Degree Requirements

Geology Programs

The B.A. program allows many free electives for background courses in the sciences or liberal arts. The program permits study of traditional geology (with emphasis on the solid earth, the earth’s surface, or environmental geology and natural resources), environmental geology (with emphasis on water or urban environmental geology), or an individually tailored program.

Degree requirements may be altered to suit particular needs of a student upon petition to the undergraduate studies committee and in consultation with a geology faculty advisor. Special consideration is given to students with strong backgrounds in supporting sciences and students with superior records who decide to major in geology late in their programs.

First- and Second-Year Preparation

Students interested in geology should see a department advisor as soon as possible. They should enroll in mathematics, chemistry, and English in addition to Introduction to Geology and electives. Students should take GEOL 360 as soon as possible.


Developing a strong relationship with a faculty advisor helps students get the most out of their educational programs in the shortest time. Most courses for majors are offered in only one semester each year. Advisors can guide the student through complexities of the curriculum or into a specialized program.

Requirements for the B.A. Major

Geology Major Course Requirements

Geology Prerequisite or Co-requisite Knowledge. Majors must complete courses as specified in each of the following areas. Majors are advised to take honors courses when eligible. These hours do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.

Geology Core Knowledge and Skills. Majors must complete the following core courses:

  • Introduction to Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 101.
  • Geology Fundamentals Laboratory. Satisfied by GEOL 103.
  • Mineralogy and Structure of the Earth. Satisfied by GEOL 311
  • Sedimentology and Surface Processes. Satisfied by GEOL 331.
  • Field Investigation. Satisfied by GEOL 360.
  • Paleontology. Satisfied by GEOL 521.
  • Introductory Field Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 560.
  • Structural Geology. Satisfied by GEOL 562.

Geology Required Electives. Majors must complete a minimum of 15 hours in geology or related courses. Several possible tracks of upper-level course work are given below.

General Geology Options: Concentrate on traditional geology with emphasis on the solid earth and the earth’s interior, earth surface processes, or environmental geology and natural resources.

Environmental Geology Options: Concentrate on environmental geology with emphasis on water and the environment or urban environmental geology.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 30 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Graduation Plan

With careful planning and commitment to a full-time course load, you can graduate in 4 years. Download a sample 4-year plan for geology.

Contact Info

Department of Geology

Lindley Hall
1475 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 120
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
Luis A. Gonzalez, Chair

Department of Geology

Lindley Hall
1475 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 120
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
George Tsoflias, Undergraduate Advisor

Department of Geology

Lindley Hall
1475 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 316A
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
Gwendolyn L. Macpherson, Graduate Advisor
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