School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Geosciences (B.A., B.S.)

Attaining greater understanding of past and present Earth processes is the fundamental goal of geosciences. To achieve this goal the geoscientist studies the minerals, rocks, fluids, and fossils of the Earth and investigates the physical, chemical, and biological processes occurring on and in the Earth.

Professional opportunities in geology exist in the environmental, energy, and mineral resources industries and in government agencies concerned with these fields. In addition, many occupations concerned with law, management, economics, and the environment utilize a background in geosciences.

Specific degree plans will be formulated by the undergraduate advisor in Geosciences. Changing circumstances may require changes to the degree plans.

Faculty

Professors: Carlos L. V. Aiken, William I. Manton, George A. McMechan, John S. Oldow, Robert J. Stern
Associate Professors: Thomas H. Brikowski, John F. Ferguson
Professor Emeritus: David E. Dunn, Richard M. Mitterer, Emile A. Pessagno, Dean C. Presnall, Robert H. Rutford
Associate Professor Emeritus: James L. Carter, William R. Griffin, Ingnacio Pujana

Bachelor of Arts in Geosciences* Degree Requirements (120 hours)

I. Core Curriculum Requirements1: 42 hours

  1. Communication (6 hours)
    3 hours Communication (RHET 1302)
    3 hours Communication Elective (NATS 4390/4399)2
  2. Social and Behavioral Sciences (15 hours)
    6 hours Government (GOVT 2301 and 2302)
    6 hours American History
    3 hours Social and Behavioral Sciences Elective
  3. Humanities and Fine Arts (6 hours)
    3 hours Fine Arts (ARTS 1301)
    3 hours Humanities (HUMA 1301)
  4. Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 hours)
    6 hours College Mathematics
  5. Science (9 hours)
    8 hours Chemistry
    1 hour Geosciences Laboratory (GEOS 1103 Physical Geology Laboratory)

II. Major Requirements: 57 hours beyond Core Curriculum

Major Core Courses (34-36 hours beyond Core Curriculum)

Composite Science Requirements (21 hours beyond Core Curriculum)

III. Elective Requirements (UTeach Requirements): 21 hours beyond Core Curriculum

*Must be completed in conjunction with the UTeach program.

1 Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses from accredited institutions of higher education. The courses listed in parentheses are recommended as the most efficient way to satisfy both Core Curriculum and Major Requirements at UT Dallas.
2 A Major requirement that also fulfills a Core Curriculum requirement.

Bachelor of Science in Geosciences Degree Requirements (120 hours)

I. Core Curriculum Requirements1

  1. Communication (6 hours)
    3 hours Communication (RHET 1302)
    3 hours Communication Elective (GEOS 4390, GEOS 4399 or NATS 4310)2
  2. Social and Behavioral Sciences (15 hours)
    6 hours Government (GOVT 2301 and 2302)
    6 hours American History
    3 hours Social and Behavioral Science Elective
  3. Humanities and Fine Arts (6 hours)
    3 hours Fine Arts (ARTS 1301)
    3 hours Humanities (HUMA 1301)
  4. Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 hours; 2 hours extra may be counted as free electives)
    Calculus (MATH 2417 and 2419)
  5. Science (9 hours)
    8 hours Chemistry (CHEM 1311, 1111, 1312, 1112)
    1 hour Geoscience (GEOS 1103 Physical Geology Laboratory)*2

1 Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses from accredited institutions of higher education. The courses listed in parentheses are recommended as the most efficient way to satisfy both Core Curriculum and Major Requirements at UT Dallas.
2 A Major requirement that also fulfills a Core Curriculum requirement. If hours are counted in the Core Curriculum, students must complete additional coursework to meet the minimum requirements for graduation. Course selection assistance is available from the undergraduate advisor.

II. Major Requirements: 58-61 hours

Major Preparatory Courses (19 hours beyond Core Curriculum)

Pre-requisite courses to be completed before enrolling in upper-division GEOS courses.
GEOS 1103 Physical Geology Laboratory*2
PHYS 2325 Mechanics
PHYS 2125 Physics I Laboratory
PHYS 2326 Electromagnetism
PHYS 2126 Physics II Laboratory
GEOS 1104 History of Earth and Life Laboratory*
GEOS 1303 Physical Geology*
GEOS 1304 History of Earth and Life*
GEOS 2409 Rocks and Minerals*

Major Core Courses (39-43 hours)

GEOS 2406 Geospatial Science and Methods
GEOS 3421 Stratigraphy and Sedimentology
GEOS 3470 Structural Geology
GEOS 4606 Field Geology (Summer Field Camp)
Geology Option (21-22 hours)
GEOS 3434 Paleobiology
GEOS 3464 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrography
GEOS 4320 The Physics and Chemistry of the Solid Earth
GEOS 4322 The Earth System
GEOS 4430 Hydrogeology and Aqueous Geochemistry
A mathematics course selected from:
GEOS 5306 Data Analysis for Geoscientists (with permission)
MATH 2418 Linear Algebra
MATH 2451 Multivariable Calculus with Applications
MATH 4332 Scientific Math Computing
Geophysics Option (24 hours)
MATH 2420 Differential Equations with Applications
MATH 2451 Multivariable Calculus with Applications
PHYS 3330 Numerical Methods in Physics
MATH 4362 Partial Differential Equations
PHYS 3311 Theoretical Physics
PHYS 3312 Classical Mechanics
PHYS 3416 Electricity and Magnetism

III. Elective Requirements: 16-20 hours

Advanced Electives (6 hours)

All students are required to take at least six hours of advanced electives outside their major field of study. These must be either upper-division classes or lower-division classes that have prerequisites.

Free Electives (10-14 hours)

Both lower- and upper-division courses may count as electives, but students must complete at least 51 hours of upper-division credit to qualify for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to take GEOS graduate courses as free electives.

Fast Track Baccalaureate/Master’s Degrees

The Fast-Track program allows students with strong academic records to take selected graduate courses that may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree and be used to satisfy requirements for the master’s degree. Interested students who intend to pursue a master’s degree in Geosciences may apply for a Fast Track baccalaureate/master’s plan of study via the Geosciences graduate advisor. The planned coursework must be coordinated with the Geosciences undergraduate advisor; the Geosciences graduate advisor should also be notified. A maximum of 15 credit hours may be applied under this program.

Geosciences Minor

Students not majoring in Geosciences are encouraged to choose Geosciences as a minor.

Lower-division courses (8 hours):
Upper-division courses (12 hours): To be selected in consultation with Geosciences Undergraduate advisor

*A prerequisite course to be completed before enrolling in upper-division GEOS core courses (GEOS 3421, 3434, 3464, 3470, 4320, 4322, 4430 and 4606).