Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Slippery Rock University

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

The environmental geoscience (BS) track 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

Environmental Geoscience, BS

  • 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


Liberal Studies Requirements46-47
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Computer Competency0-3
Major Requirements58
Natural Science & 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.

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
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:9-10
Total Hours46-47


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/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
Any 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 list below9
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


EGEO 271Geotechniques: Lab 12
EGEO 323Planetary Geology 13
EGEO 328Plate Tectonics 13
EGEO 342Glacial Geology/Lab 13
EGEO 358Introduction to Geophysics/Lab 13
EGEO 360Introduction to Hydrology/Lab 13
EGEO 448X-ray Spectrometry 13
EGEO 451Geochemistry/Lab 14
EGEO 453Geotechniques: Geochemistry 11
EGEO 458Geophysical Field Methods/Lab 13
EGEO 460Hydrogeology 13
EGEO 469Field Investigations in the Geosciences 11-3
EGEO 476Geotechniques: Geophysics 11
EGEO 482Senior Seminar 11
EGEO 498Selected Topics 13
ENVS 311Environmental Monitoring and Sampling 13

Required Related Courses

These credits do not count towards the major
CHEM 108General Chemistry II3
CHEM 112General Chemistry II Lab1
PHYS 213General Physics III/ Lab4
Total Hours8

Natural Science & Math College Wide Requirement

CHEM 107General Chemistry I3
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab1
MATH 225Calculus I4
PHYS 211General Physics I with Lab4
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

Concentration in Geology (GEOL)
This program is effective as of Fall 2016.
Revised 8-2018