Department of Earth and Space Sciences

Location: 113 Geology Building, Phone: (409) 880-8236

Chair: Jim Jordan

The mission of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences as a group, and earth and space sciences as disciplines, is to integrate a broad diversity and range of scientific information regarding the Earth and its surroundings in space into a coherent and understandable framework. This integration of Earth and space-related information is unique among the sciences and makes the department an important part of the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, the department functions as a major contributor to students' appreciation of the importance of their physical surroundings and environment to their daily lives.

The Department of Earth and Space Sciences specializes in undergraduate instruction and offers bachelor’s degrees in Geology and Earth Science and minors in Geology, Earth Science, and Space Science. Graduates may be employed in industry (petroleum, mining, engineering, hydrogeology, environmental geology and aerospace), by government agencies or may elect to pursue graduate training at another institution. Certification in 4-8 science is offered in conjunction with the College of Education and Human Development.

Department faculty have a broad range of research and scholarly interests. These include traditional specializations in geology including stratigraphy, sedimentology, paleontology, petroleum geology, petrology, economic mineral deposits, environmental geology, geochemistry and geophysics. In addition faculty have interests and expertise in the geology of the Gulf Coast, geology of the Big Bend region, lunar and planetary science, computer applications to geology (geophysics, statistics, and GIS) and science education.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Geology -120 hrs
Bachelor of Science in Earth Science -120 hrs
Teacher Certification Minor in Geology -21 hrs
Minor in Earth Science -21 hrs
Minor in Space Science -21 hrs

Bachelor of Science – Geology

Advisors: Cooper, Owen

The Bachelor of Science in Geology will be awarded upon completion of the minimum following requirements:

  1. General Requirements: See Philosophy of Knowledge Core Curriculum, section 6.1. 48 semester hours
  2. Other Required Courses: 64 semester hours. MATH 2414, 3312 – 7 semester hours; CHEM 1411, 1412 – 8 semester hours; PHYS 1401, 1402 – 8 semester hours; GEOL 2377 – 3 semester hours; GEOL 2471 – 4 semester hours; GEOL 3420 – 4 semester hours; GEOL 3450 – 4 semester hours; GEOL 3600 – 6 semester hours; GEOL 4101, 4101 Geomorph. Lab, 4101 Geophys. Lab – 3 semester hours; GEOL 4301 Geo. Seminar – 3 semester hours; GEOL 4330 – 3 semester hours; GEOL 4361 or 4371 – 3 semester hours; GEOL 4410, 4420 – 8 semester hours
  3. Prescribed Electives – 8 semester hours. Electives from the 3000-4000 level sciences, math and engineering courses.

Total: 120 semester hours

Professional Geoscientist Emphasis

First Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
GEOL 1403 4 GEOL 1404 4
CHEM 1411 4 CHEM 1412 4
MATH 2312 3 MATH 2413 4
ENGL 1301 3 ENGL 1302 3
PEGA 1
14 16
Second Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
GEOL 2471 4 GEOL 2377 3
MATH 2414 4 GEOL 4101 1
PHYS 1401 4 PHYS 1402 4
ENGL LIT 3 COMM 1315 3
PHIL 1370 3
15 14
Third Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
GEOL 3450 4 GEOL 3420 4
MATH 3312 3 GEOL 4410 4
POLS 2301 3 POLS 2302 3
ANTH 2346 ADV. ELECTIVE 4
3
13 15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
GEOL 4361 3 GEOL 4301 3
FINE ARTS 3 GEOL 4330 3
GEOL 4420 4 GEOL 4101 1
HIST 1301 3 ADV. ELEC 4
HIST 1302 3
13 14
Total: 120

The State of Texas has legislated that any geologist practicing geology in the public domain affected by engineering and environmental geology policies in the State of Texas must be registered as a Professional Geoscientist (P.G.). Acquiring the P.G. license requires passing two exams: the Fundamentals of Geology (F.G.) and the Professional Geoscientist (P.G.) exams prepared and distributed by the Association of State Boards of Geologists (ASBOG). The license also requires at least five years experience practicing geology in addition to passing the exams. Students who wish to be licensed as a P.G. are strongly encouraged to take the Fundamentals of Geology exam near graduation. Students seeking the P.G. are also strongly encouraged to take Hydrogeology and Remote Sensing in addition to required geology courses.

Bachelor of Science – Earth Science

Advisors: Westgate, Owen

The Bachelor of Science in Earth Science will be awarded upon completion of the following requirements:

  1. General Requirements: See Philosophy of Knowledge core curriculum, section 6.4.1. 48 semester hours
  2. Other Sciences and Mathematics Requirements: 20 semester hours. CHEM 2411; PHYS 1407, 2411; BIOL 1406, 1407
  3. Geology Requirements: 30 semester hours
    GEOL 2471 – 4 semester hours
    GEOL 2377 and GEOL 4101 – 3 semester hours
    GEOL 3201-Lab assistant - 2 semester hours
    GEOL 4101-Lab instructor - 1 semester hour
    GEOL 3390 - 3 semester hours
    GEOL 4360, GEOL 4370, GEOL 4380 and GEOL 4104, GEOL 4390 - 13 semester hours
    GEOL 3000/4000 - 3 elective hours
  4. Optional electives if seeking Teacher Certification in Secondary School Science - 30 semester hours
  5. Free electives if not seeking Teacher Certification – 22 semester hours. Electives must be selected from 3000-4000 level.

