Undergraduate Catalog


Phone: 845-257-3760
Location: Science Hall 113
Web address: www.newpaltz.edu/geology

The Department of Geology offers three undergraduate degree programs: Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) programs in Geology, with concentrations in general geology and environmental geoscience, and a BS degree program in Environmental Science. The BS degree in Geology is licensure qualifying: its coursework meets the education requirements for Professional Geologist licensure in New York State. (For more information about eligibility for Professional Geologist licensure, visit the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions.) Through coursework, fieldwork, and research projects, students in all Geology programs develop an awareness of the geological processes that shape planet Earth, and their impact on society and the environment. 

Elementary education and secondary education concentrations in Earth Science are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. These programs are described under the School of Education listings. A minor in geology is available for those majoring in other fields.

Interdisciplinary in nature, the undergraduate degree in geology requires courses in geology and cognate areas. The General Geology option is recommended for those contemplating graduate work in the geological sciences. For any of the geology programs, Physical Geology (GLG201 and GLG211 lab) should be taken in the fall semester of the freshman year, followed by Historical Geology (GLG202) in the spring. General Chemistry I (CHE201 and CHE211 lab), General Chemistry II (CHE202 and CHE212 lab) and Calculus I (MAT251) should also be taken in the freshman year. It is also possible to begin the major in the sophomore year with proper advising.

Transfer students should complete as many of the cognate requirements as possible before entering SUNY New Paltz. Ideally, one year each of college chemistry, physics, and calculus should be completed in addition to a one-year laboratory sequence in geology (physical and historical geology).

It is important that all students seek advising early on so they can complete the major on time. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the Geology program's requirements, working out the details of their plan of study with advisors' aid, and seeking their advisor's approval of elective courses before taking the courses. Additional advising information is available in the department office.

Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all courses required for the geology major or minor.

For non-majors interested in geology, or those considering a geology minor, the recommended sequence is Physical Geology (GLG201 and GLG211 lab) followed by Historical Geology (GLG202).

Honor's Research

Honor's Research is for students who wish to conduct a specialized research project at the undergraduate level. Students who plan on obtaining an M.A. or Ph.D. are advised to enroll in this course if they satisfy the prerequisites. Honor's Research is a very good means of letting the student, as well as faculty at SUNY New Paltz and other schools, identify whether or not he or she is suited for graduate work.

In order to enroll in Honor's Research (GLG491) a student must maintain a cumulative average of at least 3.00 and be recommended by a geology faculty sponsor and the department chair. Guidelines for research projects are available in the department office and should be carefully read prior to meeting with the department chair to discuss the program.

Geological Sciences Program: