Major in Geological Sciences 2013-2014

The Geological Sciences department reserves the right to change major requirements at any time. Please check with the Geological Sciences department or the CU Boulder catalog for the most current listing of requirements. You are subject to the requirements in effect at the time you declare your major as an Arts & Sciences degree seeking student.

The options available in the undergraduate program in Geological Sciences are Geology, Environmental Geosciences, and Geophysics. Each option emphasizes course work in theoretical, laboratory, and field-oriented aspects of the geological sciences. Each option leads to a B.A. degree.

Geological Sciences majors must complete the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences in addition to the required courses listed below.

All majors must demonstrate a basic ability to work interactively with computers. Information on how to satisfy the requirements for computer literacy is available in the departmental office.

Courses required for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geological Sciences at CU-Boulder and Colorado Community College applicable courses.

All Geological Sciences majors must complete the following courses:

CU-Boulder Required Courses Colorado Community College Applicable Courses
  • GEOL 1030 (1) Introduction to Geology Lab
  • CHEM 1113 (4) General Chemistry 1 and
  • CHEM 1114 (1) Lab in General Chemistry 1 and
  • CHEM 1133 (4) General Chemistry 2 and
  • CHEM 1134 (1) Lab in General Chemistry 2
  • CHE 111 (5) General College Chemistry I/Lab
  • CHE 112 (5) General College Chemistry II/Lab
  • MATH 1300 (5) Analytical Geometry and Calculus 1 and
  • MATH 2300 (5) Analytical Geometry and Calculus 2
  • or
  • APPM 1350 (4) Calculus for Engineers 1 and
  • APPM 1360 (4) Calculus for Engineers 2
  • MAT 201 (5) Calculus I
  • MAT 202 (5) Calculus II
  • PHYS 1110 (4) General Physics 1 and
  • PHYS 1120 (4) General Physics 2 and
  • PHYS 1140 (1) Experimental Physics 1
  • PHY 211 (5) Physics: Calculus Based I with Lab
  • PHY 212 (5) Physics: Calculus Based II with Lab

Note: Students who take PHY 212 will receive credit for both PHYS 1120 and PHYS 1140.

GEOLOGY option:

Students who select the Geology option are required to take the following courses:

CU-Boulder Required Courses Colorado Community College Applicable Courses
  • GEOL 1010 (3) Introduction to Geology 1

NOTE: Students who complete GEY 111 (4) Physical Geology will receive credit for GEOL 1030 (1) Intro to Geology Lab 1 in addition to GEOL 1010.

  • GEY 111 (4) Physical Geology
  • GEOL 1020 (3) Introduction to Earth History or
  • GEOL 1040 (3) Geology of Colorado or
  • GEOL 1060 (3) Global Change
  • GEY 121 (4) Historical Geology
  • GEY 135 (4) Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 2700 (2) Introduction to Field Geology
  • GEOL 3010 (3) Introduction to Mineralogy
  • GEOL 3020 (3) Petrology
  • GEOL 3120 (4) Structural Geology 1
  • GEOL 3320 (3) Introduction to Geochemistry
  • GEOL 3430 (4) Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • GEOL 4130 (3) Principles of Geophysics

One course from the following hydrogeosciences-focused courses:

  • GEOL 3030 (3) Introduction to Hydrogeology or
  • GEOL 3820 (3) The Fluid Earth or
  • GEOL 4060 (4) Oceanography

Two courses from the following advanced-field modules:

  • GEOL 4711 (2) Igneous and Metamorphic Field Geology
  • GEOL 4712 (2) Structural Field Geology
  • GEOL 4714 (2) Field Geophysics
  • GEOL 4715 (2) Field Techniques in Hydrogeology
  • GEOL 4716 (2) Environmental Field Geochemistry
  • GEOL 4717 (2) Field Seminar in Geology and Tectonics
  • GEOL 4721 (3) Field Methods and Active Techtonics

One upper-division elective, any 3000-4000 GEOL course, except the following:

  • GEOL 3040 (3) Global Change
  • GEOL 3070 (3) Introduction to Oceanography
  • GEOL 3500 (3) Earth Resources and the Environment
  • GEOL 3520 (3) Environmental Issues in Geosciences
  • GEOL 3720 (3) Evolution of Life: the Geological Records
  • GEOL 3950 (3) Natural Catastrophes and Geologic Hazards
  • GEOL 4080 (3) Societal Problems and Earth Sciences
  • GEOL 4500 (3) Critical Thinking in Earth Sciences

ENVIRONMENTAL GEOSCIENCE option:

Students who select the Environmental Geoscience option are required to take the following courses:

CU-Boulder Required Courses Colorado Community College Applicable Courses
  • GEOL 1010 (3) Introduction to Geology or
  • GEOL 2100 (3) Environmental Geology or
  • GEOL 1000 (3) Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • GEOL 2001 (4) Planet Earth
  • GEOL 3230 (3) Earth Materials

Two from the following water-focused courses:

