Geology Curriculum

 The Geology Program offers both a Geology major and minor in addition to graduate courses.

Curriculum for the Geology Major

Click on the course title to view the course description in the Academic Bulletin. All links open in a new window.

Geology Core Requirements
Class Number           Course Description Sem. Hours
GY 111/111L Physical Geology 4
GY 112/112L Earth History 4
GY 301 Geomorphology 3
GY 302 Crystallography & Mineralogy 4
GY 303 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology 4
GY 304 Stratigraphy (W) 3
GY 401 Invertebrate Paleontology 3
GY 402 Sedimentary Petrology (W) 3
GY 403 Structural Geology 4
GY 480 Field Geology (W) 6
6-8 Hours of Geology Electives 6-8
Total Hours: 44-46
Additional Requirements from Other Disciplines
Chemistry
CH 131 General Chemistry I 3
CH 132 General Chemistry II 3
Physics*
PH 114 Non-Calculus Based General Physics I 4
PH 115 Non-Calculus Based General Physics II **      4
PH 201 Calculus Based General Physics I 4
PH 202 Calculus Based General Physics II ** 4
Mathematics***
MA 125 Calculus I 4
MA 126 Calculus II 4

(W) - Denotes a writing-intensive course.
* - The Geology degree requires a minimum of 8 hours of Physics (algebra/ trigonometry-based; PH 114 and PH 115), or calculus-based ; PH 201 and PH 202). 
** - Students can elect to substitute GY 305 for PH 115/PH 202.
*** - Students can elect to substitute GY 420 for MA 126.
Those intending on pursuing graduate study are encouraged to complete a full year of calculus and physics at the University of South Alabama.

Additional Information for Geology Majors:

A program in composite sciences has been approved as an acceptable minor for Geology majors, but it is recommended that the student seek a traditional minor. Students seeking a minor in related sciences should be aware of the University requirement that all students must complete 32 resident hours in 300/400 level courses.

A Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be obtained simultaneously with a BS in Geology if the student elects to choose a GIS/GIT minor. Contact the Department of Earth Sciences for information concerning the GIS certification program, the composite sciences minor, Geology elective courses, and Departmental Honors opportunities in Geology. An overall GPA 2.0 is required for the major.

Recommended Course Sequence for Geology Majors:

Academic Year 1 (Freshman)
Fall Semester Spring Semester                         
Course Hours Course Hours
CAS 100 2 GY 112 3
GY 111 3 GY112L 1
GY 111L 1 CH132 4
CH 131 4 MA 125 4
Social Science 1 3 EH 102 3
EH 101 3    
Total Hours: 16 Total Hours: 15
 
Academic Year 2 (Sophomore)
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Course Hours Course Hours
GY 301 3 GY 303 4
GY 302 4 GY 304 3
MA 126 or GY 420 4 PH 114/201 5/4
Humanities 1 3 Social Science 2 3
Total Hours: 14 Total Hours: 14/15
 
Academic Year 3 (Junior)
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Course Hours     Course   Hours
PH 115/202 or GY 305 5/4 GY 402 3
GY 401 3 GY 403 4
Humanities 2 3 Humanities 3 3
Foreign Lang. 1 3 Foreign Lang. 2 3
Minor 1 3/4 CA 110 3
Total Hours: 16-18 Total Hours: 15
Summer Semester  
Course Hours    
GY 480 6    
Total Hours: 6    
 
Academic Year 4 (Senior)
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Course Hours Course Hours
GY Elective 1 3/4 GY Elective 2 3/4
Minor 2 3/4 Minor 5 3/4
Minor 3 3/4 Minor 6 3/4
Minor 4 3/4 Social Science 3 3
Fine Art 3 Social Science 4 3
Total Hours: 15-19 Total Hours: 15-18

Major Hours: 44-46
Minor Hours: 8-24
Total hours 128 to 138 (Assumes student will pass placement tests for CH 131, MA 125 and CIS 150)

Geology Minor Curriculum

A student must take a minimum of 20 semester hours of Geology courses including:

  • GY 111
  • GY 111L
  • GY 112
  • GY 112L

A minimum of two courses from the following list is also required:

  • GY 301 (Geomorphology)
  • GY 302 (Crystallography and Mineralogy)
  • GY 304 (Stratigraphy)
  • GY 401 (Paleontology)
  • GY 425 (Hydrology)

Any GY courses numbered 300 and higher may be used to satisfy the remainder of the 20 hour requirement. 

Graduate Courses

Although the Department of Earth Sciences has no graduate degree program, courses are offered at the graduate level for students enrolled in Marine Sciences or Environmental Toxicology and others who need such course work. Current graduate courses (500-level) are listed below. Contact the Department for scheduling.

  • GY 512 - Geomorphology
  • GY 520 - Geostatistics
  • GY 531 - Optical Mineralogy and Crystallography
  • GY 533 - X-Ray Analytical Methods
  • GY 543 - Applications in Remote Sensing
  • GY 544 - Sedimentary Geology
  • GY 571 - Micropaleontology 1: Planktonics
  • GY 572 - Micropaleontology 2: Nannofossils
  • GY 573 - Marine Paleoecology
  • GY 575 - Hydrology
  • GY 576 - Contaminant Hydrology
  • GY 590 - Special Topics
  • GY 592 - Seminar
  • GY 594 - Directed Research
  • MAS 603 - Geological Oceanography - Taught through the Department of Marine Sciences