MAJOR: The following courses are required for completion of the major program in the Department of Geology: Geology 105 or 106 (or equivalent), 215, 225, 235, 305, 324, 325, 315 or 342, 345, 490, and at least three of the following: Geology 245, 255, 315 or, 342 (whichever course is not used in required sequence), 355, or 4 credits of 390 or other approved geology courses. Mathematics through Math 120 (or equivalent) or Math 110 and a Department-approved statistics course is also required.
Environmental Science Concentration in Geology: Geology 105 or 106; one of Biology 105, 106, 110, 115; Biology 260 or 270; Economics 101 and 301(or approved alternative); Geology 225; Geology 324, Geology 235; Geology 245; Geology 255; Geology 305; Geology 315 or 342; Geology 325; Geology 490. Mathematics through Math 120 (or equivalent) or Math 110 and a Department-approved statistics course is also required.
All graduate schools and professional careers in geology or environmental science require at least a basic understanding of chemistry and physics. Students considering graduate school or professional careers in these fields should also take the following courses: Chemistry 120; Physics 110 and 120 or Physics 115 and 125.
MINOR: Geology 105, 215, 235, and any other two courses in Geology to be selected with department approval.
WRITING REQUIREMENT: Students majoring in Geology will satisfy the final component of Occidental College's college-wide writing requirement by submitting a portfolio of at least two papers from any of the intermediate- or advanced-level writing-intensive Geology courses normally required for the major (or appropriate course work). Students should familiarize themselves with the departmental requirement at the time of declaring the major. See the Writing Requirement and consult the department chair for additional information.
COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT: The comprehensive requirement in Geology is met by a passing grade on the senior comprehensive project. The senior comprehensive project is based on research conducted under the supervision of Department faculty or in an off-campus summer research program or field camp. This project can be started as early as the Junior year and typically involves field or laboratory work during the summer between Junior and Senior years. Seniors are expected to present their research orally and submit a written thesis by Spring Break. During the Fall semester of senior year, all Geology majors attend a senior seminar (Geology 490 or equivalent). A major goal of these meetings is to help students make timely progress on their comprehensive projects.
HONORS: Students with a GPA of at least 3.25 are eligible to graduate with honors in geology. For these students, a larger senior thesis is planned, and students start their research earlier than the fall of their senior year. For this extra work, the honors student receives additional course credit beyond credit for comprehensives. Refer also to the general College policies regarding the Honors Program.
GEOLOGY COURSE NUMBERING: Geology 105 is open to first-year and second-year students only; 200-level courses are open to any student who has completed Geology 105; 300-level courses are intended for junior and senior geology majors and minors; 400-level seminars are for senior majors.