May 28, 2020  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geology, BS

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I. Introduction

The mission of the Geology Program is to provide integrated and process-oriented curricula, based on fundamental scientific principles and processes that enable graduates to pursue challenging careers and maintain lifelong learning. The Geology Program is designed to serve students majoring in geology and environmental science as well as students in other fields who are interested in adding to their knowledge of the Earth. Support is also provided for students preparing to earn certification for teaching at the K-12 level, and interested non-science majors. Members of the geoscience faculty provide majors with a broad overview of geologic processes while offering the opportunity to pursue specialized knowledge in selected areas of geoscience in preparation for graduate study and careers in government, industry, or academia.

Students can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology by following the degree plan for geology majors as described below. Students considering certification for 4-8 level science teaching should consult the Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMTE) section of this catalog.

Student learning outcomes

Students will:

  • show competence in scientific inquiry, writing, and oral presentation;
  • demonstrate a broad understanding of major concepts central to the geological sciences;
  • demonstrate competency and be able to apply field and laboratory methods, perform data analysis, and utilize computer applications relevant to the geological sciences;
  • be employable in geology-related fields, or able to continue their education in graduate programs;
  • be able to evaluate and critically discuss issues related to geology that impact society.

Geology Major

The minimum requirement for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology is a total of 120 hours, divided among the following areas:

  Sem. Hrs

 I.      University Core Curriculum Programs  

             (and First-Year Seminars)

II.     Supporting Courses
III.    Geology Core
IV.    Electives



8 (23)


  Total 120 (122)


I. University Core and First-Year Seminars

See catalog section on University Core Curriculum Programs  42 Sem. Hrs.*

Please consult the faculty advisor for specific details.

Full-time first-year students must take


*Students majoring in geology should take Calculus I to fulfill the mathematics requirement of the Core Curriculum Program.

II. Supporting Courses

 Supporting courses may not be taken on a pass/no pass (P/NP) basis.

Total: 14-26


**Fifteen of these hours may be used to fulfill the University Core Curriculum science and mathematics requirements. In that case, the lesser total shown does not include the 12 hours applied to the core. The additional one hour laboratory component for MATH 2413  will be counted in the supporting courses.

Total: 42

IV. Additional Electives

Additional courses selected in consultation with a student’s faculty mentor. Electives may be from Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Geographic Information Science, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, or other appropriate areas.

It is highly recommend that students planning on attending graduate school upon graduation take additional math courses (e.g. MATH 2414) required by many graduate programs.

Total: 13

Optional Minor in Another Subject

Geology majors may choose to complete a minor in an approved subject. Course requirements for the minor involve at least 18 semester hours, and the content is specified by faculty in the minor field. Minors in biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, geographic information science, and mathematics are generally appropriate for geology majors. Minors in other disciplines or combination minors may be arranged in consultation with the academic advisor.

Fast Track from Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree

Geology, BS and Environmental Science, MS

The university allows the opportunity for high-achieving students to count a select number of graduate credits toward their undergraduate degree and thereby obtain a graduate degree at an accelerated pace. Students interested in the Fast Track from Geology to Environmental Science must meet the following application criteria:

  • Currently seeking a BS in Geology at A&M-Corpus Christi.
  • Minimum of a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 SCH (and a 3.0 GPA in all science and math courses) at the time of Fast Track application.
  • Classified as a Senior with successful completion of at least 90 SCH, including CHEM 1411, CHEM 1412, GEOL 1403, GEOL 1404, MATH 2413, PHYS 1401 or PHYS 2425, PHYS 1402 or PHYS 2426, and GEOL 3411.

Students accepted into the Fast Track program will be given permission to enroll in up to six hours of prescribed graduate courses during their last semester of undergraduate studies. The hours for these graduate courses will “double-count” toward both the undergraduate and graduate programs. The BS and MS degrees will be awarded sequentially (i.e., upon completion of each degree) and not simultaneously. Students will be allowed to continue enrollment in the graduate program upon successful completion of the undergraduate degree.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must provide the following at the time of application:

  • A completed application form. Application fees are waived for Fast Track applicants.
  • Official transcripts of all college and university coursework.
  • An essay of at least 300 words describing their educational and career interests, goals, and challenges.
  • Three letters of evaluation from persons knowledgeable about their potential for success in graduate studies.
  • Identify a faculty member willing to serve as their graduate advisor. Applicants will not be admitted to the program without a graduate advisor.
  • Official GRE scores by the time the student is reclassified to MS.

No criterion is weighted more heavily than any other criterion. Applications received or completed after the deadline for admission during one semester may be considered for admission in the following semester at the applicant’s request. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email.

Academic Preparation

Students accepted to the degree program with insufficient background in science, computer science, mathematics, or communication skills will be required to take undergraduate or graduate prerequisite courses prescribed by their advisory committees. These courses may or may not apply towards the total required for the master’s degree.

Fast Track Curriculum in the Senior Year

BS, Geology students accepted in the Fast Track will have up to six hours of undergraduate elective credit replaced with six hours of graduate credit during the final semester of the senior year. A Fast Track student, in consultation with the faculty adviser, will be able to substitute six hours of undergraduate courses from BIOL, CHEM, COSC, ESCI, GEOL, GISC, MATH, PHYS, or other disciplines as approved. 

In place of the six hours of undergraduate courses, the student will take two of the following graduate courses instead:

  • ESCI 5302 OR ESCI 5360 OR BLAW 5330
  • GEOL 5490
  • ESCI 5330
  • ESCI 5370
  • ESCI 5596
  • GEOL 5596
  • An approved graduate elective.

See the Graduate Catalog for a complete description of the degree requirements for the MS in Environmental Science.

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