Geology is the study of processes affecting the earth — geological, hydrological, and chemical.

Geology majors study past and present-day interrelationships between earth components and earth processes: rocks, minerals, fossils, landforms, structural features, earthquakes, glaciers, magmas, volcanoes, atmospheric gases, surface water, subsurface water, and environmental pollutants. Required coursework in geology is integrated with required or recommended coursework in forestry, soils, hydrology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

Requirements for the Major in Geology

The major requires successful completion of the following:

Course Requirements 1
GEOL 121Physical Geology (Lab)4
GEOL 221Mineralogy (Lab)4
GEOL 230Paleoecology4
GEOL 325Field and Structural Geology (Lab)4
GEOL 332Oral Presentations2
Select five additional courses in Geology (GEOL) numbered 200 or above 1, 220
Select three of the following courses: 312
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (Lab)
Plant Ecology (Lab)
Ecology (Lab)
Evolutionary Biology
General Chemistry (Lab)
Advanced General Chemistry (Lab)
Organic Chemistry I (Lab)
Solution and Solid State Chemistry (Lab)
Introduction to Modeling and Programming
Fundamentals of GIS
Advanced Applications of GIS
Calculus I
Calculus II
Multidimensional Calculus
Linear Algebra
Differential Equations
General Physics I (Lab)
General Physics II (Lab)
Modern Mechanics (Lab)
Electric and Magnetic Interactions (Lab)
Solar System Astronomy (Lab)
Elementary Statistics
Total Semester Hours50
Additional Requirements
A comprehensive examination
A designated writing-intensive course in the major
Department capstone requirement, which may be satisfied by:
a. Completing independent study project that culminates in a technical paper or a presentation at Scholarship Sewanee which as been approved by the department chair as fulfilling this requirement; or,
b. Completing a summer research experience, such as an NSF REU or Sewanee SURF which as been approved by the department chair as fulfilling this requirement; or,
c. Completing ESCI 450 during the spring semester of their senior year.

Must include at least one writing intensive geology course.


A field camp or research experience that has been pre-approved by your major advisor may substitute for up to four credits.


Students interested in attending graduate school are encouraged to take additional foundational math and sciences courses.