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Academic Program Guide


College: Arts and Sciences
Degree: BS
Limited Access: No

Contact: Valerie J. Smith
Address: 314 Carraway Building, Tallahassee, FL 32306
Phone: (850) 645-6870

Description of Major
Geology is the study of the earth, its history, structure, composition and evolution to form the planet we know today. The processes at work in and within the earth and the principles governing these processes, as well as the history of animal and plant life as recorded in the rocks, are studied. The principles of geology are applied in the evaluation of environmental aspects of erosion, pollution and natural resources.

Geological work consists of collecting data and measurements from field observations, from indirect sensing devices, from laboratory experiments and from systematic evaluations of these data and measurements.

The curriculum also includes courses in chemistry, physics, and calculus. A six week summer field course is required. To allow optimal flexibility in planning upper-division programs, the mathematics and chemistry requirements should be started in the freshman year.

Prospective transfer students should contact (Arts & Sciences Admissions) with specific questions about admission and mapping requirements.

Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite Coursework:
All of the prerequisite courses may also apply to General Education and major requirements.

CHM X045, X045L (3,1) General Chemistry I and Lab
CHM X046, X046L (3,1) General Chemistry II and Lab
GLY X010C (4) Physical Geology
MAC X311 (4) Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
PHY X048C, X049C (5,5) Gen. Physics A and B with lab or PHY X053C, PHY X054C (4,4) (Contact department before choosing)
Historical Geology strongly recommended (GLY 2100, 2100L at FSU)

Note: State-wide common prerequisites are always under review. For the most current information and for acceptable alternative courses, visit the “Common Prerequisites Manual.” This is available from the “Student Services” section of .

Requirements for graduation in the College of Arts and Sciences include:
The College of Arts and Science requires proficiency in a foreign language through the intermediate (2220 or equivalent) level or sign language through the advanced (2614 or equivalent) level.

Admission to the Upper-Division Major, Grades and Continuation Requirements:
To be admitted, students must complete at least 52 hours of credit with an adjusted GPA of 2.00 on FSU coursework, with at least half the required hours in General Education, including freshman English and mathematics, or an AA degree.

No geology course with a grade of C minus or collateral course with a grade below C minus will apply toward the major. A student who has accumulated more than five grades below C minus (U, F, D minus, D, D+) in mathematics, natural science, and statistics courses taken for college credit at FSU or elsewhere, whether repeated or not, will not be allowed into or continuation as a geology major.


Major Program of Studies at FSU: (38 hours)

Basic Geology courses (28 hours)
GLY 2010C (4) Physical Geology
GLY 2100 (3) Historical Geology
GLY 2100L (1) Historical Geology Lab
GLY 3200C (3) Mineralogy & Crystallography
GLY 3310C (3) Igneous & Metamorphic Petrography
GLY 3400C (4) Structural Geology
GLY 4544C (4) Sedimentation and Stratigraphy
GLY 4790 (6) Field Course

Geology Elective courses (10 hours)
Ten hours chose from the following. Additional electives may be selected from a list of GLY graduate courses with permission of the instructor.

Please note: Some of the Elective courses are taught during alternating semesters or alternating years. Check with department advisor for course availability.

GLY 3039 (3) Energy Resources and the Environment
GLY 3610C (4) Invertebrate Paleontology
GLY 4240 (3) Principles of Geochemistry
GLY 4451 (3) Introduction to Geophysics
GLY 4730 (3) Marine Geology
GLY 4750 (1) Geological Field Methods
GLY 4751C (3) Remote Sensing and GIS
GLY 4820 (3) Principles of Hydrology
GLY 4905 (3) Geohazards
GLY 4905 (3) Petroleum Geology
OCB 4631 (3) Estuarine and Coastal Ecology
OCG 4050 (3) Geological Oceanography

Collateral courses: (23-26 hours)
MAC 2311 (4) Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
MAC 2312 (4) Calculus with Analytic Geometry II or STA 2122 (3) Introduction to Applied Statistics
CHM 1045, 1045L (3, 1) General Chemistry I with Lab
CHM 1046, 1046L (3, 1) General Chemistry II with Lab
PHY 2048C (5) General Physics A or PHY 2053C (4) College Physics A
PHY 2049C (5) General Physics B or PHY 2054C (4) College Physics B

Minor Coursework: None required beyond collateral coursework.
The required coursework in math, chemistry, and physics will satisfy the requirement for the minor. However, a student may select another minor in consultation with an advisor.

Computer Skills Competency: (3 hours)
Students in this major may take CGS 2060 (3) , GIS 4043 (3) , or GLY 4751C (3) to meet this requirement.

Oral Communication Competency: (0-3 hours)
Students must demonstrate the ability to orally transmit ideas and information clearly. This requirement may be met through with an approved college-level course.

Minimum Program Requirements - Summary
Total Hrs. Required 120
General Education 36*
Prerequisite Coursework 0 beyond other requirements
Major Coursework 38
Collateral Coursework 23-26
Minor Coursework 0*
Computer Skills 3
Oral Competency 0-3
Foreign Language 0-12 (depending on placement)
Electives to bring total hours to 120

*NOTE: Science courses required for this major may be used to satisfy the Natural Science area General Education requirement. MAC 2311 (4) is required for this major and may be used to partially satisfy the Mathematics area General Education requirement for students who exempt prerequisites MAC 1140 and 1114. Collateral coursework may be used to satisfy minor requirements.

Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each Fall and Spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. Transfer students must meet mapping guidelines to be accepted into their majors. You may view the map for this major at

1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, at least 30 of which must be taken at this University.
2. At least half of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this University. After enrolling at this University, all remaining major course requirements must be completed at this University.
3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this University.

Employment Information
Salary Information: National Association of Colleges and Employers, Occupational Outlook Handbook

Representative Job Titles Related to this Major (most require graduate work): Geologist, Geochemist, Earth Scientist, Geophysicist, Marine Geologist, Hydrologist, Oceanographer, Environmental Administrator, Paleontologist.

Representative Employers: Mining Companies, Petroleum Companies, Consulting Firms in Environmental Sciences, U.S. Agencies (Geological Survey, Bureau of Mines, Dept. of Agriculture, EPA, Nuclear Regulatory Commission), State Agencies.

View Geology Academic Map