Total: 120 semester hours

Teacher Certification

Students wishing to teach earth science in Texas public schools should consult with the department chair for detailed information.

Recommended Program of Study

The following is a recommended program of study for completion of the degree plan in the minimum semester hours with the specified option. Additional requirements may be required for specialized areas, i.e. certain minor requirements, preparation for graduate school, certifications, or licensures. Please see a program advisor or the department chair for details.

FIRST YEAR
Fall Semester Spring Semester
GEOL 1403 4 GEOL 1404 4
CHEM 1411 4 CHEM 1412 4
MATH 2312 3 MATH 2413 4
ENGL 1301 3 ENGL 1302 3
PEGA 1
Total Hours 14 Total Hours 16
SECOND YEAR
Fall Semester Spring Semester
GEOL 2471 4 GEOL 2377 3
MATH 2414 4 GEOL 4101 1
PHYS 1401 4 PHYS 1402 4
ENGL LIT 3 COMM 1315 3
PHIL 1370 3
Total Hours 15 Total Hours 14
THIRD YEAR
Fall Semester Spring Semester
GEOL 3450 4 GEOL 3420 4
MATH 3312 3 GEOL 4410 4
POLS 2301 3 POLS 2302 3
ANTH 2346 3 ADV. ELEC. 4
Total Hours 13 Total Hours 15
SUMMER
GEOL 3600 6
FOURTH YEAR
Fall Semester Spring Semester
GEOL 4361 3 GEOL 4301 3
FINE ARTS 3 GEOL 4330 3
GEOL 4420 4 GEOL 4101 1
HIST 1301 3 ADV. ELEC. 4
HIST 1302 3
Total Hours 13 Total Hours 14
Total Hours 120


Minors

The Department of Geology offers three minor degree programs: Geology, Earth Science and Space Science. The programs require 21 hours, a minimum of nine of which must be in upper-division courses. The course options for individual programs are described below.

Minor in Geology (21 credit hours required, no grade less than “C”) Required lower division courses (12 hours): GEOL 1403 Physical Geology, GEOL 1404 Historical Geology, GEOL 2471 Mineralogy-Petrology. Upper division courses (9 hours): GEOL 3410 Statistics and Data Processing, GEOL 3420 Structural Geology, GEOL 3450 Petrology, GEOL 4330 Geophysics, GEOL 4361 Geochemistry, GEOL 4371 Economic Resources with Lab (GEOL 4101), GEOL 4401 Advanced Physical Geology, GEOL 4410 Stratigraphy and Sedimentology, GEOL 4420 Paleontology, GEOL 4101 Applied Geoscience Seminar, GEOL 4301 Organized field trip, GEOL 3600 Field Camp

Minor in Earth Science (21 credit hours required, no grade less than “C”) Required lower division courses (12 hours): GEOL 1403 Physical Geology, GEOL 1404 Historical Geology, GEOL 2471 Mineralogy-Petrology. Upper division courses (9 hours): GEOL 3410 Statistics and Data Processing, GEOL 2377 Physical Geology & Geomorphology Lab (GEOL 4101), GEOL 3390 Environmental Geography and Geology, GEOL 3420 Structural Geology, GEOL 3450 Petrology, GEOL 4301 Dinosaurs, GEOL 4360 Field Geology in Texas, GEOL 4370 Meteorology, GEOL 4371 Economic Resources with Lab (GEOL 4101), GEOL 4380 Oceanography with Lab (GEOL 4101), GEOL 4390 Rocks and Stars, GEOL 4410 Stratigraphy and Sedimentology, GEOL 4420 Paleontology, GEOL 4101 Applied Geoscience Seminar

Minor in Space Science (21 credit hours required, no grade less than “C”) Must have taken at least three (12 hours) of the following required lower division courses:PHYS 1406, 1407 General, PHYS 2425, 2426 Calculus-based, PHYS 1411 Astronomy, SPSC 1401 Space Science. Upper division courses (9 hours):SPSC 3301 Microgravity, SPSC 3302 Space Transportation Systems, SPSC 3303 Orbital & Celestial Mechanics, SPSC 4302 Space Vacuum Physics, SPSC 4303 Planetary Materials, SPSC 4301 Special Topics in Space Science, GEOL 4330 Geophysics, GEOL 4361 Geochemistry, GEOL 4390 Rocks and Stars

Graduate Program Information

The Department of Earth and Space Sciences offers graduate courses to be used primarily as a support to other advanced degree programs. These may be found in Section 17 -Course Directory.