geological science is often known as the science of the 21st century, as it is ground zero for tackling global challenges like managing land, water, ocean, space, mineral, and energy resources in a sustainable way. Society’s interest in the environment and climate change is growing fast. The time has never been better to become a geological scientist.

The B.S. degree in Geological Sciences can provide a wide variety of career options, including jobs in the corporate (oil & gas, mining, environmental, engineering), government (surveys, agencies, park service), and academic sectors. Our program takes a holistic approach, as the traditional geology has become increasingly interdisciplinary. With two concentrations (Geology, and Environmental Earth Science), the program has a common core, providing the knowledge base for students to pursue the Professional Geologist licensure. Each concentration has different other requirements, specializing in different subjects. Our classes feature interactive learning, both in the field exploring the earth and in the lab doing simulations and analytical works. Students also enjoy excellent opportunities to work with faculty and other students on a variety of research topics.

Concentrations

  • Geology (GEOL)
  • Environmental Earth Science (ENES)

Program Requirements (48 hours)

A baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 120 unduplicated semester hours. More information can be found at www.wku.edu/registrar/degree_certification.php.

Students who began WKU in the Fall 2014 and thereafter should review the Colonnade requirements located at: https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/colonnaderequirements.php.

The major in Geological Sciences requires a minimum of 48 semester hours and leads to a Bachelor of Science degree. A minor program is NOT required. Other required courses (e.g., physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics) total an additional 21-24 semester hours. This major provides students with a versatile background in geological sciences for entry-level employment or graduate school.

Geological Sciences Major - Common Core

GEOL 111The Earth3
GEOL 112Earth's Past and Future3
GEOL 113The Earth Laboratory1
GEOL 114Earth's Past and Future Lab1
GEOL 330Mineralogy4
GEOL 350Petrology4
GEOL 360Sedimentology and Stratigraphy4
GEOL 408Structural Geology4
GEOL 499Professional Preparation in Geology2
Total Hours26

Geology Concentration

In addition to the Common Core, take the following courses to fulfill the Geology concentration:
Required Course (3 hours)
GEOL 380Introductory Field Techniques3
Elective Courses (19 hours)
Select 19 hours from any 200-level or above GEOL course, and from GEOG 391 and GEOG 452 with advisor approval.19
Total Hours22

Additional Required Courses Outside of the Major

Take the following required courses towards the Geology concentration:
MATH 136Calculus I4
MATH 137Calculus II4
CHEM 120
CHEM 121
College Chemistry I
and College Chemistry I Laboratory
5
PHYS 231
PHYS 232
Introduction to Physics and Biophysics I
and Laboratory for Physics and Biophysics I
4
GEOG 300Writing in the Geosciences3
GISC 316Fundamentals of GIS4
Total Hours24

Environmental Earth Science concentration

In addition to the Common Core, take the following courses to fulfill the Environmental Earth Science concentration:
Required Course (18 hours)
GEOL 250Environmental Geology3
GEOL 310Global Hydrology3
GEOL 415Applied Environmental Geology3
GEOL 420Geomorphology3
In addition, select two courses from the following: 6
Geology and Climate: Past and Future
General Oceanography
Energy, Climate and Carbon
Hydrogeology
Aqueous Geochemistry
Geophysics
Elective Courses (4 hours)
Select 4 hours from any 300-400 level GEOL course, and from any GEOG 400-level and GISC 300-400 level course with advisor approval4
Total Hours22

Additional Required Courses Outside of the Major

Take the following additional courses towards the Environmental Earth Science concentration:
MATH 115Applied College Algebra (or higher)3
MATH 183Introductory Statistics3
CHEM 105
CHEM 106
Fundamentals of General Chemistry
and Fundamentals of General Chemistry Laboratory (or higher)
4
BIOL 207
BIOL 208
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Laboratory
4
GEOG 300Writing in the Geosciences3
GISC 316Fundamentals of GIS4
Total Hours21

Finish in Four Plans

Geological Sciences, Geology Concentration

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEOL 1113GEOL 1123
GEOL 1131GEOL 1141
ENG 1003CHEM 120
CHEM 121
5
HIST 101 or HIST 1023ENG 2003
COMM 1453GEOL 2503
GEOG 1752 
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEOL 3304GEOL 3504
GEOL 3803GEOL 3604
MATH 1364MATH 1374
Colonnade - Arts & Humanities3Colonnade - Connections Social & Cultural3
Colonnade - Social & Behavioral3 
 17 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 231
PHYS 232
4GEOL 4084
GISC 3164GEOL Concentration Elective3
GEOL Concentration Elective3GEOG 3003
Colonnade - Systems3Colonnade - Local to Global3
 GEOL Concentration Elective (GEOL 399)3
 14 16
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEOL 4992GEOL Concentration Elective3
GEOL Concentration Elective3General Elective or GEOL 3992
GEOL Concentration Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 14 14
Total Hours 120


Geological Sciences, Environmental Earth Science Concentration

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEOL 1113GEOL 1123
GEOL 1131GEOL 1141
ENG 1003ENG 2003
MATH 1153CHEM 105
CHEM 106
4
HIST 101 or HIST 1023GEOL 2503
GEOG 1752 
 15 14
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEOL 3304GEOL 3504
GEOL 3103GEOL 3604
Colonnade - Arts & Humanities3MATH 1833
BIOL 207
BIOL 208
4Colonnade - Connections Social & Cultural3
COMM 1453 
 17 14
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEOL 4203GEOL 4084
GISC 3164GEOL 4153
GEOL Concentration Elective - GEOL 301 or 311 or 315 or 440 or 445 or 465 3GEOL Concentration Elective or GEOL 3991
Colonnade - Local to Global3GEOG 3003
Colonnade - Systems (GEOL 315 or GEOL 101)3Colonnade - Social & Cultural3
 16 14
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEOL 4992General Elective or GEOL 3993
GEOL Concentration Elective - GEOL 301 or 311 or 315 or 440 or 445 or 4653General Elective3
GEOL Concentration Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective or GEOL 3991 
 15 15
Total Hours 120