Nov 23, 2020  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Geology, BS

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. 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.      Core Curriculum Program   

II.     First-year Seminars (when applicable)*

III.     Supporting Courses
IV.    Geology Core
V.    Geology Tracks

*Full-time first year students are required to take UNIV-1101 and UNIV-1102.






  Total 120 (122)

I. University Core Curriculum

See catalog section on the 42 SCH Core Curriculum Program . Please consult the faculty advisor for specific details.

Students majoring in Geology use the following courses to fulfill parts of the University Core Curriculum:

Total: 42 SCH

II. First-year Seminars (when applicable)*

*Full-time first year students are required to take UNIV-1101 and UNIV-1102.

Total: 2 SCH

III. Supporting Courses

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

Total: 8 SCH

Total: 42 SCH

V. Choose one of the following tracks:

  1. General Geology
  2. Geochemistry
  3. Environmental Geology
  4. Energy Resources

1. General Geology

The General Geology track is designed to serve students majoring in geology and environmental science as well as students in other fields who are interested in a broad overview of geologic processes. In addition, there are opportunities to pursue specialized knowledge in selected areas of geoscience in preparation for graduate study and careers in government, industry, or academia.

Designated Electives

Total: 15 SCH

Approved Science Electives

Choose 13 SCH from Environmental Science, Chemistry, Geographic Information Science, Engineering, Physics, Biology, Mathematics or other appropiate area. See also the designated electives listed on the Geochemistry, Environmental Geology and Energy Resources Tracks.

Total: 28 SCH

2. Geochemistry Track

The Geochemistry track focuses on the relationships between aqueous solutions, equilibrium thermodynamics and kinetics, acid-base equilibria, redox reactions, carbon chemistry, organic compounds, biogeochemical cycles, microbial influences and gelogical processes. These relationships are applied to understand the complex interactions among the atmospheric, continental and marine environments. Must take GEOL 4416 Introduction to Geochemistry  in Geology core courses. 

Designated Electives

Total : 24 SCH

Total: 28 SCH

3. Environmental Geology Track

The Environmental Geology track is designed to provide students with a broad training for carriers in different aspects of the environmental geosciences including: water resources, water quality, and the hydrogeochemistry of natural waters. Must take GEOL 4444 Hydrogeology  in the Geology core courses. Note that PHYS-2425/2426 University Physiscs and MATH 2414  are required for some courses part of this track.

Total: 28 SCH

4. Energy Resources Track

The Energy Resources track offers the engineering and geology background for exploration and production of hydrocarbons, gas hydrates and renewable resources such as geothermal energy. Must take PHYS 2425 University Physics I  and PHYS 2426 University Physics II  in Supporting courses.

Designated Electives

Total: 20-21 SCH

Total: 28 SCH

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.