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Geology, B.S.

Geology is the study of the Earth. Volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, landslides, erosion and plate tectonics are some of the things that geologists investigate and try to understand. Geology is a field-oriented science that involves mapping and analyzing rocks, deciphering the Earth’s history from the rock record, locating natural resources, identifying natural and man-made hazards, and understanding Earth’s natural processes.

Saint Louis University's Bachelor of Science in Geology places a strong emphasis on chemistry, physics, calculus and fieldwork.  It is appropriate for students who intend to go on to graduate school or become a professional geologist.

Additional program highlights include:

  • Saint Louis University's undergraduate geology program has a low student to faculty ratio, giving students more opportunities to interact with faculty, receive personalized attention and take advantage of opportunities both inside and outside of the University. 
  • An annual department field trip in which faculty, graduate and undergraduate students spend one week exploring a region of the country offers a unique hands-on experience in which students learn first-hand about the Earth and its environment. The department heavily subsidizes these trips so that most students can participate. 

Curriculum Overview

The geology curriculum is built around areas of knowledge fundamental to understanding the Earth.

Survey courses in Earth systems are the first two courses that students take. Intermediate and upper-division courses are focused on the building blocks of Earth and the processes that build and modify the Earth’s features. These courses cover the study of minerals and rocks, weathering and erosion, sediment transport and deposition, development of mountain ranges and deformation of the Earth, and the movement of tectonic plates.

Students enrolled in the bachelor of science program also enroll in a six-week summer camp during which they learn to work in the field.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

In addition to the annual geology department field trip during which faculty, graduate and undergraduate students spend one week exploring a region of the United States, geology students at SLU may have the opportunity for part-time work assisting faculty members with their research. These jobs expose students to various aspects of science and provide them with some income. The city of St. Louis also provides opportunities for science-related volunteer work in places such as the Saint Louis Science Center and Saint Louis Zoo.

Careers

A degree in the geosciences prepares students for a variety of interesting careers. Many geoscientists work in industry or for government agencies concerned with oil and natural gas exploration and production, mining, water resources, civil engineering, waste and pollution management, environmental impact assessment, conservation and land management, policy analysis and implementation education.

Students in SLU's geology program also acquire a solid background in critical thinking, effective communication and computer use relevant to a variety of both scientific and non-scientific careers.

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will know the founding principles in their field of study, as well as the facts and content appropriate to the field.
  2. Graduates will be able to use their knowledge to reason about issues in their discipline.
  3. Graduates will be able to solve quantitative problems in their discipline.

Geology students must complete a minimum total of 72 credits for the major.

Core Requirement
College core requirements54-63
For additional information about core courses
Required Courses
EAS 1430
EAS 1435
Introduction to the Solid Earth
and Introduction to the Solid Earth Lab
4
EAS 1450
EAS 1455
Introduction to Oceanography
and Intro to Oceanography Lab
4
Or
EAS 1420
EAS 1425
Introduction to Atmospheric Science
and Introduction to Atmospheric Science Lab
EAS 2200
EAS 2205
Mineralogy
and Mineralogy Lab
4
EAS 2400Field Techniques in the Geosciences3
EAS 2450Communicating in Science3
EAS 4050
EAS 4060
Petrology
and Petrology Lab
4
EAS 4100
EAS 4105
Surface Processes
and Surface Processes Laboratory
4
EAS 4300
EAS 4305
Structural Geology
and Structural Geology Lab
4
EAS 4370Earth Dynamics3
Summer Field Camp 6
CHEM 1110
CHEM 1115
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
4
CHEM 1120
CHEM 1125
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
4
MATH 1510Calculus I4
MATH 1520Calculus II4
PHYS 1310
PHYS 1320
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
4
Or
PHYS 1610
PHYS 1620
University Physics I
and University Physics I Laboratory
PHYS 1330
PHYS 1340
College Physics II
and College Physics II Laboratory
4
Or
PHYS 1630
PHYS 1640
University Physics II
and University Physics II Laboratory
Elective Courses9
Select a minimum of 9 credits from the following: 9
EAS 1140
Earth History
EAS 2480
EAS 2485
Foundations of Environmental Science
and Foundations of Environmental Science Lab
EAS 4140
Soil Science
EAS 4210
Divergent & Convergent Margins
EAS 4280
Environmental Geochemistry
EAS 4160
Exploration Seismology
EAS 4410
EAS 4415
Hydrology
and Hydrology Lab
EAS 4570
Advanced Petrology
EAS 4620
Introduction to Earthquake Seismology
GIS 4010
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
MATH 2530
Calculus III
STAT 1300
Elementary Statistics with Computers
or MATH 1300
Elementary Statistics with Computers
or STAT 3850
Foundation of Statistics
CHEM 3330
Physical Chemistry 1
Total Credits135-144

Students must complete a six credit geology field camp via another university.  Field camp is offered in the summer at several universities and is typically taken after the junior year.  Students must meet the prerequisites of the field camp and obtain approval from the Geology program coordinator.

At least 6 credits must be from EAS.

Continuation Standards

Students must have a minimum of a 2.00 GPA in their major courses within the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and required related credits (biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer sciences, physics, etc.) by the conclusion of their freshman year. Students who fall below a 2.00 GPA will be placed on probation. If a student fails to obtain at least a 2.0 GPA in their major courses and required related credits by the conclusion of their sophomore year they will not be allowed to continue in the program.

Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-6
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics4
Science8
Philosophy6
Social Science6
Theology6
World History6
Total Credits54-60

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements.
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
EAS 1430
EAS 1435
Introduction to the Solid Earth
and Introduction to the Solid Earth Lab
4
EAS 1420
EAS 1425
Introduction to Atmospheric Science
and Introduction to Atmospheric Science Lab (Could be replaced with EAS 1450/1455 in the Spring)
4
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits14
Spring
EAS 1450
EAS 1455
Introduction to Oceanography
and Intro to Oceanography Lab (Could be replaced with EAS 1420/1425 in the Fall)
4
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits13
Year Two
Fall
EAS 2450 Communicating in Science 3
CHEM 1110
CHEM 1115
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
4
MATH 1510 Calculus I 4
A&S Core 3
 Credits14
Spring
EAS 2400 Field Techniques in the Geosciences 3
CHEM 1120
CHEM 1125
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
4
MATH 1520 Calculus II 4
A&S Core 3
 Credits14
Year Three
Fall
EAS 2200
EAS 2205
Mineralogy
and Mineralogy Lab
4
EAS 4370 Earth Dynamics 3
PHYS 1310
PHYS 1320
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
4
Or  
PHYS 1610
PHYS 1620
University Physics I
and University Physics I Laboratory
 
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits17
Spring
EAS 4050
EAS 4060
Petrology
and Petrology Lab
4
EAS 4100
EAS 4105
Surface Processes
and Surface Processes Laboratory
4
PHYS 1330
PHYS 1340
College Physics II
and College Physics II Laboratory
4
Or  
PHYS 1630
PHYS 1640
University Physics II
and University Physics II Laboratory
 
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Summer
Field Camp 6
 Credits6
Year Four
Fall
EAS elective 3
EAS elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
EAS 4300
EAS 4305
Structural Geology
and Structural Geology Lab
4
EAS elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits16
 Total Credits124

Program Notes

At least six credits of major electives must be from EAS. Science electives outside of earth and atmospheric sciences may also be approved by the program director.