Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Slippery Rock University

Environmental Geoscience, Bachelor of Science (BA) / Pre-Master of Education

The environmental geoscience (BA) focuses on providing students with a scientific understanding of the Earth and surrounding environment. The student in geology gains an understanding of the various terrestrial processes and features (mountains, oceans, volcanoes, glaciers); the immenseness of geologic time, the history of the earth and organisms that inhabit it (fossils); the role of water, fuel, and mineral resources in the development of civilization; and the close interaction between the geologic and organic environments.

Students seeking state certification in secondary education must also complete requirements for a Master of Education degree, a one-year program at SRU. All of our programs are designed to steadily develop the quantitative, deductive and inductive reasoning skills that environmental geoscientists must have. 

Requirements for the Certification

Teacher certification is earned through the master of education degree at Slippery Rock University. Students seeking secondary school teaching certification in earth and space science must earn a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree in discipline and contact the Department of Secondary Education/Foundations of Education concerning its graduate program in education. Information about this program, including prerequisites for admission, may be obtained from the Secondary Education/Foundations of Education office in 114 McKay Education Building.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Outcome 1 (EGEO):  Each graduate shall develop general knowledge and understanding of the composition, history, and structure of the planet, and of the physical, chemical, and biological processes involved in the interactions between the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
    • Each graduate will demonstrate an understanding of plate tectonic theory and be able to describe how it operates
    • Each graduate will demonstrate an understanding of the geologic time scale and the timing of major events in Earth history
    • Each graduate will demonstrate the ability to characterize and identify important rocks and minerals, and to interpret the processes by which they formed
    • Each graduate will demonstrate an understanding of the history, causes, and effects of global climate change
    • Each graduate will demonstrate an understanding of evolutionary theory and its evidence in the fossil record
    • Each graduate will demonstrate an understanding of the internal structure of Earth
    • Each graduate will be able to explain the fundamental principles of the hydrologic cycle

Geology, Geology, and the Environment, Overall

  • Outcome 1:  Each graduate will develop strong written and oral communication skills, demonstrate the ability to work in a collaborative environment, and exhibit professional attitudes and behavior.
    • Each graduate will deliver oral presentations, demonstrating the ability to effectively communicate discipline-specific concepts
    • Each graduate will write scholarly papers using acceptable format and organization with proper citations to appropriate literature.
    • Each graduate will actively participate in collaborative projects and in academic field trips
    • Each graduate will demonstrate professionalism and integrity in his/her academic conduct
    • Each graduate shall develop the ability to respect and integrate diverse worldviews in problem-solving frameworks
  • Outcome 2:  Each graduate shall possess and apply critical thinking and problem solving skills.
    • Each graduate will demonstrate the ability to develop valid research questions and hypotheses
    • Each graduate will demonstrate the ability to apply proper techniques for data acquisition and interpretation in a problem-solving context
    • Each graduate will demonstrate the ability to solve open-ended problems using scientific methodology
    • Each graduate will develop the ability to make informed, scientifically-based decisions regarding environmental issues
  • Outcome 3:  Each graduate shall develop skills in quantitative, qualitative, technological, laboratory, and field procedures.
    • Each graduate will learn and employ accepted laboratory and field techniques, protocols, and safety procedures
    • Each graduate will learn to read, construct, and comprehend thematic maps and derive perspective output from a map
    • Each graduate will demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge, concepts and techniques from complementary disciplines to solve problems

Related Links

Environmental Geoscience - Pre-Masters of Education, BA Program Page

Geography, Geology, and the Environment Department Page

Professional Licensure/Certification Page

Curriculum Guide

GPA Requirement

Major GPA: 2.0 or higher
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher


Rock Studies 2 Requirements43-45
Modern Language Requirement0-9
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Computer Competency0-3
Major Requirements43-46
Concentration Requirements6
Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements12

* All undergraduate degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits.  Some courses meet multiple requirements, but are only counted once toward the 120 credit total required to graduate.

Rock Studies 2 Requirements

The Rock
SUBJ 139Foundations of Academic Discovery 13
ENGL 102Critical Writing3
ENGL 104Critical Reading3
MATH 125Precalculus4
or MATH 225 Calculus I
Select one of the following:3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
Integrated Inquiry
Creative and Aesthetic Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Humanities Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Social Science Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Natural Sciences Inquiry
Select one of the following:3-4
Science of Life
CHEM 1xx
100 Level Chemistry & Lab
BIOL 1xx
100 Level Biology & Lab
Physical Science Inquiry
Select one of the following:3-4
Understanding the Physical World
EGEO 1xx
100 Level Environmental Geoscience & Lab
Thematic Thread
Select 12 Credits 212
Total Hours43-45

Course offered in multiple subjects; cannot take course in first major subject.


One course from each category; six credits must be 300-level or above; no more than 4 credits from one subject area; specific courses required in first major, regardless of prefix of course, cannot be used to satisfy thread requirements; any course with same prefix as first major cannot be used to satisfy thread requirements, even if it is not a course in the first major.

BA Modern Language Requirement

BA degree requires language proficiency at the 103 class level. Exemption by placement or examination is possible.

Complete 0-9 credits0-9
Total Hours0-9

Basic Math Requirement

Check with your adviser or a current degree audit report to see if you have been exempted from this course. The credit earned in this course will not be counted toward the 120 credit hour minimum needed to earn a degree.

Complete one of the following:0-3
Meet required minimum SAT or ACT math score OR
Beginning Algebra
Total Hours0-3

Computer Competency

Demonstrate "computer competency" by one of the following:0-3
Pass Computer Competency Exam OR
Select one of the following at SRU or another post-secondary institution:
Introduction to Computing for Liberal Arts
Computer Concepts
Introduction to Computing and Programming
Technology for Wellness
Total Hours0-3


Students must take and pass a course with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) designation prior to graduation.  Students can meet this requirement by taking any DEI - designated course in any program at any time during their undergraduate career. 

