Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate 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.

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Majoring in EPS can take you where you want to go!

Our Department offers both challenging and comprehensive instruction, and students are encouraged to become vital members of this research community. Click on the photographs above to read profiles of current students and alumni.

 

 

The Department of EPS is part of the School of Arts and Sciences

As an EPS major in the School of Arts and Sciences, you’ll have full access to a liberal arts education that spans 34 programs for undergraduates. You will acquire both the specialized knowledge of the field you choose to study in depth, and broad knowledge of the world from the renowned scholar-teachers at Rutgers. You’ll graduate ready to meet contemporary challenges in your workplace, in your hometown, and in the global community.

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Overview of Options

The Department offers several options for students pursuing a degree in Geological Sciences. Students should discuss with the Undergraduate Program Director or any other faculty member in EPS which option is best for them.

The Geological Sciences Option is for students who expect to make geology an important component of their career, e.g., in engineering / environmental consulting, oil and gas exploration, mineral exploration and mining, and federal & state government; it also provides rigorous preparation for graduate study.

The Environmental Geology Option is for students who wish to work in the environmental sector, which at present is the largest employer of geoscientists in the U.S.; its focus is on characterizing processes and hazards in the modern shallow subsurface; it also prepares students for graduate study.

The Planetary Science Option is for students who wish to pursue a research career, e.g., at universities, research institutions, government facilities such as NASA, and museums. It focuses on the physical and geochemical processes in our Solar System spanning the early solar nebula to planetary formation and evolution. The option facilitates interdisciplinary knowledge in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology, and is therefore well suited to students transferring from other STEM disciplines as well as those preparing for graduate study.

The General Option is for students who have an interest in the Earth and planetary sciences and plan to pursue a career in science education, communication & journalism, medicine, environmental law & policy, business, etc.

Declaration of the major in Earth & Planetary Sciences requires a grade of C or better in 01:460:101 Introductory Geology, or its equivalent, or special permission of the Undergraduate Program Director. Course schedules for each semester should be approved by the Undergraduate Program Director or other faculty advisor prior to registration.

Comparison of Major Options

  Geological Sciences
Option
    Environmental
Geology Option  
      Planetary
Science Option
    General
Option
 
Cognate
Courses
Calc 1 & (Calc 2 or Stats) 8 Calculus 1 & 2 8 Calc 1&2 & (Calc 3 or Stats) 12 Calculus 1 4
General Chemistry 1 4 General Chemistry 1 4 General Chemistry 1 & 2 8 General Chem. 1 4
General Physics 1 3 General Physics 1 3 General Physics 1, 2 6  ---  
Subtotal: 15 Subtotal: 15 Subtotal: 26 Subtotal: 8

EPS
Core
Courses

Introductory Geology 4 Introductory Geology 4 Introductory Geology 4 Introductory Geology  4
Mineralogy 4 Minerlaogy 4 Mineralogy 4 Mineralogy 4
Petrology 4 Petrology 4 Petrology 4 Petrology 4
Geochemistry 4 Environ. Geochem. 3 Geochemistry 4  ---  
Major Events in Earth History 3  ---   Major Events in Earth History 3 ---   
Sedimentary Geology 4 Sedimentary Geology 3  ---   Sedimentary Geology  3
Paleontology 4  ---   ---    Paleontology 4
Structural Geology 4 Structural Geology 4 ---    Structural Geology 4
Geophysics 4 Geophysics 4 ---    ---   
Field Geology 3 Field Geology 3 ---    Field Methods 2
---    Environmental Geology 3 ---    ---   
---    Hydrogeology 3 ---    ---   
---     ---   Planet Mars /
Moons & Planets
3 ---   
---     ---   Structure & Formation of
Terrestrial Planets
3 ---   
Subtotal:  38 Subtotal: 36 Subtotal: 25 Subtotal:  26

Elective
Courses

Elective 3 Elective 3 Elective 3 Elective (100 & above) 3
Elective 3 Elective 3 Elective 3 Elective (300 & above) 3
Elective 3 Elective 3 Elective 3    
    Elective 3 Elective 3    
Subtotal 9 Subtotal 12 Subtotal 12 Subtotal 6
  TOTAL CREDITS: 62 TOTAL CREDITS: 63 TOTAL CREDITS: 63 TOTAL CREDITS: 40
                 
