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Geology Department

Major Programs

The Geology Department offers degrees in Geology with concentrations in General Geology and Environmental Geoscience. A separate degree program in Environmental Geochemical Science is offered as an interdisciplinary major that emphasizes Geology and Chemistry. Through coursework, field work, and research projects, students develop an awareness of the geological processes that shape planet Earth, and their impact on society and the environment. The Geology major is interdisciplinary and requires courses in geology and cognate areas. The General Geology program is recommended for those contemplating graduate or professional work in geology. The Environmental Geoscience option offers a strong geology background with an environmental emphasis, suitable for environmental consulting or positions in environment related governmental agencies.

Physical Geology (GLG201) provides an introduction to the geological sciences and is recommended for entering freshmen. Historical Geology (GLG301) should be taken in the following semester. General Chemistry 1 (CHM201) and Calculus 1 (MAT251) should also be taken in the freshman year if possible. A Math Placement Level of 5 (MPL5) is required for the major. This can be met by passing Pre-Calculus (MAT181) with a C- or better. Students accepted into the program with a lower MPL must meet this requirement as soon as possible in order to meet upper division prerequisites. The major sequence is designed to be completed over three academic years. Consult with the Chair or advisor for additional information or special cases.

No grades below C- will be allowed to count toward the major requirements. It is recommended that students who plan to do graduate or professional work in geology take a six-to-eight week field geology camp in the summer following their final semester at SUNY New Paltz. Transfer students should complete as many of the cognate courses as possible before entering SUNY New Paltz. Ideally one year each of college level chemistry, physics, and calculus should be completed in addition to a one-year laboratory sequence in geology equivalent to Physical Geology and Historical Geology.

This information is provided as a resource for students to aid in selecting a major or degree track. Students should consult with the department chair or advisor before selecting a program or enrolling in coursework.


Track 1 - General Geology (61-63 credits)

Geology Core (27 credits)
GLG201 Physical Geology (3)
GLG211 Physical Geology Lab (1)
GLG301 Historical Geology (4)
GLG311 Mineralogy-Crystallography (4)
GLG314 Petrology (4)
GLG331 Stratigraphy-Sedimentation (4)
GLG405 Structure and Tectonics (4)

Geology Courses (11-12 credits)
GLG435 Field Geology (4)
GLG407 Hydrogeology (4)
One of the following:
GLG305 Paleontology (4)
GLG303 Geomorphology (4)
GLG4xx geology course by advisement (3-4 credits)

Cognate Courses (23-24 credits)
CHM201 General Chemistry 1 (3)
CHM211 General Chemistry 1 Lab (1)
CHM202 General Chemistry 2 (3)
CHM212 General Chemistry 2 Lab (1)
MTH251 Calculus 1 (4)
PHY201 General Physics 1 (3)
PHY211 General Physics 1 Lab (1)
One of the following by advisement (3-4 credits):
MTH241 Introduction to Statistics (3)
MTH252 Calculus 2 (4)
One of the following pairs by advisement (4 credits):
PHY202 General Physics 2 (3)
PHY212 General Physics 2 Lab (1)
PHY222 Fundamental Physics 2 (3)
PHY232 Fundamental Physics 2 Lab (1)

Recommended Courses
BIO201 General Biology 1 (4)
BIO202 General Biology 2 (4)
CPS210 Computer Science 1 (4)
GLG383 Introduction to GIS (3)


Track 2 - Environmental Geoscience (60-61 credits)

Geology Core (27 credits)
GLG201 Physical Geology (3)
GLG211 Physical Geology Lab (1)
GLG301 Historical Geology (4)
GLG311 Mineralogy-Crystallography (4)
GLG314 Petrology (4)
GLG331 Stratigraphy-Sedimentation (4)
GLG405 Structure and Tectonics (4)

Geoscience Courses (11 credits)
GLG303 Geomorphology (4)
GLG407 Hydrogeology (4)
One of the following by advisement:
GLG339 Natural Resources and Energy (3)
GLG346 Environmental Impact Assessment (3)

Cognate Courses (23-24 credits)
CHM201 General Chemistry 1 (3)
CHM211 General Chemistry 1 Lab (1)
CHM202 General Chemistry 2 (3)
CHM212 General Chemistry 2 Lab (1)
MTH251 Calculus 1 (4)
PHY201 General Physics 1 (3)
PHY211 General Physics 1 Lab (1)
One of the following by advisement:
MTH241 Introduction to Statistics (3)
MTH252 Calculus 2 (4)
One of the following pairs by advisement (4 credits):
PHY202 General Physics 2 (3)
PHY212 General Physics 2 Lab (1)
PHY222 Fundamental Physics 2 (3)
PHY232 Fundamental Physics 2 Lab (1)

Recommended Courses
BIO201 General Biology 1 (4)
BIO202 General Biology 2 (4)
CPS210 Computer Science 1 (4)
GLG383 Introduction to GIS (3)