Ohio University

Environmental Geology Major B.S.

Students in Desonier Nature Preserve with Dr. Greg Springer.
  • Day- or weekend-long field trips to learn geology in the field
  • Capstone six-week field camp in the Appalachian Mountains and Montana
  • Preparation for careers in environmental science, conservation, natural resources management, land-use planning, environmental quality control, water resources, and water quality
  • Preparation for graduate school

Admissions Information

Degree Requirements

Undergraduate Coordinator: Dr. Keith Milam

Program Overview

The pre-professional program in environmental geology is designed to provide students with broad training for careers in many aspects of environmental science. In many areas, the student should anticipate further training at the graduate level. Consult with the undergraduate adviser in the Geological Sciences Department before planning a schedule of coursework.

The program begins with an introductory geology course, most often GEOL 1010 - How the Earth Works. However, several other introductory-level courses can substitute with students entering the major after taking such diverse classes as GEOL 1200 - The Mobile Earth, GEOL 1350 - Natural Disasters, and GEOL 2310 - Water and Pollution. (A full list is available below.) Entering students who have not taken GEOL 1010 or GEOL 2830 - Geology for Engineers complete GEOL 2020 – Introductory Geology Lab, a 1-credit lab course.

There are 10 core courses (44 total credit hours) and a field course (6 credit hours). Some courses are taken as a student's schedule allows, others form a sequence and must be taken consecutively. Many of the courses include a lab. Most classes take one or more day- or weekend-long field trips to learn geology in the field.

Students are required to take at least one 4000-level course as an elective. (Three total credit hours are needed, which can be attained from a single course.) A multi-week field course (GEOL 4960 - Field Geology) is one of the capstone Tier III courses and is taken during the summer. The course lasts six weeks and is typically taken immediately after a student's junior or senior year. The course begins with several weeks of fieldwork in Ohio and the Appalachian Mountains, followed by several weeks in Montana. Alumni often describe the field course as the most enjoyable and memorable part of their undergraduate experience.

Careers and Graduate School

Graduates with a degree in Geological Sciences – Environmental Geology are prepared for a variety of career paths. Students can pursue positions with employers in the petroleum industry, state and national government agencies, research laboratories, state highway departments, mining companies, civil engineering firms, surveying companies, consulting firms, museums, public and private K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, etc. Students also are adequately prepared to pursue graduate work in their field of interest.

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Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy: No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Degree Requirements

Major code BS3323

University-wide Graduation Requirements

To complete this program, students must meet all University-wide graduation requirements.

College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences

View the College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences.

Geological Sciences – Environmental Geology Major Requirements

The major requirement for the (B.S.) degree in Geological Sciences – Environmental Geology requires 44 hours.

Introductory Geology Course

This requirement may be satisfied by taking one of the three following options.

Option 1

Complete the following course:

  • GEOL 1010 - How the Earth Works Credit Hours: 4.0

Option 2

Complete the following course, plus an additional course as a prerequisite.

  • GEOL 2020 - Introductory Geology Lab Credit Hours: 1.0

Plus one of the following courses:

  • GEOL 1200 - The Mobile Earth Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 1300 - Geology of the National Parks Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 1350 - Natural Disasters Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 1400 – Dinosaurs and the Mesozoic Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2080 - Geology of the Solar System Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2150 - Environmental Geology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2170 – Water Resources and Sustainability Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2210 - Earth and Life History Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2310 - Water and Pollution Credit Hours: 3.0

Option 3

Complete the following course:

  • GEOL 2830 - Geology for Engineers Credit Hours: 4.0

Environmental Geology Core Courses

Complete a total of 44 semester hours of GEOL coursework, including the following.

Earth Materials Courses

Choose either:

  • GEOL 3120 – Earth Materials and Resources Credit Hours: 3.0
  • or GEOL 3150 – Mineralogy Credit Hours: 4.0 and GEOL 3201 – Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology Credit Hours: 4.0

Environmental Geology Courses

Complete the following courses:

  • GEOL 2550 – Historical Geology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 3300 – Principles of Geomorphology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 3500 – Stratigraphy-Sedimentology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 3600 – Structural Geology Credit Hours: 4.0
  • GEOL 3700 – Groundwater Fundamentals and Practices Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 4270 – Water Geochemistry Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 4290 – Contaminant Geochemistry Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 4800 – Principles of Hydrogeology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 4960 – Field Geology Credit Hours: 6.0 
    (Please note: GEOL 4960 requires students to enroll for a summer semester.)

Statistics Courses

Complete one of the following courses:

  • GEOL 3050 – Statistical Methods in Geology Credit Hours: 4.0
  • MATH 2500 – Introduction to Statistics Credit Hours: 4.0
  • GEOG 2710 – Introduction to Statistics in Geography Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PSY 2110 – Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences Credit Hours: 4.0
    (Please note: Only GEOL 3050 will count toward GEOL required hours.)

Environmental Geology Elective

Complete either an additional 4000-level course in GEOL or: 

  • GEOG 4730 – Principles of GIS Credit Hours: 4.0

Geological Sciences Majors Extra-Departmental Requirements

Complete the following three components.

Component 1: Calculus

Complete the following course:

  • MATH 2301 - Calculus I Credit Hours: 4.0

Component 2: Chemistry

Complete one of the following two options.

Option 1: Principles of Chemistry

Complete the following courses:

  • CHEM 1210 - Principles of Chemistry I Credit Hours: 4.0
  • CHEM 1220 - Principles of Chemistry II Credit Hours: 4.0

Option 2: Principles of Chemistry

Complete the following courses:

  • CHEM 1510 - Fundamentals of Chemistry I Credit Hours: 4.0
  • CHEM 1520 - Fundamentals of Chemistry II Credit Hours: 4.0

Component 3: Biology or Physics

Complete one of the following five options.

Option 1: Physics

Complete the following courses:

  • PHYS 2001 - Introduction to Physics Credit Hours: 4.0
  • PHYS 2002 - Introduction to Physics Credit Hours: 4.0

Option 2: Physics

Complete the following courses:

  • PHYS 2051 - General Physics Credit Hours: 5.0
  • PHYS 2052 - General Physics Credit Hours: 5.0

Option 3: Physics

Complete the following courses:

  • PHYS 2051 - General Physics Credit Hours: 5.0
  • PHYS 2002 - Introduction to Physics Credit Hours: 4.0

Option 4: Biology

Complete the following courses:

  • BIOS 1700 - Biological Sciences I: Molecules and Cells Credit Hours: 3.0
  • BIOS 1705 – Biological Sciences I Laboratory Credit Hours: 1.0
  • BIOS 1710 - Biological Sciences II: Ecology, Evolution, Animal Body Systems Credit Hours: 3.0
  • BIOS 1715 - Biological Sciences II Laboratory Credit Hours: 1.0

Option 5: Plant Biology

Complete the following courses:

  • PBIO 1140 – Foundations of Plant Biology Credit Hours: 4.0
  • PBIO 1150 – Plant Structure and Development Credit Hours: 4.0