Undergraduate Program

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Be sure to check the online schedule of classes for the official schedules. Make sure to select the New Brunswick campus. The subject code for all Geological Sciences courses is 460.

Note: We strive to maintain the accuracy of the information presented here and on linked pages. However, this information is subject to change without notice. The only offical course syllabus is the one handed out in class by the instructor, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Prospective Students and Student advisors

The following list of courses in Geological Sciences offered by the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (formally Department of Geological Sciences) that can be used to fulfill the SAS science requirement. All of the 460:100 and 460:200 courses can be taken by beginning as well as advanced students of any major, most do not require any prerequisites. Most students normally take 460:100 Planet Earth first, but are equally welcome to take one of the 200 level survey courses depending on their personal interest (and meet pre-reqs,). 460:100 as well as all 200 level courses are designed primarily for non-majors and are taught at the introductory level.

460:101: Introductory Geology is also open to all students, but is intended more for those majoring in any of the sciences or for those with more background or interest in science. It is also a required course for the major and minor in Geological Sciences, Department of Earth and Planetary Science.

Introductory and Survey Courses for non-majors

01:460:100 Introductory Geology I: Planet Earth

Introductory geology for the non-science major, designed to give a broad, basic understanding of the planet on which we reside, its age and origin, composition and evolution, interrelationships of Earth's major physical systems, scientific revolutions in Earth Science, and the role the physical Earth plays in global politics and economics.

Instructors: 8 sections. Instructors vary from semester to semester, taught primarily by faculty of all levels and staff. Please check current course listings.
Prerequisites: None

Note: Designed for non-science majors and minors; partially fullfils science requirement for all colleges. Credit not given for both 460:100 and 460:101.

01:460:120 Introductory Oceanography

The course is designed to introduce students to the oceans through methods, rationale and discoveries with emphasis on the seafloor. Designed for majors and minors.

Instructors: Prof. P. Rona
Website: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~parona/

Note: Partially fullfils science requirement for all colleges.

01:460:201 Earthquakes and Volcanos

Plate tectonics and the origin of earthquakes and volcanoes: causes, mechanisms, consequences, and effect on man.

Instructors: Prof. M.J. Carr, Prof. Levin and Staff
Prerequisites: None

Note: Designed for non-science majors and minors; partially fullfils science requirement for all colleges. Credit not given for both 460:100 and 460:101.

01:460:202 (3) Environmental Geology

Analyses of issues and case studies related to cleaning of the environment, finding and using resources, predicting and mitigating natural disasters, and understanding global change.

Instructors: Dr. P. Sugarman
Prerequisites: None

Note: Designed for non-science majors and minors; partially fullfils science requirement for all colleges.

01:460:204 Water Planet

Survey of the science, environmental impact, and resource allocation of water on the Earth. Characteristics of water; hydrologic cycle; runoff and erosion; river systems; past and present climates; water quality; political and economic aspects of water

Instructors: Prof. Y. Rosenthal
Prerequisites: None

Note: Designed for non-science majors and minors; partially fullfils science requirement for all colleges.

01:460:206 Dinosaurs

Survey of dinosaurian evolution and diversity. Discovery and collection; reconstruction of anatomy, behavior, physiology, and habitats; origin, evolutionary radiation, and extinction.

Instructors: Prof. G.R. McGhee or Staff
Prerequisites: None

Note: Designed for non-science majors and minors; partially fullfils science requirement for all colleges.

01:460:207 Earth's Resources and the Global Economy

Geological occurrence, exploration, production, and distribution of oil/gas, mineral ores, and interrelationships to world politics and the global economy. World events during the course will be tracked and evaluated as to impact on the supply and demand of oil, gas and mineral commodities.

Instructors: Prof. M Withjack
Prerequisites: 460:100 or 460:101 suggested

Note: Designed for non-science majors and minors; partially fullfils science requirement for all colleges.

01:460:212 (3) Earth and Life Through Time

Description: Relationship between the development of continents and oceans, changes in sedimentary environments, and the evolution of life through time. Designed for non-majors

Instructors: Prof. D.V. Kent
Prerequisites: 460:100 or 460;101 recommended

Note: Designed for non-science majors and minors; partially fullfils science requirement for all colleges. Credit not given for both 460:212 and 460:102.

