Degrees in Geosciences

We offer two majors, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, and a minor in Geosciences. The Bachelor of Science degree is intended as a preprofessional degree, for students interested in graduate school or working in geosciences.

The Bachelor of Arts degree is the minimum preparation appropriate for the field and is best combined with other degree programs, such as a second major or a minor. The minor in Geosciences is ideal for those who do not have the time or space to complete a major in the field.

For all degrees, the student must take GEOS 201 which is offered both fall and spring. Completion of this course with a grade of C+ or higher is a prerequisite for enrolling in the upper division courses in the program. The department strongly recommends that all students complete MATH 140 or higher before enrolling in 300-level and higher courses in geosciences. The department also strongly encourages students to complete the Chemistry and Physics requirements as early as possible. Students should also note that upper-division courses are offered on a two-year cycle. Early declaration of majors or minors in geosciences will facilitate development of individual programs and avoid scheduling conflicts.

Students must complete a capstone project for the major. They may not use the capstone of another major to fulfill the Geosciences capstone. While there may be overlap in the topic chosen, they must complete all of the Geosciences capstone requirements and take GEOS 498 and 499.

See the PLU catalog for more information about all graduation requirements.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.): 42-44 semester hours in Geosciences, plus 26 hours in supporting courses

The Bachelor of Science degree is a preprofessional degree, intended for students interested in a career as a professional geologist or graduate study in the field of geology.

  • Required: GEOS 201, 325, 327, 401, 498, and 499
  • 4 semester hours from: GEOS 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, or 109
  • 18 semester hours from: GEOS 324, 326, 328, 329, 331, 332, 334, 335, 340, 350, or 387/388/389
  • Required Geologic Field Experience (minimum of 4 semester hours)
  • Required supporting courses
    • CHEM 115 and 116
    • PHYS 125, 126 (with 135,136 labs) or PHYS 153, 154 (with 163, 164 labs)
    • MATH 151 and either MATH 152 or CSCE 120
    • Recommended: BIOL 226 and additional courses are recommended when paleontology is a major interest
  • All courses taken for the major must be completed with a grade of C- or higher

The details of the degree requirements are summarized in the Academic Program Contract for the BS in Geosciences found on the Documents and Forms page.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.): 32 semester hours in Geosciences

The Bachelor of Arts degree is the minimum preparation appropriate for the field and is best combined with other degree programs, such as another major or minor. Students interested in Earth Science and completing a Bachelor of Arts in Education often combine it with this degree.

  • Required: GEOS 201, 401, 498, 499
  • 8 semester hours from: GEOS 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, or 109
  • 16 semester hours from: GEOS 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 331, 332, 334, 335, 340, 350, 387/388/389
  • Required Supporting non-geoscience course: CHEM 104 or CHEM 115
  • Recommended: Geologic Field Experience
  • Course selections should reflect a student’s interests and are discussed with an advisor
  • All courses taken for the major must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.

The details of the degree requirements are summarized in the Academic Program Contract for the BA in Geosciences found on the Documents and Forms page.

Minor: 20 semester hours in Geosciences

The minor is for students with another major who are interested in geology but do not have space to complete a second major.

  • GEOS 201
  • At least three upper-division Geosciences courses (a minimum of eight upper-division semester hours)
  • All courses for the minor must be completed with grade of C or higher

The details of the degree requirements are summarized in the Academic Program Contract for the Geosciences minor found on the Documents and Forms page.