Jul 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geological Sciences BS

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Did you fill your pockets with rocks as a kid? Do you love hiking and being outside? Do you care about climate change, protecting our natural resources and keeping people safe from natural disasters? If so, let’s talk about geological sciences, a degree that can take you from volcanoes in California to glaciers in Greenland … and far beyond. If this sounds interesting-and you like science and math-get ready to dig in.

Visit the Geological Sciences academic program page for more information about the academic experience, who you will learn from, opportunities outside of class and what you can do with this degree.

Visit the Geology department page  for contact information, a brief overview of the department and the curricular options.

Admission Criteria

Current UB students seeking admission to the Geological Sciences BS will be added to the major upon request by completing the College of Arts and Sciences Major/Minor Change Request Form.

Course Requirements

Two Geological Sciences Electives (6 credits)

  • At least six GLY credits at the 400 level.
  • The following courses are not acceptable elective courses: GLY 407 GLY 493 GLY 497 GLY 498 GLY 499  & tutorial courses.

Total Credits Required for Major: 70

Additional Degree Requirements Include:

  • Additional coursework to fulfill UB Curriculum requirements
  • Elective courses as needed to complete the 120 credit hour total

Total Credits Required for Graduation: 120

Total Credit Hours Required represents the minimum credits needed to complete this program, and may vary based on a number of circumstances. This should not be used for financial aid purposes.


*Minimum GPA of 2.000 in Geology courses required to attend the required summer field camp (GLY 407LEC).

Academic Requirements

Minimum GPA of 2.000 in all courses required for the degree. Minimum grade of C in GLY 101  OR GLY 102 .

Program Honors

Acceptance criteria for the Geology honors program include junior status, a minimum GPA of 3.250 in geology courses (including the chemistry, math and physics courses required for the major) and have completed at least three courses in geology.  Obtaining honors in geology requires a GPA of 3.250 or higher, research with a faculty member or graduate student during two consecutive semesters via independent study credits, and a capstone project that typically consists of a poster presentation at a conference on or off campus. Students must also meet the remaining criteria outlined in the Academic Honors policy. Students who successfully complete the honors program and meet the criteria will have the appropriate notation on their official transcript.

Curricular Plan

A Curricular Plan provides a roadmap for completing this academic program and the UB Curriculum on time. Your actual plan may vary depending on point of entry to the university, course placement and/or waivers based on standardized test scores, earned alternative credit and/or college transfer credit.

Total Credits: 15 or 16

First Year Spring

Total Credits: 15 or 16

Total Credits: 16

Second Year Spring

Total Credits: 14

Third Year Fall

Total Credits: 14

Third Year Spring

Total Credits: 14

Third Year Summer

Total Credits: 6

Fourth Year Fall

Total Credits: 13

Fourth Year Spring

  • GLY 400 level Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3

Total Credits: 12

Total Credits Required: 120

Note: Some classes may count toward both a major and UB Curriculum requirement.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge of:

  • Understanding basic scientific principles and concepts, including the importance of geology in society, geologic time, and geologic history, as well as rudiments of mathematics, chemistry, physics, and statistics with applications to geology.
  • Laboratory and field practice in identifying minerals, rocks, soils, structures, stratigraphy and fossils, and using best practices to design and implement tests using modern methods and techniques.
  • Developing approaches for collection and analysis of information, such as numerical modeling, GIS map construction, and literature searches.
  • Critical thinking, hypothesis formulation and testing; i.e., demonstrating use of the scientific method independently and collaboratively, with hypothesis formulation, testing, analysis, interpretation and evaluation of observation.
  • Demonstrating skill in scientific communication - oral, written and technological.
  • Exhibiting an appreciation of scientific values and professionalism concerning ethical conduct in science, in ownership of ideas and research, and awareness of contemporary social and ethical issues related to geology.
  • Graduates will have the depth of knowledge and skill to interpret and create geologic products; these products include interpreting geologic structures, landforms, and maps and creating field and laboratory notebooks and geologic maps.


(HEGIS: 19.14 GEOLOGY, CIP40.0601 Geology/Earth Science, General)


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