Introductory Courses intended for those a bit more interested in the sciences, those majoring in the sciences, and for fulfilling major and minor requirements

01:460:101Introductory Geology I: Physical

Geological concepts, principles, processes, chemistry, and physics of the Earth and the interplay of Earth Systems. Course explores the Earth as a whole, its origin, structure, composition, history and the nature of the processes that resulted in its formation and its present state.

Instructors: Prof. C. C. Swisher

Note: Designed for those majoring in the sciences, and majors and minors; partially fullfils science requirement for all colleges. Non-Science Majors/Minors are recommended to take 460:100 Planet Earth. Credit not given for both 460:100 and 460:101

Laboratory for Introductory Geology Laboratory

Development of geologic concepts and principles, observation of rocks and minerals, laboratory exercises, experiments and field observations.

Note: Designed for those majoring in the sciences, and majors and minors; partially fullfils science requirement for all colleges.

01:460:102 (3) Introductory Geology II: Historical

Principles and concepts of plate tectonics and reconstructing past geography and environments; the history of Earth's climate, environments, biogeochemical cycles, and life through time. Designed for majors and minors.

Instructors: Prof. J.D. Wright
Website: http://rockbox/contocean.shtml
Prerequisite: 01:460:101 or 460:100 or by permission of instructor

Note: Designed for those majoring in the sciences, and majors and minors; partially fullfils science requirement for all colleges. Credit not given for both 460:102 and 460:212.

Earth & Planetary Sciences

Earth & Planetary Sciences investigates processes controlling the evolution of the Earth, its environment, and life through time. The need to understand both history and process makes Earth & Planetary Sciences inherently interdisciplinary and our department is closely tied to Marine and Coastal Sciences (SEBS and SAS) and Environmental Sciences (SEBS). The major In Geological Sciences covers the core areas of geology and still allows ample opportunity for students to specialize through additional courses in math and allied sciences. The major can be completed in three semesters once basic Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics courses are completed. Our majors enjoy employment opportunities in environmental and energy industries, as well as excellent placement in the top graduate programs in the country.

Learning Goals

Majors and Minors. Our majors and minors need to evaluate processes controlling the evolution of Earth, its environment, and life through time.  They should think in terms of interdisciplinary interactions of inquiry with scientific and societal relevance: global changes to the solid Earth and its environment, oceans, climate, and life; natural hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods, and landslides); natural resource exploration and management (hydrocarbons, ore minerals, groundwater); and planetary geology. 

Other Students. Students taking Geological Sciences classes for the general science requirement should develop an appreciation of critical thinking and the scientific method, including hypothesis testing. Students should appreciate the importance of earth sciences in understanding of the physical, social, and economic resources and history of our planet. One example: we would expect that any student successfully completing our courses should be able to critically evaluate scientific issues in earth systems discussed in the popular press.

Declaring a Major or Minor in Geological Sciences

To delcare a Major or Minor in Geological Sciences, an appointment with the Undergraduate Program Director, Dr. Gail Ashley (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.should be scheduled to discuss your intended program and potential course schedule. A Rutgers, School of Arts and Sciences Major and Minor Declaration/Change Form (http://sasundergrad.rutgers.edu/academics/forms/majorminordec.pdfshould be filled out, signed and approved by Dr. Ashley.

             Declaring the Major in Geological Sciences

  • Enroll in Introductory Geology 01:460:101 (offered Fall Semester only)
  • Contact the Undergraduate Program Director for an appointment by clicking This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Fill out an online major declaration form at myMajor by clicking here

             Requirements of the Major in Geological Sciences

  • Acceptance into the Major in Geological Sciences requires a grade of C or higher in Introductory Geology 01:460:101, or its equivalent
  • Maintaining placement within the Major requires at least an average grade of C in all required core courses in Geological Sciences (01:460).
  • Course schedules for each semester must be approved by the UGPD prior to registration
  • In addition to the core courses listed below, students are encouraged to take additional courses in geology, mathematics, chemistry, computer science, statistics, physical and biological sciences. Students planning professional careers in geology-including graduate study-should take at least two additional courses in mathematics beyond the requirements listed below and would benefit from a minor in mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology. The Undergraduate Program Director will recommend elective courses that best suit the student's career options.