                 

 

460-G: Geological Sciences Option (B.S.) [62 credits total]

Foundation Courses

  • 01:160:161 General Chemistry (4)
  • 01:640 CALC1 (4)
  • One of the following: 01:640: CALC2 (4) or 01:960:379 Basic Probability Theory (3) or 01:960:401 Basic Statistics for Research (3)
  • One of the following: 01:750:203 General Physics (3) (recommended) or 01:750:193 Physics for the Sciences (4) or 01:750:201 Extended General Physics (5)

Core Courses

  • 01:460:101 Introductory Geology (4) [alternatively 01:460:100 Planet Earth (3) and 01:460:103 Introductory Geology Lab (1)]
  • 01:460:300 Introduction to Sedimentary 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)
  • 01:460:407 Structural Geology & 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 Courses

Three 3-credit courses in 01:460 at the 300 level or higher. Note: 01:119:115, 116 General Biology, 01:160:162 General Chemistry, General Physics 2, CALC 3, CALC 4, and 01:355:302 Scientific & Technical Writing are acceptable electives. Other non-460 courses require permission of the Undergraduate Program Director. Undergraduate students may take graduate courses if they have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and/or with the permission of the instructor. Students may choose from the following specializations or create their own group of electives.

  • Paleobiology and Paleoceanography: 01:460:305 Evolution & Geologic Time (3), 01:460:394 Geologic Context, 01:460:451 Marine Geology (3), 01:460:454 Micropaleontology (3), 01:460:476 History of the Earth System (3), 16:460:526 Paleoceanography (3), 16:460:552 Stable Isotopes in the Environment (3), 16:460:625 Seminar in Sequence Stratigraphy
  • Tectonics, Geophysics, and Hydrology: 01:460:414 Hydrologic Processes, 01:460:428 Hydrogeology, 01:460:429 Tectonics & Regional Structural Geology, 01:460:441 Structure & Formation of Terrestrial Planets, 01:460:442 Dynamics of Planetary Interiors, 16:460:515 Advanced Tectonics, 16:460:528 Groundwater Modeling, 16:460:557 Seismic Acquisition & Processing (3)
  • Geochemistry & Petrology: 01:460:396 Geochronology (3), 01:460:417 Environmental Geochemistry (3), 16:460:509 Meteoritics (3), 16:460:513 Volcanology (3), 16:460:551 Isotope Geochemistry (3), 16:460:617 Seminar in Geochronology (3), 16:460:631 Seminar in Petrology (3)

 

460-E: Environmental Geology Option (B.S.) [63 credits total]

Foundation Courses

  • 01:160:161 General Chemistry (4)
  • 01:640 CALC1 (4)
  • One of the following: 01:640 CALC2 (4) or 01:960:379 Basic Probability Theory (3) or 01:960:401 Basic Statistics for Research (3)
  • One of the following: 01:750:203 General Physics (3) (recommended) or 01:750:193 Physics for the Sciences (4) or 01:750:201 Extended General Physics (5)

Core Courses

  • 01:460:101 Introductory Geology (4) [alternatively 01:460:100 Planet Earth (3) AND 01:460:103 Introductory Geology Lab (1)]
  • 01:460:202 Environmental Geology (3)
  • 01:460:300 Introduction to Sedimentary Geology (4)
  • 01:460:301 Mineralogy (4)
  • 01:460:302 Petrology (4)
  • 01:460:306 Introduction to Geophysics (4)
  • 01:460:407 Structural Geology & Geologic Maps (4)
  • 01:460:410 Field Geology (3) or equivalent (see field requirement below)
  • 01:460:413 Environmental Geochemistry (3)
  • 01:460:428 Hydrogeology (3)

Elective Courses
Four 3-credit courses from the following list: 01:355:302 Scientific and Technical Writing (3), 01:450:321 Geographic Information Systems (3), 01:450:322 Remote Sensing (3), 01:460:304 Introduction to Geochemistry (4), 01:460:408 Geomorphology (3), 01:460:418 Geological Modeling (3), 11:375:202 Chemical Principals of Environmental Science (3), 11:375:203 Physical Principles of Environmental Science (3), 11:375:303 Numerical Methods in Environmental Science (3), 11:375:423 Environmental Fate and Transport (3).