Major Requirements

  • 22 major credits must be taken at SRU or PASSHE
  • 22 major credits must be taken at the 300 level or above
Core Major Requirements
EGEO 1XXAny 100-level EGEO course3-4
EGEO 201Earth Materials and Processes/Lab4
EGEO 202Earth History/Lab4
EGEO 272Introduction to Georeports/Lab1
GES 115Introduction to Geospatial Technologies3
GES 205Cultural Geography3
GES 324Environmental Law and Policy3
GES 325Introduction to Geographic Information Science3
Capstone Experience
Select one of the following:3
World Environmental Cultures
Field Investigations in the Geosciences
Field Investigations in the Geosciences
Focus Area
Choose 10 credits from one of the following Focus Areas:10
A: Geology
B: Geospatial Technology
C: Environmental Science
D: Global Studies
E: Sustainable Communities
Any EGEO or GES 300 OR 400-level course3-4
Any EGEO or GES 300 OR 400-level course3-4
Total Hours43-46

Some courses may require pre-requisites. Please see course descriptions to determine if there are any pre-requisites for that specific course.


EGEO 303Paleontology/Lab4
EGEO 362Stratigraphy/Lab4
EGEO 327Structural Geology4
EGEO 328Plate Tectonics3
EGEO 358Introduction to Geophysics/Lab3
EGEO 342Glacial Geology/Lab3
EGEO 351Mineralogy/Lab4
EGEO 341Geomorphology/Lab3

Geospatial Technology

GES 315Cartography I3
GES 321Introduction to UAS for Remote Sensing and Monitoring3
GES 410Remote Sensing3
GES 415Cartography II3
GES 425Advanced Geographic Information Systems3
GES 426Environmental Modeling3

Environmental Science

EGEO 131Oceanography3
EGEO 360Introduction to Hydrology/Lab3
EGEO 340Air Pollution Meteorology3
EGEO 451Geochemistry/Lab4
EGEO 460Hydrogeology3
GES 355
GES 356
Earth's Changing Climate
and Earth's Changing Climate Laboratory

Global Studies

GES 201Latin America and the Caribbean3
GES 303Asia3
GES 307Australia3
GES 331Economic Geography3
GES 345Population Analysis3
GES 355
GES 356
Earth's Changing Climate
and Earth's Changing Climate Laboratory

Sustainable Communities

GES 215Planning for Sustainable Communities3
GES 235Conservation3
GES 344Environmental Justice3
GES 362Applications in Sustainability3
GES 361Gender and the Environment3
GES 355
GES 356
Earth's Changing Climate
and Earth's Changing Climate Laboratory

Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements

CHEM 107General Chemistry I3
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab1
MATH 125Precalculus4
or MATH 225 Calculus I
PHYS 201Elements of Physics I with Lab4
or PHYS 216 University Physics 1 with Lab
Total Hours12

Recommended Courses for Optional Environmental Geoscience Pre Masters in Education

SPED 121Overview of Special Education3
SEFE 338Standards-Based Instruction & Assessment in the Inclusionary Classroom3
Consult your adviser for additional courses

Co-curricular and Experiential Learning

Students are encouraged to explore additional curricular and co-curricular opportunities. There is a strong correlation between long-term student success and participation in the following types of programs and activities:

  1. International study programs (short-term, semester, and year-long)
  2. Student-faculty research
  3. Service Learning Courses
  4. Internships
  5. Volunteering

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

Environmental Geosciences - BA (6 35)
w/optional Pre Masters in Education (7-12) (PX)
This program is effective as of Fall 2019.
Revised 07.08.2022
UCC 10.26.2021 

Recommended Four-Year Plan

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
GES 115 Introduction to Geospatial Technologies 3
SUBJ 139Foundations of Academic Discovery 1 3
EGEO 131 Oceanography 3
ENGL 102 Critical Writing 3
ESAP 101 FYRST Seminar * 1
ENGL 104 Critical Reading 3
EGEO 201 Earth Materials and Processes/Lab 4
Creative and Aesthetic Inquiry 3
CHEM 107
CHEM 111
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
Free elective/minor 3
Second Year
EGEO 202 Earth History/Lab 4
Social Science Inquiry 3
Major elective 3-4
MATH 125 Precalculus 4
Free elective/minor 3
Declare a Thematic Thread 2
EGEO 272 Introduction to Georeports/Lab 1
COMM 200 Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice 3
Humanities Inquiry 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Free elective/minor 3
Third Year
GES 205 Cultural Geography 3
Major elective 3-4
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Free elective/minor 3
Free elective/minor 3
GES 325 Introduction to Geographic Information Science 3
GES 444 World Environmental Cultures 3
GES 324 Environmental Law and Policy 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Major elective 3-4
Fourth Year
Major elective 3-4
Major elective 3-4
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Free elective/minor 3
Major elective (if needed) 0-3
Free elective/minor 3
Free elective/minor 3
Free elective/minor 3
Free elective/minor 9
 Total Hours**120-128

Course offered in multiple subjects; cannot take course in first major subject


Work with your Academic Adviser to declare a Thematic Thread by the end of your fall semester in your second year.


Students are encouraged to take ESAP 101 as a Free Elective.

Major Code: 6 35
Concentration Code: PX
Revised: 11.16.2020

** This document is meant to serve as a guide. Some planners may show more than 120 credits because faculty have created flexibility in choosing courses.  However, only 120 credits are required to obtain a degree. Please consult with your academic adviser and refer to your curriculum guide prior to registering for courses. This plan should be reviewed, and verified, by you and your academic adviser at least once each academic year.