Foundation Courses

  • 01:160:161-162 General Chemistry (4,4)
  • 01:640:CALC1 (4) and 01:640:CALC2 (4)
  • 01:750:203-204 General Physics (3,3)
  • 01:960:379 Basic Probability Theory (3) or 01:960:401. Basic Statistics for Research (3) can serve as alternates for CALC2

Geology Core Courses
(NOTE: course numbers have changed in the Spring of 2016. These changes are reflected in the Degree navigator, but are not yet reflected in the course catalogs)

  • 01:460:101 Introductory Geology (4)
  • 01:460:301 Mineralogy (4)
  • 01:460:302 Petrology (4)
  • 01:460:303 Paleontology (4)
  • 01:460:304 Introduction to Geochemistry (4)
  • 01:460:306 Introduction to Geophysics (4)
  • 01:460:330 Sedimentary Geology (4)
  • 01:460:407 Structural Geology and Geologic Maps (4)
  • 01:460:410 Field Geology (3) or equivalent (see Field Requirement below)
  • 01:460:480 Major Events in Earth History (3)
  • Elective of 460:XXX (3) 300 level or higher

Plus one elective (3) such as:

  • 01:460:305 (3) Evolution and Geologic Time
  • 01:460:414 (3) Hydrologic Processes
  • 01:460:417 (3) Environmental Geochemistry
  • 01:460:428 (3) Hydrogeology
  • 01:460:429 (3) Tectonics & Regional Structure
  • 01:460:494 (3) Geological Context
  • 01:460:451 (3) Marine Geology
  • 01:460:476 (3) History of the Earth System

Geology graduate courses with permission of instructor

  • 16:460:515 (3) Advanced Tectonics
  • 16:460:528 (3) Groundwater Modeling
  • 16:460:509 (3) Planetary Sciences
  • 16:460:630 (3) Seminar in Planetary Sciences

NOTE ABOUT PREREQUISITES:
Introductory Geology is a prerequisite for all upper-level geology courses. Completion of this course with a grade of C or better is required prior to the declaration of the major.
Chemistry is a prerequisite for Mineralogy, which is a prerequisite for Petrology and Sedimentary Geology.
Physics is a prerequisite for Geophysics.
Sedimentary Geology and Calculus are prerequisites for Structural Geology and Geologic Maps.

NOTE ABOUT SCHEDULING:
Some of the core courses are "sequential", and must be taken in the prescribed order. As most advanced courses are offered only once a year, it is essential for Majors to discuss scheduling and course selection with the Undergraduate Director as early as possible.

             Idealized Course Schedule

  • Freshman Year:  Basic Sciences, Introductory Geology
  • Sophomore Year: Basic Sciences, Mineralogy (Fall), Paleontology (Fall), Sedimentary Geology (Fall), Petrology (Spring), Intro to Geophysics (Spring)
  • Junior Year: Intro to Geochemistry (Fall), Structural Geology and Maps (Spring).
  • Junior - Senior summer - FIELD CAMP
  • Senior Year: Major Events in Earth History

             Field Requirement
All geology majors must take a minimum of 3 credits in field geology. Most students satisfy this requirement by taking an external field camp. Many geology departments offer external field camps, ask This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for guidance. An ideal time to do the field training is during the summer between the Junior and Senior years.

             Departmental Honors Program
Students may be admitted to candidacy for honors in geology if they make a written application to the department chairperson before May 1 of their junior year. To qualify, a student must have a minimum overall cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 and a minimum grade-point average in major courses of 3.4. In addition, the student must have completed all geology core courses except 01:460:410 and 01:460:476/480.

  • 01:460:495 (3) Honors in Geology - Fall
  • 01:460:496 (3) Honors in Geology - Spring

Honors students must successfully complete at least two additional 3-credit courses in geology (at the 400 level) and/or in the allied sciences as well as 01:460:495,496 Honors in Geology.
In consultation with a faculty adviser, students choose an honors research project which they document in a paper or a formal presentation to the department.

