Geological Sciences Programs and Requirements

With the option of pursuing a B.A. in geology, geochemistry, or geophysics, students at SUNY Geneseo are exposed to challenging and rewarding curriculum taught by accomplished faculty with a broad range of expertise. Alums of the SUNY Geneseo Department of Geological Sciences have gone on to pursue graduate degrees at Stanford, Scripps, Texas A&M, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Arizona, and other universities, to become recognized leaders in their field. Below is a list of the geological sciences programs at Geneseo.


Geological Sciences Major (B.A.)

Dr. Dori Farthing, Chair (ISC 235A)

This program allows students to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in geological sciences.

Basic major requirements: 37 credit hours

NumberNameCredits
GSCI 160/161Physical Geology and N/Physical Geology Laboratory4
GSCI 170Historical Geology4
GSCI 210Mineralogy3
GSCI 220Petrology3
GSCI 331Geomorphology3
GSCI 341Principles of Structural Geology3
GSCI 351Stratigraphy3
GSCI 361Invertebrate Paleontology3
GSCI 391Geological Sciences Capsone Seminar I1
GSCI 392Geological Sciences Capsone Seminar II1
Electives300-level electives in Geological Sciences9

Related requirements: 21–24 credit hours

CourseCredits
CHEM 116, 118, 119, 125 or CHEM 203, 204, 1198
PHYS 113/114 and 115/116 or 123/114 and 125/116 or BIOL 116, 117, 119 or (with department approval) electives in another natural science or Mathematics*6-8
MATH 2214
MATH 222 (strongly recommended) or one of the following statistics courses: BIOL 250, ECON 205, GEOL 278, MATH 242, MATH 262, PLSC 251, PSYC 250, SOCL 2113-4

*Students seeking Certification in Adolescent Education (7-12): Earth Science and General Education may satisfy this requirement with approved classes in meteorology and astronomy.

Total hours as outlined:

  • Major department requirements: 37 hours
  • Related requirements: 21-24 hours
  • Total credit hours required to complete major: 58-61

Geophysics Program (B.A.)

Dr. Scott D. Giorgis, Coordinator (ISC 254)

The primary objective of this interdisciplinary program is to prepare students for both immediate careers and graduate-level study in geophysics. The program differs from the Bachelor of Arts degree programs in geological sciences and physics since it provides the background in both mathematics and physics that is required for the solution of problems in the field of solid earth geophysics. Geophysics curriculum is taught by the faculty of the Departments of Geological Sciences and Physics.

Basic major requirements: 53 credit hours

NumberNameCredits
GSCI 160Physical Geology3
GSCI 161Physical Geology Laboratory1
GSCI 170Historical Geology4
GSCI 210Mineralogy3
GSCI 220Petrology3
GSCI 341Principles of Structural Geology3
GSCI 343Applied Geophysics3
GSCI 391Geology Capstone Seminar I1
GSCI 392Geology Capstone Seminar II1
PHYS 123/114Analytical Physics I and Physics I Lab4
PHYS 125/116Analytical Physics II and Physics II Lab4
PHYS 223Analytical Physics III3
PHYS 224Analytical Physics IV3
PHYS 226Optics/Modern Physics Laboratory1
PHYS 228Mathematical Methods in Physics2
PHYS 335Electricity and Magnetism I3
PHYS 362Intermediate Laboratory I2
Electives in Geological Sciences and Physics9

Related Requirements: 23 credit hours

NumberNameCredits
MATH 221Calculus I4
MATH 222Calculus II4
MATH 223Calculus III4
MATH 326Differential Equations I3
CHEM 116, 118, 119 or CHEM 203, 204, 199Chemistry I and II and Lab orPrinciples of Chemistry I and Principles of Chemistry II and Lab8

Total hours as outlined:

  • Major department requirements: 53 hours
  • Related requirements: 23 hours
  • Total credit hours required to complete major: 76

Minimum Competence Requirement

A grade of C– or better is required for each of the following courses: GSCI 160, 161, 170, 210, 220, 341, 343, 391; PHYS 123/114, 125/116, 223, 224, 226, 335, and 362.

Department Writing Requirement

Students in geophysics will satisfy the writing requirement of either the Department of Geological Sciences or Physics. The determination will be made by the Coordinator and/or advisor upon review of student’s course selection. Students must consult with their advisor to ensure that they meet the college’s writing requirement.


Geochemistry Program (B.A.)

Dr. Dori Farthing, Coordinator (ISC 235A)

This program provides a background in geological sciences and chemistry as well as related areas such as physics, mathematics, and computer science. The synthesis of these interrelated disciplines will prepare the student for graduate-level study and a professional career in geochemistry or related fields. This curriculum is taught by faculty of the Departments of Geological Sciences and Chemistry.

Basic major requirements: 40-45* credit hours

NumberNameCredits
GSCI 160, 161Physical Geology and N/Physical Geology Lab4
GSCI 170Historical Geology4
GSCI 210Mineralogy3
GSCI 220Petrology3
GSCI 315, 320Principles of Geochemistry and/or Isotope Geology3-6*
GSCI 391Geology Capstone Seminar I1
GSCI 392Geology Capstone Seminar II1
CHEM 166 or 203Chemistry Ior Principles of Chemistry3-4
CHEM 119N/Introductory Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 188 or 204Chemistry II or Principles of Chemistry II2-3
CHEM 211 or 223Organic Chemistry I or Principles of Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 216Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 213 or 224Organic Chemistry II or Principles of Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 340Modern Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 320 or 324Physical Chemistry I or Principles of Physical Chemistry3

*When both GSCI 315 and 320 are taken, 9 credits of GSCI electives are required.

Electives selected from the following: 9-12* credit hours

NumberNameCredits
GSCI 331Geomorphology3
SGCI 335Paleoclimatology3
GSCI 341Principles of Structural Geology3
GSCI 347Groundwater Hydrology3
GSCI 351Stratigraphy3
GSCI 370Advanced Mineralogy and Petrology3
GSCI 393Honors Thesis3
GSCI 399Directed Study3

Related requirements: 19 credit hours

NumberNameCredits
MATH 221Calculus I4
MATH 222Calculus II4
PHYS 113 or 123General Physics or Analytical Physics I3
PHYS 114Physics I Laboratory1
PHYS 115 or 125General Physics II or Analytical Physics II3
PHYS 116Physics II Laboratory1
One of the following courses in statistics:  
MATH 242R/Elements of Probability & Statistics3
MATH 262R/Applied Statistics3
SOCL 211R/Statistics for Social Research3
PSYC 250R/Intro to Behavioral Statistics3

Total hours as outlined:

  • Major department requirements (including electives): 52 hours
  • Related requirements: 19 hours
  • Total credit hours required to complete major: 71

Minimum Competence Requirement

A grade of C– or better is required for each of the following courses: GSCI 160, 161, 170, 210, 220, 315/320, and 391; CHEM 166/203, 119, 188/204, 125, 211/223, 216 and 213/224.

Department Writing Requirement

Students in geochemistry will satisfy the writing requirement of either the Department of Geological Sciences or Chemistry. The determination will be made by Dr. Sheldon, the program coordinator, and/or advisor upon review of student’s course selection. Students must consult with their advisor to ensure that they meet the college’s writing requirement.


Minor in Geological Sciences

Dr. Scott D. Giorgis, Coordinator (ISC 254)

Eighteen semester hours in geological sciences, with a minimum of 12 hours at or above the 200–level. GSCI 130/131 may be accepted as a substitute for one upper-level course for students in some programs, i.e., anthropology and biology, only upon approval by the Department of Geological Sciences.