Undergraduate Catalog 2018-2019


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. As a result of faculty interests and geographic locations, several geologic sub-disciplines are emphasized, including applied geophysics, coastal geology, geochemistry, geomorphology, geoscience education, hydrogeology, paleobiology, petrology, and volcanology. However, the wide variety of courses and electives offered by the Geology, Environmental Sciences, and Geography programs within the School of Geosciences provides students with programs of study that can be tailored to fit individual needs while maintaining a sound background in all general aspects of geology.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete an A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university.

If a student wishes to transfer without an A.A. degree and has fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the student must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Transfer students are also required to comply with the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted.

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

  • 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.

Required Supporting Courses for the Major: 25-27 Hours

The following courses are prerequisite and supporting courses for this major. They are required for the major, but are not counted in the total hours for this major. The degree will not be awarded if these courses have not been taken by the end of the student’s final semester.

  • CHM 2045 General Chemistry I and CHM 2045L General Chemistry I Laboratory
  • CHM 2046 General Chemistry II and CHM 2046L General Chemistry II Laboratory
  • STA 2023 Introductory Statistics I or STA 2122 Social Science Statistics
  • MAC 2281 or MAC 2311 or MAC 2241 Calculus I
  • GLY 3866 Computational Geology or MAC 2282 or MAC 2312
  • PHY 2048/2048L General Physics I - Calculus Based with Lab and PHY 2049/2049L General Physics II - Calculus Based with Lab (recommended) or PHY 2053/2053L General Physics I and PHY 2054/2054L General Physics II

Total Major Hours: 43 Hours

Major Core

The Geology B.S. degree requires 43 total credit hours of degree applicable Geology coursework comprising one introductory course (4 credit hours), six core courses (19 credit hours), the summer field capstone sequence (6 credit hours), and four upper-level electives (14 credit hours). To complete their elective requirements for Geology, students are encouraged to consider courses offered in Geography and Environmental Science and Policy.

Major Core Courses - 29 Hours

  • Introductory Sequence* (4 credit hours):
    • One course, chosen from:
      • ESC 2000 Introduction to Earth Science
      • GLY 2010 Dynamic Earth: Introduction to Physical Geology
      • GLY 2030 Hazards of the Earth’s Surface: Environmental Geology
      • 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 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 (19 hours):

*In the event that GEO 3280 is not offered in a calendar year, the Undergraduate Advisor may approve GLY 4822C Hydrogeology to count in its place.

  • Capstone Sequence (6 credit hours):
    • The Geology major's culminating experience capstone is six (6) credit hours of summer field camp broken into three courses of GLY 4948 and GLY 4949, each taught in two-week increments.
      • GLY 4948 Practical and Applied Geology: Field Experience (multiple sections and topics offered)
      • GLY 4949 Practical and Applied Geology: Field Mapping (multiple sections and topics offered)
    • Field Mapping Requirement: Within the major capstone sequence, at least two (2) hours must be drawn from courses identified by the School of Geosciences as including a substantial field mapping content. Courses that meet this requirement include: Field Geologic Mapping and Field Volcanology. Other field courses may be approved for the filed mapping requirement by the Undergraduate Advisor.
    • Note: The above Geology major capstone courses do not meet the University's FKL Capstone Experience requirement.

Major Elective Courses - 14 Hours

  • Students will take 14 credit hours from the following list of courses:

Quantitative Requirement: Of these upper-level electives, at least three (3) hours must be drawn from courses identified by the department as including high-quantitative content. Courses that meet this requirement are highlighted with *. Other comparable quantitative offerings in Geology may be approved by the undergraduate advisor.

Optional Geophysics Emphasis

Requirements for the Geology B.S. Major with the optional Geophysics emphasis:

The Geophysics Track in Geology indicates advanced mathematics training and requires the following courses:

These courses may count towards no more than four (4) credit hours of the 14 elective credit hours required for the B.S. in Geology.


  More About this Major

  Honors Program

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

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  Research Opportunities

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  Additional Requirements

There are additional requirements for this major such as grade, GPA, foreign language, and/or general education requirements.

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  Additional Information

There is more information available for this major such as faculty, advising, and/or accreditation information.

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