             Independent Study
During Junior and Senior years, students are encouraged to undertake independent study projects supervised by the faculty of the Earth and Planetary Sciences department.
Project titles from recent years

  • 01:460:493 (3) Independent Studies in Geology - Fall
  • 01:460:494 (3) Independent Studies in Geology - Spring

          Minor Requirements
The minor in geological sciences requires completion of 01:460:101 Introductory Geology plus five additional geology courses of 3 credits or more, of which at least two must be at the 300 level or higher. Potential minors who take 01:460:100 may still complete a minor by requesting permission to take 01:460:103.

Overview

Major Requirements

In addition to the core courses listed below, students are encouraged to take additional courses in geology, mathematics, computer science, statistics, and the physical and biological sciences. Students planning professional careers in geology-including graduate study-should take at least two additional courses in mathematics beyond the requirements listed below and would benefit from a minor in mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology. A faculty adviser-assigned by the departmental office at the time the student declares the major-recommends elective courses that best suit the student's career options.

Foundation Courses

  • 01:160:161-162 General Chemistry (4,4)
  • 01:160:171 Introduction to Experimentation (1)
  • 01:460:101 Introductory Geology: Physical (3)
  • 01:460:103 Introductory Geology Laboratory (1)
  • 01:460:102 Introductory Geology: Historical (3)
  • 01:640:CALC1-CALC2 Calculus (4,4)
  • 01:750:203-204 General Physics (3,3)
  • 01:750:205-206 General Physics Laboratory (1,1)

Geology Core Courses

  • 01:460:301 Mineralogy (4)
  • 01:460:302 Petrology (4)
  • 01:460:303 Paleontology (4)
  • 01:460:307 Structural Geology (4)
  • 01:460:340 Sedimentology (4)
  • 01:460:341 Stratigraphy (4)
  • 01:460:410 Field Geology (3) or equivalent (see Field Requirement)
  • 01:460:412 Introduction to Geophysics (4)

Minor Requirements

The minor in geology requires completion of 01:460:101 Introductory Geology and 01:460:103 Introductory Geology Laboratory plus five additional geology courses, of which at least two must be at the 300-400 level.

Departmental Honors Program

Students may be admitted to candidacy for honors in geology if they make written application to the department chairperson before May 1 of their junior year. To qualify, a student must have a minimum overall cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 and a minimum grade-point average in major courses of 3.4. In addition, the student must have completed all geology core courses except 01:460:410 and 412. Honors students must successfully complete at least two additional 3-credit courses in geology (at the 400 level) and/or in the allied sciences as well as 01:460:495,496 Honors in Geology. In consultation with a faculty adviser, students choose an honors research project for which they write an honors paper and demonstrate their competence in a comprehensive examination. Examples of independent study projects and honors projects are given below.

Course Schedule: FAS Geology Track

First and Second Years

Complete the Foundation Courses: Introductory Geology with Lab, Calculus I and II, General Chemistry I and II, General Physics I and II.

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Third Year, Fall Term

  • Mineralogy
  • Sedimentology
  • Paleontology

Third Year, Spring Term

  • Petrology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Structural Geology

Fourth Year, Fall Term

  • Geophysics
  • Field Geology or equivalent (see Field Requirement)
  • 400-level Geology courses
  • Independent Study/Honors**

Fourth Year, Spring Term

  • 400-level Geology courses
  • Independent Study/Honors**

    **Qualified students are urged to undertake independent study projects and honors research in their senior year.

Note About Prerequisites: Introductory Geology is a prerequisite for all upper-level geology courses. Chemistry is a prerequisite for Mineralogy, which is a prerequisite for Petrology. Physics is a pre- or corequisite for Geophysics. Sedimentology is a prerequisite for Stratigraphy. Structural Geology and Stratigraphy (or Sedimentary Geology) are prerequisites for Field Geology.

