Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Slippery Rock University

Environmental Geoscience, Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Liberal Studies

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. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Environmental Geoscience, BA

  • 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, 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


Liberal Studies Requirements46
Modern Language Requirement0-9
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Computer Competency0-3
Major Requirements43-48
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.

Liberal Studies Requirements

See Liberal Studies Guide for Goal and Enrichment choices

Goal Course Requirements
Complete Goal requirements as indicated below
Basic Requirements
ENGL 102Critical Writing3
ENGL 104Critical Reading3
COMM 200Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice3
The Arts
Global Community
Human Institutions/Interpersonal Relationships
Science, Technology & Math
Select from the following recommended courses:9-10
Elements of Physics I with Lab
General Physics I with Lab
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry I Lab
Calculus I
Challenges of the Modern Age
Enrichment Course Requirements
Select one course from three of the following Enrichment Areas:9
Total Hours45-46


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

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
Any 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


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 211 General Physics I with Lab
Total Hours12

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

w/optional Pre Masters in Education (7-12) (PX)
This program is effective as of Fall 2019.
Revised 07.2019
UCC 04.23.2019