 

460-P: Planetary Science Option (B.S.) [63 credits total]

Foundation Courses

  • 01:160:161, 162 General Chemistry (4, 4)
  • 01:640 CALC1, CALC2 (4, 4)
  • One of the following: 01:640 CALC3 (4) or 01:960:401 Basic Statistics for Research (3)
  • One of the following: 01:750:193 Physics for the Sciences (4) or 01:750:201 Extended General Physics (5) or 01:750:203 General Physics (3)
  • One of the following: 01:750:194 Physics for the Sciences (4) or 01:750:201 Extended General Physics (5) or 01:750:204 General Physics (3)

Core Courses

  • 01:460:101 Introductory Geology (4) [alternatively 01:460:100 Planet Earth (3) and 01:460:103 Introductory Geology Lab (1)]
  • 01:460:222 Planet Mars or 01:460:224 Geology of Moons & Planets
  • 01:460:301 Mineralogy (4)
  • 01:460:302 Petrology (4)
  • 01:460:304 Introduction to Geochemistry (4)
  • 01:460:441 Structure & Formation of Terrestrial Planets (3) [or 01:460:442 Dynamics of Planetary Interiors (3)]
  • 01:460:480 Major Events in Earth History (3)

Elective Courses
Four 3-credit courses from the following list: 01:355:302 Scientific & Technical Writing; 01:450:321 Geographic Information Systems (3); 01:450:322 Remote Sensing (3); 01:460:300 Introduction to Sedimentary Geology (4); 01:460:410 Structural Geology & Geologic Maps (4); 01:460:414 Hydrologic Processes (3); 01:460:418 Geological Modeling (3); 01:460:442 Dynamics of Planetary Interiors (3) [or 01:460:441 Structure & Formation of Terrestrial Planets (3)]; 16:460:630 Seminar in Planetary Science (3); 01:640:244 Differential Equations for Engineering & Physics (4) or 01:640:250 Introductory Linear Algebra (3) or 01:640:252 Elementary Differential Equations (3) or 01:640:292 Honors Calculus IV; 01:750:341 or 342 Principles of AstrophysicsIMG 1214

 

460-L: General Option (B.A.) [40 credits total]

Foundation Courses

  • 01:160:161 General Chemistry (4)
  • 01:640 CALC1 (4)

Core Courses

  • 01:460:101 Introductory Geology (4) [alternatively 01:460:100 Planet Earth (3) and 01:460:103 Introductory Geology Lab (1)]
  • 01:460:300 Introduction to Sedimentary Geology (4)
  • 01:460:301 Mineralogy (4)
  • 01:460:302 Petrology (4)
  • 01:460:303 Paleontology (4)
  • 01:460:407 Structural Geology & Geologic Maps (4)
  • 01:460:411 Geologic Field Methods (2)

Elective Courses
Two additional 3-credit courses in 01:460, one of which must be at 300-level or higher; other acceptable courses are 01:119:115 General Biology, 01:750:203 General Physics, and those approved by Undergraduate Program Director.

 

Field Requirement

All majors in the Geological Sciences option and the Environmental Geology option must take a minimum of 3 credits in field geology. Most students satisfy this requirement by taking an external field camp offered by many geoscience departments at other universities; ask the Undergraduate Program Director for guidance. Many students do the field training during the late spring / summer between junior and senior years.

 

Declaring the Major in Geological Sciences

  • Enroll in and complete Introductory Geology 01:460:101
  • 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).

 

Legacy Requirements of the Major in Geological Sciences

(for students who declared a major on or before May 31, 2019)

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

  • 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) at 300 level or higher

Possible electives include:

  • 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 may serve as electives with permission of instructor; students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher

  • 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 betteris required prior to the declaration of the major. 
  • Chemistry is a prerequisite for Mineralogy, which is a prerequisite for Petrology; it is also a prerequisite for Introduction to Geochemistry.
  • Physics is a prerequisite for Geophysics
  • Sedimentary Geology is a recommended prerequisite for Structural Geology and Geologic Maps.

Majors and Minors. Students will develop scientific critical-thinking, writing, and oral-presentation skills and demonstrate mastery of the scientific method. Students will become proficient at collecting and interpreting data in both the field and laboratory. The required core courses will provide the knowledge of the Earth and planetary sciences needed to critically evaluate scientific issues discussed in the media.

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.

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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.

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