Examples of Recent Independent Study and Honors Projects

  • Seth Fankhauser '99 Indepdendent Study: "Fracture Mapping in the Princeton-Pennington Region, Central Newark Basin"
  • Martin D. Finn '96 Independent Study: "Fracture Occurrence Correlations between Core Data and Borehole Televiewer Data of the Somerset Core, Newark Basin Coring Project"
  • Amber Granger '02 George Cook Scholar: "3-D Geometry of Normal Fault Population in a Scaled Physical Model"
  • Gary Katz '96 Independent Study: "High-Resolution Seismic Stratigraphy of Quaternary and Cretaceous Coastal Plain Sediments of Sandy Hook, Central New Jersey"
  • John Hernandez '00 Honors Project: "87Sr/86Sr dating of Upper Cretaceous (Campanian and Santonian) depositional sequences: Bass River and Ancora, NJ ODP Leg 174 AX"
  • Zev Laden '93 Independent Study: "A Study on Karst Distribution in Dauphin County and Franklin County, Pennsylvania"
  • Frank Marascia '97 Independent Study: "Seismic Reflection Profiling of Sandy Hook"
  • John Metzger '96 George Cook Scholar: "Pass-Through Core Measurements of Magnetic Susceptibility and Natural Gamma Ray, New Jersey Coastal Plain Leg 150x: Sequence Stratigraphic Implications"
  • Stefan Muszala '96 Senior Honors: "Seismic Refraction Study of a Portion of the Newark Basin"
  • Holly Peterson "02 Senior Honors Thesis: "Displacement-Thickness Scaling of Normal Faults in Mudstones of the Newark Rift Basin"
  • Steve Rehmer '96 Independent Study: "Upper Eocene to Lowest Miocene Standard Section Refinement: Revision and Evaluation of Strontium Isotope Stratigraphic Resolution From DSDP Site 522"
  • Tim Reilly '96 Independent Study: "Upper Eocene to Oligocene Standard Section: Revisions to the87Sr/86Sr Regression of DSDP site 522"
  • Jonathan Schoudt & Sandra Simchick '97 Independent study: "Characterization of the Urbanized Channel of the Second River, Newark, NJ"
  • Peter Thibodeau '91 Independent Study: "Rift Basin Filling Models Using Variable Sediment-Supply Rates"
  • Julie Trotta '01 Douglas College Honors Project: "Analysis of fluid seeps on the NJ Continental Margin using Seismic Reflection Data"
  • Michael G. Viersma '97 Independent Study: "Variations in Strain Accommodated by Faults in a Scaled Physical Model"
  • Jaime S. Whitlock '99 George Cook Scholars: "Tectonic Geomorphology of the Molvik Graben, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland"
  • Scott S. Young '96 Henry Rutgers Scholar: "Analysis of Micro-normal Fault Populations in Selected Mesozoic Rift Basins of North America"

Field Requirement

All geology majors must take a minimum of 3 credits in field geology. Students can satisfy this requirement by taking the Rutgers Field Geology (460:410) course or an external field camp. Many geology departments offer external field camps. For information, consult promotional fliers in the filing cabinet in the student-faculty lounge or the Directory of Geoscience Departments available in the departmental office (Room 250). Students who choose an external field camp may still take Field Geology (460:410) for credit and to gain additional field experience, especially in geologic mapping, seismic interpretation, and regional synthesis. Students who choose an external field camp and/or the Rutgers Field Geology course (460:410) may take Geologic Field Methods (460:411) for credit and to gain additional field experience, especially in surveying methods and use of computers to collect, analyze, and present field data. Note that Geologic Field Methods by itself does not satisfy the departmental field requirement. The table below looks at some of the features of external field camps and the Field Geology and Geologic Field Methods courses. It also lists their advantages and disadvantages.

External Field Camp Field Geology (460:410) Geologic Field Methods (460:411)
Credits 3-6 3 2
Duration 3-6 weeks 12-13 field days 6-7 field days
Held during Late Spring and Summer Late August; written report is completed during first half of fall semester Fall semester; written report is completed during second half of fall semester
Cost Up to $4000 plus transportation ~$200-300 None
Satisfies Field Requirement Yes Yes No
Geologic Mapping Yes Yes Yes
Geologic Surveying Variable No Yes
Computer Applications Variable No Yes
Advantages Heavy emphasis on geologic mapping; learn about geology in different parts of North America; opportunity for travel; grade not included in Rutgers GPA Gain proficiency in basic field methods and mapping in the scenic Fundy basin, Nova Scotia, Canada; interpretation of seismic profiles; major project involves integrating multiple data sets; relatively inexpensive; low time commitment during late August Provides additional proficiency in field methods applied to NJ geology plus surveying & computer applications; major project stresses integration of multiple data sets; no additional cost to student; low time commitment during fall semester
Disadvantages Cost; long time commitment during summer; quality of camps is variable; few camps stress regional syntheses and written reports Less mapping experience than field camp; no exposure to other geological areas of North America; a few grad schools require 6-week field camp Elective course; may not fit into schedule; by itself, this course does not satisfy Rutgers field requirement

