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Geology Major

Ohio Wesleyan offers two majors in Geology and one in Earth Science. Geology is the science of the Earth and Earth-like planets, focusing on the investigation and understanding of natural processes within and on the planet, and the materials, structure, and history of Earth. The professional geology major provides a strong foundation for professional work and graduate study in geology and related fields such as hydrogeology, geophysics, geochemistry, oceanography, and environmental science. Careers in geology are numerous, with potential employers including federal and state geological surveys and other governmental agencies, the energy and minerals industries, and engineering and consulting firms concerned with water and other resources, environmental hazards, waste management, and construction projects. Geology is also an excellent liberal arts major, expanding ones understanding and appreciation of our living environment. The general geology major provides a strong base for subsequent study of, for example, law, economics, or environmental policy studies. The Earth Science major provides training specifically for the pursuit of a career in teaching at the secondary level.

Professional Geology Sequence

This major prepares students to do professional work or to attend graduate school in geology or related fields (e.g., geochemistry, geophysics, environmental geology). Course requirements are based on graduate school and industry requirements, and conform to the American Institute of Professional Geologists recommendations for the undergraduate geology major.

Required Courses

  • GEOL 110: Physical and Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 111 (.25 unit): Field and Laboratory Geology
  • GEOL 112: History of the Earth
  • GEOL 290: Mineralogy
  • GEOL 310: Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • GEOL 320: Paleontology
  • GEOL 340: Structural Geology
  • Two additional Geology courses numbered above 265, one of which must be numbered above 300 (except GEOL 318: Electron Microscopy)
  • CHEM 110: General Chemistry I, and 111: General Chemistry II
  • MATH 110: Calculus I, and 111: Calculus II; or MATH 110: Calculus I and 105: Basic Probability & Statistics or 260: Mathematical Statistics
  • A capstone experience, typically GEOL 490: Independent Research, GEOL 491: Directed Readings, or GEOL 495: Apprenticeship.
  • Formal instruction in technical writing is also required of majors, and can be satisfied by enrollment in GEOL 345: Geological Techniques, or by arrangement with a member of the geology faculty in conjunction with a GEOL 490: Independent Research, 491: Directed Readings, or upper level R course in Geology.

The following additional courses are recommended based on professional and graduate school requirements, and should be chosen in consultation with the Geology faculty:

  • GEOL 315: Petrography
  • GEOL 330: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • GEOL 345: Geological Techniques
  • PHYS 110C: General Physics I, and 111C: General Physics II
  • BOMI/ZOOL 122: Organisms and Their Environment
  • MATH 111: Calculus II

Geology majors are encouraged to take a summer field course at another college or university chosen in consultation with members of the geology faculty.

Majors are also strongly encouraged to participate in research or an apprenticeship. 

General Geology Sequence

This major is for those students interested in geology as a course of study, but who do not intend to become professional geologists. In combination with courses in the social sciences (e.g., economics, geography, or politics and government), the general major is excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers (e.g., environmental law, or legal, financial, or administrative positions in the mineral resource, energy, and environmental industries). If students subsequently decide to attend graduate school in geology, they will need to take courses in chemistry, math, and physics, but will have the geology courses necessary for admittance to graduate departments.

Required Courses

  • GEOL 110: Physical and Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 111 (.25 unit): Field and Laboratory Geology
  • GEOL 112: History of the Earth
  • GEOL 290: Mineralogy
  • GEOL 310: Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • GEOL 320: Paleontology
  • GEOL 340: Structural Geology
  • Two other upper-level Geology courses numbered above 265
  • Two courses from among ASTR, BOMI, CHEM, CS, MATH, PHYS, and ZOOL.

Earth Science Major

This major meets the State of Ohio requirements for Earth Sciences Licensure, to teach Earth Sciences in grades 7-12.

Required Courses

  • GEOL 110: Physical and Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 111 (.25 unit): Field and Laboratory Geology
  • GEOL 112: History of the Earth
  • GEOG 375: Weather and Climate
  • ASTR 110: Elementary Astronomy, and 111: The Astronomical Universe
  • MATH 105: Basic Probability & Statistics

Three courses minimum, chosen as follows:

  • One of the following courses:
    • GEOL 270: Ore Deposits
    • GEOL 290: Mineralogy
    • GEOL 310: Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • One of the following courses:
    • GEOL 285: Tectonics: Earthquakes and Mountain Belts
    • GEOL 340: Structural Geology
    • GEOL 345: Geological Techniques
  • One of the following courses:
    • GEOL 320: Paleontology
    • GEOL 330: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

Three courses minimum, chosen as follows:

  • 1 course from among BOMI 110, 125, ZOOL 115, BOMI/ZOOL 120
  • 1 course from among CHEM 110, 111
  • 1 course from among PHYS 110, 111, 115, 116

One additional upper level course:

  • GEOG 353
  • Any upper level lab course in any natural science (GEOL, ASTR, BOMI, CHEM, PHYS, ZOOL)

See Education for courses required in that department.

  • EDUC 110, 251, 367, 369, 370, 377, 471-473, 474

Upon declaring a geology or Earth Science major, students must meet with one of the geology faculty members to plan their program, and submit the plan to the Chair of the department..

Owing to Geography, a social science, and Geology, a natural science, being housed in the one department, students who double major in Geology and Geography may exceed the 17 course limit within one department.

Students majoring or minoring in geology are not permitted to take courses required for the major or minor, credit/no entry.

All geology courses below the 490 level meet the natural science distribution requirement (Group II).

In years containing faculty sabbaticals, courses may be offered during the opposite semester to that listed.

61 S. Sandusky St.Delaware, Ohio 43015Phone: (800) 922-8953 or (740) 368-2000Fax: (740) 368-3314


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