BS in Geological Sciences

Degree Program Description

A Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Sciences provides students with the quantitative and conceptual skills they need to succeed in graduate work and a career as a professional geologist in industry, government or academia. The curriculum provides flexibility for students who seek to focus on a specific subdiscipline in the geosciences. Students interested in geophysics, for example, should use their electives to expand their background in math and to develop a broad knowledge of geology and geophysics. Other subdisciplines include geochemistry, paleobiology and hydrogeology. The capstone class is an award-winning 6-week summer Field Camp based in Lander, Wyoming. Many students participate in research projects with faculty members, usually involving fieldwork, and leading to a senior thesis. Their results are typically presented at a national meeting and in an oral defense in the department. Study abroad classes are typically offered every two to three years - recently to China, Chile, and Spain. Some BS graduates pursue careers in environmental consulting. Many others go into the oil and gas industry, which typically requires an MS degree.

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Major Program Requirements

Majoring in geological sciences and earning a Bachelor of Science degree prepares the student for graduate work and a career as a professional geologist in industry, research or academia. The curriculum provides flexibility for students who seek to focus on a specific subdiscipline in the geosciences. Students interested in geophysics, for example, should use their electives to expand their background in math and to develop a broad knowledge of geology and geophysics. In addition, students must meet all degree, college, and university graduation requirements including university general education.

Major core requirements53-54
GEOL 1100Principles of Geology with Laboratory4
or GEOL 1200 Environmental Geology with Laboratory
GEOL 2350Historical Geology3
GEOL 2360Historical Geology Laboratory1
GEOL 2400Surficial Earth Processes and Products with Laboratory4-5
or GEOL 2110 Introduction to Soil Science with Laboratory
GEOL 3250Mineralogy5
GEOL 3300Introduction to Geochemistry3
GEOL 3650Structural Geology4
GEOL 3800Sedimentology and Stratigraphy with Lab4
GEOL 4650Plate Tectonics3
GEOL 4900Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology with Laboratory4
GEOL 4992Geology Field Camp6
Additional geological sciences course at or above 2000 level (not GEOL 3200)3
Three additional geological sciences courses at 3000 level, cannot be fulfilled by problems9
Related courses24-29
Track I
CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
CHEM 1330College Chemistry II4
PHYSCS 2750University Physics I5
PHYSCS 2760University Physics II5
MATH 1500Analytic Geometry and Calculus I5
MATH 1700Calculus II5
MATH 2300Calculus III3
Track II
CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
CHEM 1330College Chemistry II4
PHYSCS 1210College Physics I4
PHYSCS 1220College Physics II4
MATH 1500Analytic Geometry and Calculus I5
MATH 1700Calculus II5

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
GEOL 1100 or 12004GEOL 23503 
CHEM 13204GEOL 23601 
MATH 11605CHEM 13304 
ENGLSH 10003MATH 15005 
 American History OR Political Science Course3 
 16 16  
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
GEOL 2110 or 24004-5GEOL 38004 
GEOL 32505PHYSCS 27505 
MATH 17005Social/Behavioral Science Course3 
Humanities/Fine Arts Course3Humanities/Fine Arts Course3 
 17-18 15  
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
GEOL 33003GEOL 2000+ Elective3GEOL 4992 (Or Year 4 - Summer)6
GEOL 36504GEOL 3000+ Elective3 
PHYSCS 27605Foreign Language OR Alternative3-5 
Foreign Language OR Alternative3Humanities/Fine Arts Course3 
 15 12-14 6
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
GEOL 46503GEOL 49004 
GEOL 3000+ Elective Course3GEOL 3000+ Elective Course3 
2000-Level Humanities/Fine Arts Course3Elective Course3 
Social/Behavioral Science Course32000-level Social/Behavioral Course3 
Foreign Language OR Alternative3-5  
 15-17 13  
Total Credits: 125-130

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to http://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via http://www.transfer.org. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to http://registrar.missouri.edu/degree-audits/index.php.

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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