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Rutgers University
Busch Campus, Wright-Rieman Labs, Room 253
610 Taylor Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8066
Phone: (848) 445-2044
Fax: (732) 445-3374

Department Chair:
Prof. Carl C. Swisher III
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Graduate Program Director:
Prof. James Wright
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Undergraduate Program Director:
Prof. Vadim Levin
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Geological Sciences

Geological Sciences investigates processes controlling the evolution of Earth, its environment, and life through time. The geological sciences are interdisciplinary fields of inquiry with scientific and societal relevance: global changes to the solid Earth and its environment, oceans, climate, and life; natural hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods, and landslides); natural resource exploration and management (hydrocarbons, ore minerals, groundwater); and planetary geology. The need to understand both history and process makes Geological Sciences inherently interdisciplinary and our department is closely tied to Marine and Coastal Sciences (SEBS and SAS) and Environmental Sciences (SEBS). The Geology major covers the core areas of Geological Sciences and still allows ample opportunity for students to specialize through additional courses in math, upper level geological sciences, and allied sciences. The major can be completed in three semesters once basic Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics courses are completed. Our majors enjoy employment opportunities in environmental and energy industries, as well as excellent placement in the top graduate programs in the country.

Major Requirements

In addition to the core courses listed below, students are encouraged to take additional courses in geology, mathematics, computer science, statistics, and the physical and biological sciences. Students planning professional careers in geology (including graduate study) should take additional courses in mathematics beyond the requirements listed below and would benefit from a minor in mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology. A faculty adviser is assigned by the departmental office at the time the student declares the major; the advisor can recommend elective courses that best suit the student's career options.

Foundation Courses
Course # Course Name
01:160:161-162 General Chemistry (4,4)
01:160:171 Introduction to Experimentation (1)
01:460:101 Introductory Geology: Physical (3)
01:460:103 Introductory Geology Laboratory (1)
01:460:102 Introductory Geology II: Historical (3)
01:640:CALC1-CALC2 Calculus (4,4)
01:750:203-204 General Physics (3,3) RECOMMENDED;
01:750:193-194 Physics for the Sciences (4, 4) OR
01:750:202-202 Extended General Physics (5,5) also welcome in place of 203-204
01:750:205-206 General Physics Laboratory (1,1)
Geological Sciences Core Courses
Course # Course Name
001:460:301 Mineralogy (4)
001:460:302 Petrology (4)
001:460:303 Paleontology (4)
001:460:307 Structural Geology (4)
001:460:340 Sedimentology (4)
001:460:341 Stratigraphy (4)
001:460:410 Field Geology (3)
001:460:412 Introduction to Geophysics (4)

Minor Requirements

The minor in geological sciences requires 01:460:101 Introductory Geology and 01:460:103 Introductory Geology Laboratory plus five additional geology courses, of which at least two must be at the 300-400 level. We recommend that minors take 01:460:330 S and 01:460:331 to satisfy 300-400 level requirement.

Departmental Honors Program

Students may be admitted to candidacy for honors in geological sciences if they make written application to the department chairperson before May 1 of their junior year. To qualify, a student must have a minimum overall cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 and a minimum grade-point average in major courses of 3.4. In addition, the student must have completed all the core courses except 01:460:410 and 412. Honors students must successfully complete at least two additional 3-credit courses in geology (at the 400 level) and/or in the allied sciences as well as 01:460:495,496 Honors in Geology. In consultation with a faculty adviser, students choose an honors research project for which they write an honors paper and demonstrate their competence in a comprehensive examination.

