Geology and Geological Oceanography

The Department of Geosciences offers a single degree: the B.S. in geology and geological oceanography, with two options, a geology option and a geological oceanography option. This degree is designed for students with an interest in earth, environmental, or oceanographic science careers or affiliated fields such as environmental law and earth/environmental science education. The two options allow students to take specialty courses focusing on a range of geoscience topics such as environmental geology/hydrogeology, sedimentology/stratigraphy/paleontology, coastal geology/oceanography, geochemistry/petrology, or geophysics/tectonics, and supporting elective courses chosen from geosciences, natural resources science, environmental economics, and oceanography. Students may use their supporting electives to pursue in-depth study within a given field or to broaden their interdisciplinary perspective. Students are required to complete an interdisciplinary core of introductory courses including GEO 103-Understanding Earth (4), NRS 100-Natural Resource Conservation (3), and EEC 105-Introduction to Resource Economics (3); geosciences core courses including GEO 204-Problem-solving in Earth History (4), GEO 210-Landforms: Origins and Evolution (4), GEO 320-Earth Materials (4), GEO 370-Structure of the Earth (4), and GEO 450-Introduction to Sedimentary Geology (4); supporting science/mathematics courses including MTH 131 (3) or 141 (4); MTH 132 (3) or 142 (4); BIO 101 (3) and 103 (1), 102 (3) and 104 (1) or GEO/BIO 272 (4) or CHM 124 (3), 126 (1); CHM 101 (3), 102 (1), 112 (3), 114 (1); STA 308 (4) or 409 (3); PHY 111 (3), 185 (1) or 203 (3), 273 (1), and PHY 112 (3), 186 (1) or 204 (3), 274 (1); and 12 credits of supporting electives taken at the 200-level or above from GEO, NRS, EEC, OCG or from another program with prior approval from the GEO department chair. Double majoring in Geology and Geological Oceanography works well with other B.S. granting programs in CELS and also many Engineering programs.

GEO 480, 491, 497, and 499 and OCG 493/494 are capstone experiences available for this major. Internship experiences are encouraged; credit may be awarded through GEO397 if work is appropriate.

To transfer from University College to the College of the Environment and Life Sciences as a Geology & Geological Oceanography major (or be coded as such in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences), a student must have earned at least a 2.0 grade point average in a minimum of 30 total credits, as well as a minimum of a B-­ in GEO 103; a minimum of a C in CHM 101, and a minimum of a C+ in MTH 111 or a C in MTH 131.

A total of 120 credits and a 2.00 grade point average within the major are required for graduation.

Geology Option. This option allows students the flexibility to define their own area of concentration within the geosciences. Students selecting this option complete GEO 483—Hydrogeology (4); GEO 480 (4–6) or a GEO elective at the 200-level or above; and an additional GEO elective at the 200-level or above chosen in consultation with their advisor. Example areas of concentration include environmental geology/hydrogeology, sedimentary geology/stratigraphy, and geophysics/tectonics.

Geological Oceanography Option. Students completing this option will be well prepared to pursue careers in either conventional geology/earth science or geological oceanography. Students selecting this option complete three upper-level oceanography courses including OCG 301—General Oceanography (3) or OCG 451—Oceanographic Science (3), OCG 440 or 540—Geological Oceanography (4), and an OCG elective taken at the 400-level or above; and a 3-credit senior research project, OCG 493 or 494—Special Problems and Independent Study in Oceanography (3), taken in the Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO), under the direction of a GSO faculty member. Students entering the URI Graduate School of Oceanography from this program will have a significant head start compared with those entering from most other undergraduate institutions.

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