Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Slippery Rock University

Environmental Geoscience, Bachelor of Science (BS) - Concentration in Geology

The environmental geoscience (BS) concentration in geology 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.

Demand for the professional geologist comes from the needs of engineering, hydrogeologic and environmental firms; geological surveys; oil, gas and mining companies; state and national parks; museums; conservation agencies; planning commissions; and teaching institutions. A student who completes a bachelor of science in geology will have the basis for entry to graduate schools or for employment as a geologist.

Candidates completing this program are eligible to sit for the two-part Association State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) examination required for a Professional Geologist license in Pennsylvania. The first examination, Fundamentals of Geology, can be taken upon graduation. The second examination, Principles and Practices of Geology, can be taken after working for five years. Regulations for licensing vary by state and you are urged to check with the licensing board in the state you will be working.

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 - Geology, BS 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 Requirements45
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Computer Competency0-3
Major/Concentration Requirements58
Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirement12

* 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 225Calculus I4
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
CHEM 107
CHEM 111
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab 2
Physical Science Inquiry
PHYS 216University Physics 1 with Lab 24
Thematic Thread
Select 12 Credits 312
Total Hours45

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


Course counts for 50% of Major requirements and Major GPA


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.

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/Concentration Requirements

  • 29 major credits must be taken at SRU or PASSHE
  • 29 major credits must be taken at the 300 level or above
Environmental Geoscience Core
EGEO 1XXAny 100-level EGEO course 13
EGEO 201Earth Materials and Processes/Lab 14
EGEO 202Earth History/Lab 14
EGEO 203Quantitative Methods 13
EGEO 272Introduction to Georeports/Lab 11
Geology Core Program Requirements
EGEO 303Paleontology/Lab 14
EGEO 327Structural Geology 14
EGEO 341Geomorphology/Lab 13
EGEO 351Mineralogy/Lab 14
EGEO 352Petrology/Lab 14
EGEO 362Stratigraphy/Lab 14
Select nine credits from the following:9
Geotechniques: Lab 1
Planetary Geology 1
Plate Tectonics 1
Glacial Geology/Lab 1
Introduction to Geophysics/Lab 1
Introduction to Hydrology/Lab 1
X-ray Spectrometry 1
Geochemistry/Lab 1
Geotechniques: Geochemistry 1
Geophysical Field Methods/Lab 1
Hydrogeology 1
Field Investigations in the Geosciences 1
Geotechniques: Geophysics 1
Senior Seminar 1
Selected Topics 1
Environmental Monitoring and Sampling 1
Field Camp
Select four credits minimum at an acceptable field station
EGEO 399Field Camp 14
Related Courses
GES 325Introduction to Geographic Information Science 13
or GES 410 Remote Sensing
MATH 230Calculus II 14
Total Hours58

Course counts for 50% of Major requirements and Major GPA


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

Required Related Courses

These credits do not count towards the major
CHEM 108General Chemistry II3
CHEM 112General Chemistry II Lab1
PHYS 217University Physics 2 with Lab4
Total Hours8

Natural Science & Math College-Wide Requirement

CHEM 107General Chemistry I3
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab1
MATH 225Calculus I4
PHYS 216University Physics 1 with Lab4
Total Hours12

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 classes
  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

Concentration in Geology (GEOL)
This program is effective as of Fall 2020
Revised 12.06.2021
UCC 10.26.2021 

Recommended Four-Year Plan

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
EGEO 131 Oceanography 3
SUBJ 139Foundations of Academic Discovery 1 3
ENGL 102 Critical Writing 3
ESAP 101 FYRST Seminar * 1
Creative & Aesthetic Inquiry 3
Humanities Inquiry 3
ENGL 104 Critical Reading 3
EGEO 201 Earth Materials and Processes/Lab 4
Social Science Inquiry 3
MATH 125 Precalculus 4
Elective 3
Second Year
EGEO 202 Earth History/Lab 4
CHEM 107
CHEM 111
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
MATH 225 Calculus I 4
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Declare a Thematic Thread 2
Select one of the following: 3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
CHEM 108
CHEM 112
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
MATH 230 Calculus II 4
EGEO 203 Quantitative Methods 3
EGEO 272 Introduction to Georeports/Lab 1
Third Year
EGEO 360 Introduction to Hydrology/Lab 3
EGEO 362 Stratigraphy/Lab 4
PHYS 211 General Physics I with Lab 4
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Major Elective 3
EGEO 303 Paleontology/Lab 4
EGEO 341 Geomorphology/Lab 3
PHYS 213 General Physics III/ Lab 4
Thematic Thread Requirement (Upper Level) 3
Major elective 3
Fourth Year
GES 325 Introduction to Geographic Information Science 3
EGEO 351 Mineralogy/Lab 4
EGEO 327 Structural Geology 4
Major Elective 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
GES 410 Remote Sensing 3
EGEO 352 Petrology/Lab 4
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Major elective 3
Field Camp (summer) 0-4
 Total Hours**127-131

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: 6124
Concentration: GEOL
Revised: 08.27.2021