BA in Geology

The BA degree program, providing flexible, broad training in the earth sciences, is for students who wish to combine the geology major with teacher preparation (K–12), environmental studies, land-use planning, science journalism, environmental law, natural resource management/business or similar majors. The BA degree also is suited to students discovering geology as an interest later in their college or life experience. This program represents a minimum proficiency. Students are strongly advised to elect additional courses in geology and supporting sciences if they are interested in pursuing graduate studies in the geosciences after earning the BA.

Program Requirements

A minimum total of 120 credit hours is required for the BA in geology. In addition to meeting the requirements of the WSU General Education Program and the requirements of Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, students must meet the following requirements.

A major with the BA requires a minimum of 30 credit hours in geology, including:

Course Title Hours
General Education
Select courses to meet General Education requirements 134-35
College Requirements
LAS Competencies and Electives - select enough courses to reach 120 credit hours and complete all LAS Competency Areas 134-40
Required Core Courses
GEOL 102Earth Science and the Environment4
or GEOL 111 General Geology
GEOL 302Earth and Space Sciences3
GEOL 312Historical Geology4
GEOL 320Mineralogy and Optical Mineralogy4
GEOL 522Sedimentology and Stratigraphy4
GEOL 544Structural Geology3
Capstone Course
Select one of the following capstone courses3-6
Geochemical Cycling
Field Geology
Geologic Perspectives on Climatic Change
Additional Courses
Select an additional 6 credit hours of electives chosen from the catalog listings for geology to match the student’s career interest and in consultation with an advisor from the geology department6
Required Supporting Sciences 2
STAT 370Elementary Statistics3
MATH 112Precalculus Mathematics3-5
or MATH 123 College Trigonometry
CHEM 103Introductory General, Organic and Biochemistry5
or CHEM 211 General Chemistry I
PHYS 111Introductory Physics (if the student did not have high school physics)4
Total Credit Hours120

Required major courses may also count towards General Education and/or LAS Competencies. Students will need to select additional electives to reach 120 credit hours required for graduation with assistance from an advisor.


It is recommended that the required supporting sciences courses be taken prior to, or at least concurrently with, the required core courses in geology listed above.

Students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in environmental sciences should also consider taking PHYS 213 and PHYS 214, BIOL 210 and BIOL 418, CHEM 211 and CHEM 212, and MATH 242 or earning a BS degree in geology.

Applied Learning

Students in the BA in geology program are required to complete an applied learning or research experience to graduate from this program. The requirement can be met by taking either GEOL 640 or GEOL 650. Successful completion of either course will serve as fulfillment of the university's applied learning/research experience requirement.