Geology Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

For further information about this major, contact Dr. Andy Vermilyea (chair of Natural Sciences)

A comprehensive program in geology designed for preparation for graduate school, a career in geology, or secondary education.

Students completing the Bachelor of Science in Geology will demonstrate:

Knowledge and Understanding of Geological Concepts

  • Comprehend and create a geologic map, construct a geologic cross-section, and construct and contour map.
  • Use appropriate technological tools.
  • Identify common rocks and minerals in hand sample and in thin section.
  • Understand how physical properties of rocks and minerals relate to chemistry and crystal structure.
  • Describe the layers of the Earth and understand the evidence used to deduce this structure.
  • Characterize the major physiographic features of the Earth.
  • Understand the theory of plate techtonics
  • Explain rock structures at different scales, describe the rock and hydrologic cycles, and relate igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary phenomena to plate tectonic processes.
  • Understand the scope of geologic time, the chronology of major Earth events, and geologic age-dating methods.

Intellectual Skills

  • Make systematic observations, construct hypotheses and make predictions, design an experiment, interpret data, and form conclusions based on the data.
  • Locate, comprehend, assess, and apply the scholarly work of scientists according to accepted practices.
  • Communicate scientific information, both orally and in writing, according to accepted practice in the field of geology.
  • Use appropriate mathematical and statistical methods to evaluate and interpret geologic data.

Civic Learning

  • Clear understanding of the issues and involvement of geology in modern society.

Complete the following mathematics courses (7 cr):

Code Course Credits

MAT 1531

Calculus I

Topics include limits, differentiation, applications of derivatives, and an introduction to integration. This course may utilize graphing calculators on a regular basis.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: MAT 1320 or equivalent.

Every semester

4

MAT 2021

Statistics I

This course prepares students for quantitative methods in their respective fields. Descriptive and inferential statistics, including estimation, hypothesis testing, linear regression and correlation are covered. Basic tools of descriptive statistics, discrete probability, binomial distribution, normal distribution, t-distribution, estimates and sample sizes, hypothesis testing, elementary correlation and regression, contingency tables are explored. Students utilize graphing calculators and spreadsheet software on a regular basis.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: Students must take a math assessment (ACCUPLACER) for placement purposes prior to registration or MAT 1010.

Every semester

3

and complete the following chemistry and physics courses (12 cr):

Code Course Credits

CHE 1051

Chemistry I

An in-depth study of the fundamental principles of chemistry. Topics include modern atomic theory and structure of atoms, solution chemistry, nature of chemical bond, stoichiometry, gas laws, thermochemistry and molecular geometry. This course is designed for biology, chemistry, geology, and environmental science majors, as well as motivated students in the health related fields. To succeed in this course, an understanding of applied algebra is mandatory.

Restrictions Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Geology majors only.

Prerequisite: MAT 1020 or MAT 1221 or MAT 1320 or equivalent placement.

Fee Fee $50

Fall

4

CHE 1052

Chemistry II

This course is a continuation of CHE 1051 . Topics of study include intermolecular forces, properties of solutions, the chemistry of solids, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, equilibrium, metal chemistry, and electrochemistry. This course is designed for biology, chemistry, geology, and environmental science majors or other students that will pursue higher-level courses in chemistry.

Restrictions Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Geology majors only.

Prerequisite: CHE 1051 or CHE 1041

Fee Fee $50

Spring

4

PHY 2110

Physics I

An introduction to the concepts and theories of physics for science majors. Topics include forces, motion, and energy. A weekly laboratory section explores concepts and the role of experimentation in science. This course will present and use elementary calculus in order to solve physics problems. University level calculus is required. May not be taken for credit if credit has been received for PHY 1051.

Lecture and lab.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: MAT 1531

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall

4

and complete the following Geology courses (28 cr):

Code Course Credits

GEY 1030

Dynamic Earth

This is an introductory geology course which examines the geological features of the earth and the processes that operate in the interior and on the surface of the earth which are responsible for their formation. Topics studied include volcanos, earthquakes, mountain building, plate tectonics, glaciers, minerals, rocks, streams and groundwater. Also covered are the techniques and methods geologists use to learn more about the earth.

