Minor in Geology
The Department of Geology revised its undergraduate curriculum in 1998. Changing our curriculum was made in response to recognizing that the earth sciences have evolved into a collective and collaborative discipline. Important advances in our understanding of Earth materials, processes, and history are being made by integrating different branches of Geology.
More than ever before, earth scientists from different subdisciplines are collaborating to establish links among different Earth systems (for example, erosion and the geomorphic evolution of the Himalayas has helped govern its tectonic and metamorphic evolution). To this end, the Geology Department welcomes students from all other disciplines to pursue a minor in Geology.
The College of Arts & Sciences requires a minimum of 36 credits for a minor degree. To be awarded a Minor in Geology, students must complete at least 36 credits from courses offered by the Geology Department. At least 6 of these 36 credits must come from field study. Geology courses from all levels may count towards the Minor in Geology. Students may design their own program of study, including the 6 credits from field study. In addition, the Department offers two specific plans that students may satisfy the 36 credit requirement. Details are given below.
Three steps need to be completed in order for acknowledgment of the completed minor degree in Geology to be posted to the student's official U.C. transcript:
- Students must complete the College's "Application for Minor" form. These forms are available from the Geology Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies.
- Students are responsible for providing grade reports and/or transcripts to the Department of Geology so that progress towards completing the minor degree may be monitored.
- Upon completion of the Geology minor, the "Completion of Minor" form (the bottom half of the "Application" form) must be signed by the Geology Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies.
All students working towards a Minor in Geology should seek regular advice about their course selections and degree progress from members of the Geology faculty. The Department of Geology has an Undergraduate Policy Committee and an Undergraduate Program Director. At present, the Undergraduate Program Director is Dr. Carl Brett (G/P room 510). The Undergraduate Policy Committee is composed of Dr. Brett and Drs. Warren Huff (G/P room 614), Tom Lowell (G/P room 604), and Craig Dietsch (G/P room 605).
The Geology Department recognizes that our discipline and our Major and Minor degree programs attract many different kinds of students with a variety of backgrounds and interests. Our Department's 200-level "core courses" serve as the unifying set of courses for all Geology Majors. These core courses are recommended for students pursuing a Minor in Geology.
Students must complete at least 36 credits from courses offered by the Geology Department. Courses may include those at the 100-, 200-, 300-, 400-, or 500-level.
The Department offers two specific plans of how students may satisfy the 36 credit requirement:
- Plan 1: A broad-based program composed of 9 credits (generally 3 courses) at the 100-level, 12-18 credits of Geology core courses (3-6 courses), 6-9 credits at the 300-, 400- or 500-level (generally 2-3 courses) and 6 credits of field study (see below).
- Plan 2: A more specialized program composed of at least 6 credits from one of the 2-course sets of Geology core courses (see below), at least 15 credits (generally 5 courses) at the 500-level, and 6 credits of field study (see below). The remaining credits may come from 100-level courses, other 200-level core courses, and/or 300-, 400-, or 500-level courses.
Students may also design their own program.
Overview of courses
100-level courses are designed for beginning majors and any student interested in the geosciences. The Department offers a wide range of 100-level courses, including courses in physical and historical geology, environmental geology, oceanography, global change, the geology of cities, national parks, and coral reefs, and the evolution of life. 100-level geology laboratories offer hands-on experience in mineral and rock identification, topographic and geologic maps, elementary structural geology, tectonics, stratigraphy, surface processes, and field experience in the geology of Cincinnati and the region.
200-level courses are required for Geology Majors, but are open to any student who wants more in-depth knowledge and skills-based, practical experience in earth science. Students who have taken all or part of our physical and historical geology sequence Introduction to Geology (GEOL 101-102-103) and one or more Geology Laboratories (GEOL 111-112-113) are especially well prepared for our 200-level "core courses".
Two courses each in Solid Earth geology (GEOL 201 [3 credits, fall] and GEOL 202 [3 credits, winter]), Earth's Surface geology (GEOL 203 [3 credits, fall] and GEOL 204 [3 credits, spring]), and Geobiology/Earth history (GEOL 205 [3 credits, winter] and GEOL 206 [3 credits, spring]) are offered every year.
300-level courses are meant for students working towards a Minor in Geology and non-majors. They cover a wide variety of topics: dinosaurs, gems, environmental volcanology, the deep time of geology, and the geology of Cincinnati.
400-level courses are designed for independent study. Students who sign up for a 400-level Individual Work in Geology choose a section linked to a particular faculty member with whom they work. With small groups of students, 400-level courses may cover special topics in a seminar or may involve field work.
500-level courses usually cover subdisciplines in geology that reflect the research interests of the Geology faculty. Many of them are offered in alternate years. Nearly all require one or more prerequisites. Students who have completed 200-level core courses are ready for 500-level courses.
Field work and field experience is an essential part of the Minor (and Major) in Geology. At least 6 of the 36 credits required for the Minor in Geology must come from field study. This part of the Minor in Geology may be satisfied in at least 3 ways:
- Completing a Department-approved summer field course, field camp, research station program, or similar experience; and/or
- Attending at least 2 of the following Geology Department field trips: Earth System Field Trip (GEOL 207 and GEOL 208), Glacial Field Methods (GEOL 575), and Advanced Geology Field Trip (GEOL 576); and/or
- Students may take courses that have a major field component: currently, these courses include Geology Laboratory (GEOL 113); Earth's Surface I (GEOL 203) and II (GEOL 204), Geobiology II (GEOL 206), Geology of Cincinnati (GEOL 362), and Glacial Geology (GEOL 574).
Students may use the guidelines of Plans (1) and (2) above, or students may select their own set of courses in pursuit of the 36 credits required for a Minor in Geology. At least 6 credits of field study are required for a Minor in Geology.