Jul 17, 2024  
2020-2021 General Catalog 

Geosciences (B.A.)

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Program Summary

The geology faculty strive to provide students at Southern Utah University with excellent opportunities in earth science education. The geosciences degree is an integrative program that prepares students with a solid background in geology, and also presents students with the flexibility to shape their major to meet the demands of interdisciplinary careers within and outside of the earth sciences. This program uniquely enables students to choose personalized paths to a degree that most suits their career goals. The mission of this degree program is to provide:

  1. A thorough background in geology.
  2. A scientific competency in the supportive disciplines of math and chemistry.
  3. Integrative elective paths for students who choose to pursue graduate studies and careers in geoscience or other interdisciplinary fields, including earth science education. Potential geoscience career pathways that would benefit from this program include paleontology or paleobiology, hydrology or hydrogeology, environmental consulting, resource management or outdoor recreation, and many others.
  4. Broad understanding of the dynamic Earth, its resources and hazards, and the ways humans interact with the landscape, so that students enter their communities as well-informed, science-literate citizens.

As with any B.A. degree on campus, students are required to take 31-36 General Education  credits, 16 language credits, and all other university-required credits. In addition to the GE requirements, students will be required to take 37 credits in the Geology Core. Students will also be required to complete 11 credits within Geology Electives and 15 credits from the Integrative Elective lists. Finally, students will be required to complete any remaining free elective credit for a complete total of 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree.

The Integrative Electives list includes courses from a variety of disciplines that intersect with the geosciences in important ways. These classes will help students prepare for fields involving geochemical and geospatial thinking, environmental and paleontological consulting, communication and collaboration, and technology and geophysical work. Students are not required to complete all 15 credits from a single discipline; instead, students should tailor their Integrative Electives choices to a career or academic goal. Some upper-division Integrative Electives will require prerequisites, but these will count toward the final credit requirements.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will gain a broad education that includes significant exposure to geology subfields and a variety of other disciplines. Their exposure to other disciplines will help students make connections regarding geology’s influence on our society.

Program Information

  • All courses must be passed with a “C” (2.0) or better to be counted in the major.
  • All prerequisite courses must be passed with “C” (2.0) or better.
  • Credits greater than 10 years old will not be accepted for this degree.
  • Some courses are taught every other year. Consult your Student Success Advisor for scheduling help.

Program Prerequisites

The Department of Physical Science strongly recommends that students complete the following courses as part of their General Education , as they are prerequisites for required major courses and/or requirements for graduation. Students who do not complete these courses as part of General Education can potentially add additional credits and time to their degree. These courses may or may not need to be taken before starting any major courses; consult a Student Success Advisor for details.

PICK ONE PAIR FROM THE LIST BELOW – Students must complete four (4) credits from one of the pairs of the lecture and lab courses from the following (can be used to fulfill General Education Physical Sciences Knowledge Area):

General Education Requirement (30-35 Credits)

See General Education  for course options.

  • Core Course Requirements (12-15 Credits)
  • Knowledge Area Requirements (16-20 Credits)

Please note: All students must complete a minimum of 30 credits between the Core and Knowledge Area requirements.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Requirement (16 Credits**)

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree - Foreign Language requirement 16 Credits

** Note: One semester of a foreign language may also fulfill the General Education  Humanities requirement. The 16 credits may be fulfilled by taking four semesters of a foreign language or by testing out of a language and purchasing the credits. These credits are typically counted in the degree total at the bottom of the page. Consult your Student Success Advisor for details. 

Geosciences Curriculum Summary (63 Credits)

Integrative Electives (15 Credits)

Students must choose 15 credits from any of the following courses in any of the areas/sections. Students are not restricted to any one discipline or category, but upper-level courses generally require other courses from this list as a prerequisite. These prerequisites thus count as integrative electives toward the final degree.


Free Electives (6-17 Credits)

Total elective credit is determined by General Education courses taken, degree type selected, additional credits earned, and any additional math or other prerequisite courses needed. For a bachelor’s degree, students must earn a minimum of 40 upper-division credits (courses numbered 3000-4999). Students may need to select additional upper-division courses not included in their major requirements in order to reach this minimum. Please consult your Student Success Advisor for details.

Total Credits, B.A. Degree: 120

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