Course Schedule: School of Arts and Sciences

Freshman and Sophomore years: complete the Foundation Courses

  • Introductory Geology I
  • Physical and Introductory Geology II
  • Historical with Lab
  • Calculus I and 11
  • General Chemistry I and II and lab
  • General Physics I and II and labs
Junior year FallJunior year Spring
Mineralogy Petrology
Sedimentology Stratigraphy
Paleontology Structural Geology
Senior year Fall Senior year Spring
Geophysics 400 level Geology courses
Field Geology* Independent Study/Honors**
400 level Geology courses
Independent Study/Honors**

*The Faculty urge all students (particularly those interested in pursuing a graduate education) to take a six-week summer field course. Many geology departments offer them. For information, consult promotional fliers in the filing cabinet in the student-faculty lounge or the Directory of Geoscience Departments available in the departmental office (Room 250). Qualified students are urged to undertake independent study projects and honors research in their senior year.

Note About Prerequisites

Introductory Geology is a prerequisite for all upper-level geology courses. Chemistry is a prerequisite for Mineralogy, which is a prerequisite for Petrology. Physics is a pre- or corequisite for Geophysics. Sedimentology is a prerequisite for Stratigraphy. Structural Geology and Stratigraphy are prerequisites for Field Geology. The registration system at Rutgers will not allow students lacking the proper prerequisites to register for these courses.

Course Schedule: Cook Geology Track

First Year, Fall Term
11:015:101 Perspectives (2)
01:119:103 Principles of Biology (4)
01:640:151 Calculus (4)
01:160:161 Chemistry (4)
01:460:101 Introductory Geology I: Physical (3)
Total Credits: 17 Cumulative Total Credits: 17
First Year, Spring Term
01:640:152 Calculus II (4)
01:160:162 Chemistry II (4)
01:160:171 Intro to Experimentation (1)
01:460:102 Introductory Geology II: Historical (3)
01:460:103 Introductory Geology Laboratory (1)
01:355:101 Expository Writing (3)
Total Credits: 16 Cumulative Total Credits: 33
Second Year, Fall Term
01:460:301 Mineralogy (4)
01:460:340 Sedimentology (4)
01:750:203 General Physics (3)
01:750:205 General Physics Laboratory (1)
Area III/IV/V (3)
Total Credits: 15 Cumulative Total Credits: 48
Second Year, Spring Term
01:460:302 Petrology (4)
01:460:341 Stratigraphy (4)
01:750:204 General Physics II (3)
01:750:206 General Physics Laboratory (1)
Area III/IV/V (6) possibly including 01:355:102 Expository Writing II (3)1
Total Credits: 18 Cumulative Total Credits: 63
Third Year, Fall Term
01:460:303 Paleontology (4)
01:460:412 Geophysics (4) (Note: formerly was course number 01:460:312)1
01:198:221 Numerical Problems and Computer Programming (4) or 01:460:418 Geological Modeling
Area III/IV/V (6)
Total Credits: 18 Cumulative Total Credits: 81
Third Year, Spring Term
01:460:307 Structural Geology (4)
01:355:302 Scientific and Technical Writing (3) OR Area III/IV/V (3)2
Area III/IV/V (3)
Free Electives (6)
Total Credits: 16 Cumulative Total Credits: 97
Fourth Year, Fall Term
01:460:305 Field Geology (3) or equivalent3
Jr/Sr Colloquium (3)
Free electives/400 level Geology courses/Independent Study/Honors(9)3
Total Credits: 15 Cumulative Total Credits: 112
Fourth Year, Spring Term
Free electives/400 level Geology courses/Independent Study/Honors(16)4
Total Credits: 16 Cumulative Total Credits: 128

1 Geophysics may be taken in fall of senior year or fall of junior year

2 Scientific and Technical Writing (typically taken in the third year) is strongly recommended as an alternative to Expository Writing II (typically taken in the first year).

3 The Faculty urge all students, particularly those interested in pursuing a graduate education, to take a six-week summer field course. Many geology departments offer them. For information, consult promotional fliers in the filing cabinet in the student-faculty lounge or the Directory of Geoscience Departments available in the departmental office (Room 250).

4 Qualified students are urged to undertake independent study projects and honors research in their senior year. Furthermore, 01:460:428 (Hydrogeology) is strongly recommended for employment opportunities.

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