Lecture and lab.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall

4

GEY 2010

Mineralogy

This course includes basic identification of rocks and minerals and microscopic study of minerals. Minerals will be studied in hand specimen and microscopically. Rocks will be studied in hand specimen. The formation of both minerals and rocks will be covered.

Lecture and lab.

Prerequisite: GEY 1030 and CHE 1041 or CHE 1051 or consent of instructor.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall, even years

4

GEY 2020

Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

Interpretation of sedimentary processes and depositional environments through the study of sedimentary rocks and their characteristics is the focus of this course. Identification of siliciclastic and carbonate sedimentary rocks, and recognition of textural features and sedimentary structures, along with vertical and lateral variation in lithology, provides the necessary data to interpret past environments of deposition, and how those environments have changed through time. The physical and chemical processes involved in weathering and diagenesis will be studied.

Prerequisite: GEY 1030 or GEY 1050, and CHE 1041 or CHE 1051 or consent of instructor.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Spring, odd years

4

GEY 2030

Field Mapping

An introductory field mapping course for students considering a geology major, and a prerequisite for summer field camp. This course will be conducted almost entirely outdoors, familiarizing students with geologic structures and stratigraphy in the field and how to map them. Use of the Brunton compass and other tools will be stressed.

Prerequisite: GEY 1030 or GEY 1050.

Fall, even years

1

GEY 3010

Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

This course includes understanding the genesis of igneous rocks (intrusive and volcanic) and metamorphic rocks, including plate tectonic settings, mechanisms of magma production and rock metamorphism, and rock and mineral identification.

Lecture and lab.

Prerequisite: GEY 1030, GEY 2010, CHE 1041 or CHE 1051 , or permission of instructor.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Spring, odd years

4

GEY 3050

Structural Geology

The origin and development of structural features of the earth's crust, folding, faulting, volcanism, metamorphism.

Lecture and lab or field experience.

Prerequisite: GEY 1030 or consent of instructor.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Spring, even years

4

GEY 4020

Regional Geology

  • a Geology elective 3 cr

Through lecture, lab and extensive field trips, the geology of Vermont, the Appalachians and the regional geology of North America is studied. Eastern and western mountains will be compared.

Lecture and lab.

Prerequisite: Two courses in Geology.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall, odd years

4

(Credits required for the major: 47 cr)

Honors in Geology

Students wishing to graduate with Honors in Geology must meet the following requirements:

  • a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses,
  • a minimum GPA of 3.4 in all science and math courses,
  • complete a minimum of 3 credits of independent research in geology,
  • and present the results of their research in a public forum.

Recommendation

The following recommended courses may be necessary or useful to students who wish to pursue a particular career or graduate work in Geology. Consult your advisor:

Code Course Credits

CHE 2111

Organic Chemistry I

An introduction to the chemistry of organic compounds. Emphasis is on organic functional groups and their chemical properties, nomenclature and molecular structure. The laboratory introduces students to basic organic laboratory techniques of synthesis, purification and characterization. Lecture (3 hrs.) and lab (4 hrs). Students are strongly recommended to take Organic Problem Solving I (CHE 2113) together with this course.

Prerequisite: CHE 1042 or CHE 1052 with a grade of C or better.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall

4

GEY 1050

The Earth through Time

This is an introductory geology course that examines the evolution of the earth, and the life on the earth, from 4.6 billion years ago to the present. We will develop the foundation necessary to understand the evidence and clues geologists use to interpret earth history.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Spring, odd years

4

GEY 3030

Aqueous Geochemistry

-OR- CHE 3030 - Aqueous Geochemistry 3 cr

This course is designed to show the application of chemical principles to the study of geology. Topics covered include aqueous geochemistry, activity-concentration relations, carbonate equilibria, pH-fO2 diagrams, isotope systems, and the application of geochemistry to solving environmental problems.

Prerequisite: CHE 1042 or CHE 1052 and GEY 1030.

Spring, even years

3

GEY 3110

Hydrogeology

  • Summer field course-program approved by the Geology Advisor.

This is an applied hydrogeology course with lecture, laboratory and field experience. Course material will include the hydrologic cycle, ground water, wells, water quality/contamination and flow modeling. Lecture and lab.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: GEY 1030, GEY 1050 or consent of the instructor.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall, odd years

4

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Click here for General Education Requirements.