  • GEOL 3030 (3) Introduction to Hydrogeology
  • GEOL 3820 (3) The Fluid Earth
  • GEOL 4060 Oceanography
  • GEOL 3320 (3) Introduction to Geochemistry

One from the following biogeochemistry-focused courses:

  • GEOL 4160 (3) Biogeochemistry or
  • GEOL 4270 (3) Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry

One from the following climate-focused courses:

  • GEOL 4040 (3) Paleoclimatology or
  • ATOC 3600 (3) Principles of Climate

One from the following advanced field courses:

  • GEOL 4711 (2) Igneous and Metamorphic Field Geology or
  • GEOL 4714 (2) Field Geophysics or
  • GEOL 4715 (2) Field Techniques in Hydrogeology or
  • GEOL 4716 (2) Environmental Field Geochemistry or
  • EBIO 4630 (2-6) Field Techniques in Environmental Science or
  • EVEN 4100 (3) Environmental Sampling and Analysis

Four additional courses from the following upper-division electives (electives not used to fulfill a different major requirement):

(Note: Two of the four must be geology courses. Courses other than those listed below may be acceptable with advisor’s permission)

  • GEOL 3023 (4) Statistics for Earth Sciences
  • GEOL 3030 (3) Introduction to Hydrogeology
  • GEOL 3050 (2) GIS for Geologists
  • GEOL 3410 (3) Paleobiology
  • GEOL 3820 (3) The Fluid Earth
  • GEOL 4040 (3) Paleoclimatology
  • GEOL 4060 (4) Oceanography
  • GEOL 4093 (4) Remote Sensing for the Environment
  • GEOL 4130 (3) Principles of Geophysics
  • GEOL 4160 (3) Introduction to Biogeochemistry
  • GEOL 4241 (4) Principles of Geomorphology
  • GEOL 4270 (3) Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry
  • GEOL 4670 (3) Isotope Geology

Water Focus

  • CVEN 4404 (4) Water Quality
  • CVEN 4718 (3) Mechanics and Dynamics of Glaciers
  • EBIO 4030 (3) Limnology
  • GEOG 4321 (3-4) Snow Hydrology
  • GEOG 4251 (4) Fluvial Geomorphology
  • GEOG 4260 (3) Glaciers and Permafrost

Biogeochemistry Focus

  • EBIO 4060 (3) Landscape Ecology
  • EBIO 4570 (3) Advanced Plant Physiological
  • GEOG 4401 (3) Soils Geography
  • MCDB 4350 (3) Microbial Diversity and the Biosphere

Climate Focus

  • ATOC 4720 (3) Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics
  • ENVS/GEOG 4201 (3) Biometeorology

Policy Focus

  • ATOC 4800 (3) Policy and Climate
  • ECON 3403 (3) International Economics and Policy
  • ENVD 4023 (3) Environmental Impact Assessment
  • PSCI 4183 (3) International Law

GEOPHYSICS option:

Students who select the Geophysics option are required to take the following courses:

CU-Boulder Required Courses Colorado Community College Applicable Courses
  • GEOL 1010 (3) Introduction to Geology 1

NOTE: Students who complete GEY 111 (4) Physical Geology will receive credit for GEOL 1030 (1) Intro to Geology Lab 1 in addition to GEOL 1010.

  • GEY 111 (4) Physical Geology
  • GEOL 1020 (3) Introduction to Geology 2 or
  • GEOL 1040 (3) Geology of Colorado or
  • GEOL 1060 (3) Global Change
  • GEY 121 (4) Historical Geology
  • GEY 135 (4) Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 2700 (2) Introduction to Field Geology
  • GEOL 3010 (3) Introduction to Mineralogy
  • GEOL 3120 (4) Structural Geology 1
  • GEOL 3320 (3) Introduction to Geochemistry or
  • GEOL 3020 (3) Petrology
  • GEOL 4130 (3) Principles of Geophysics
  • GEOL 4714 (2) Field Geophysics
  • APPM 2360 (4) Introduction to Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
  • MAT 266 (4) Differential Equations with Linear Algebra
  • MATH 2400 (4) Analytical Geometry and Calculus 3 or
  • APPM 2350 (4) Calculus 3 for Engineers
  • MAT 203 (4) Calculus III
  • PHYS 2130 (3) General Physics 3 or
  • PHYS 2170 (3) Foundations of Modern Physics
  • PHYS 2210 (3) Classical Mechanics and Mathematical Methods 1

Two from the following courses:

  • PHYS 3210 (3) Classical Mechanics and Mathematical Methods 2 or
  • PHYS 3310 (3) Principles of Electricity and Magnetism or
  • MATH 4470 (3) Partial Differential Equations or
  • APPM 4350 (3) Methods in Applied Mathematics

Transfer students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of advanced work (3000-level or above) in the Department of Geological Sciences on the Boulder campus if they wish to obtain a degree in geology from CU-Boulder. Before registering for the first time, or within the first week of the semester, transfer students must see a geological sciences department undergraduate advisor to have previous course work in geology, math, and allied sciences evaluated.