Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2015


Geology (GLS)

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

8 Semester Plan

120 Credit Hours

CIP Code: 40.0601 (Track 1 of 2)

College of Arts & Sciences


Major Description

The Bachelor of Science degree program provides the student with a hands-on foundation in the fundamentals of the geosciences.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete the A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet USF’s Foundations of Knowledge and Learning (FKL) core curriculum requirements, thereby transferring maximum hours to the university. If students transfer without an A.A. degree and have fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the students must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses listed below at the lower level prior to entering the University. If these courses are not taken at the community college, they (or their equivalents) must be completed before the degree is granted. Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C is the minimum acceptable grade.

  • CHM X045/X045L General Chemistry I (with lab) or CHM X045C or CHM X040/X041
  • CHM X046/X046L General Chemistry II (with lab) or CHM X046C
  • GLY X010C Introduction to Physical Geology or GLY X010/X010L
  • MAC X311 Calculus I or MTH X281
  • PHY X048C* General Physics and Laboratory I or PHY X048/X048L or PHY X053C
  • PHY X049C* General Physics and Laboratory II or PHY X049/X049L or PHY X054C
  • XXX XXXX Historical Geology STRONGLY recommended
*The choice of physics sequence depends on the area of geology specialization.

Total Major Hours: 98-104 Hours

Major Core Courses - 64 Hours

  • Introductory Sequence* (4 credit hours):
    • One course, chosen from:
      • GLY 2010 Dynamic Earth: Introduction to Physical Geology
      • GLY 2030 Hazards of the Earth’s Surface: Environmental Geology
      • GLY 2100 History of Life
      • OCE 2001 Introduction to Oceanography
      • Or other comparable acceptable course offerings, as approved by the undergraduate advisor
    • GLY 2000L Essentials of Geology Laboratory
    • *Transfer students who have taken GLY 2010C or GLY 2100C or the equivalent will be deemed to have met the introductory sequence requirements. However, ALL students are strongly encouraged to take GLY 2000L, as this course will greatly facilitate success in the upper-level offerings.

  • Core Courses (20 hours):
    • GLY 3311C The Solid Earth: Petrology and Geochemistry
    • GLY 3402C The Solid Earth: Plate Tectonics and Earth Structure
    • GLY 3552C Sedimentary Record 1: Sedimentary Processes and Petrology
    • GLY 3720C Fluid Earth 1: Basic Principles or 
    • GLY 4822C Fluid Earth 2: Hydrogeology
    • GLY 4104C Sedimentary Record 3: Paleontology and Earth Evolution*
    *(Requirement is waived for students who have taken GLY 2010, GLY 2000L or GLY 2010L, and GLY 2100, GLY 2100L.)

  • Quantitative Requirement (6 credit hours):
    • Of these electives, at least six hours must be drawn from courses identified by the department as including high -quantitative content. Courses which meet this requirement include:

    • GLY 4866 Computational Geology
    • GLY 4822C Fluid Earth 2: Hydrogeology
    • GLY 4324C Physical Volcanology
    • GLY 4480C Seismology

    Others may be approved by the undergraduate advisor

  • Capstone Sequence (6 credit hours):
    • GLY 4947L Practical and Applied Geology: Laboratory Experience
    • GLY 4948L Practical and Applied Geology: Field Experience
    • GLY 4949L Practical and Applied Geology: Computational Experience
    • One (1) credit of each of these labs and any combination for the remaining three (3) credits, or an approved Geology field course.

Major Elective Courses - 34-40 Hours

  • Upper-Level Electives (15 hours):
    • GLY 4554C Sedimentary Record 2: The Earth’s Surface
    • GLY 4104C Sedimentary Record 3: Paleontology and Earth Evolution (if not counted toward core requirements above)
    • GLY 4324C Physical Volcanology
    • GLY 4480C Seismology
    • GLY 3720C Fluid Earth 1: Basic Principles or 
    • GLY 4822C Fluid Earth 2: Hydrogeology (if not counted toward Core requirements above)
    • GLY 4310C Petrology
    • GLY 4866 Computational Geology
    • GLY 4921 Geocommunications
    • GLY 4780 Geologic Field Studies
    • And/or other 3000- or 4000-level GLY course, as approved by the undergraduate advisor
  • Free Electives (19-25 hours)
  • The student will choose, in consultation with his/her Geology advisor, such courses in the natural sciences that support his/her major interest in the field of geology. Courses in computer programming and additional mathematics courses are of particular value. Those students who anticipate continuing for a doctorate in graduate school are encouraged to take a foreign language, preferably French, German, or Russian.

Optional Honors Program

The purpose of the Honors Program is to provide a select group of undergraduate Geology majors an opportunity to undertake an intensive, individualized research experience. The culmination of the program is the completion and presentation of an honors thesis. To apply, interested students should contact the Geology undergraduate advisor during the second semester of the student's junior year. Admission to the program requires a GPA of 3.50 in the major and an overall GPA of 3.2.

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  Honors Program

This major has an optional component designed for the academically superior student who embraces challenge and wishes to go the extra mile.


  Research Opportunities

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  Additional Information

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