The Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences offers the B.S. degree in geology, the B.S. degree in Earth Science, and the B.A. degree in Earth Science. The B.S. in Geology focuses on traditional geology, while laying a solid foundation for further graduate study in the geosciences. The B.S. in Earth Science has an environmental geology focus. The B.A. in Earth Science provides a broader overview of geology and supporting sciences and is designed primarily for careers in secondary education.
The B.S. degree is the only degree offered in the geology program and is designed to acquaint the student with the broad discipline of geology and its supporting sciences. Sufficient depth of coursework is provided so that the student may pursue graduate study. Forty-four credits of geology are required, including Geol 100, 100L, 102, 102L, 302, 315, 315L, 316, 356, 357, 365, 368, 479 and 9 credits of geology electives. Required supporting courses include Chem 177, 177L, 178, 178L, Phys 111 and 112; Math 165, 166 or 181, 182, Engl 309 or 314, and 6 additional credits of either geology electives or courses from an approved departmental list of science, engineering, and mathematical disciplines outside of geology. Students with senior standing may use graduate geology courses (500-level or above) to fulfill the elective requirement; however, they should be aware that courses taken at the graduate level and counted toward the B.S. degree cannot be applied again toward a graduate degree at Iowa State University.
Geology courses generally have prerequisites in geology or in mathematics, chemistry, or physics. Prerequisites require that courses be taken in a prescribed sequence; however, because of differences in the preparation and background of each student, there is not a unique way to proceed through the B.S. program. Students are advised to maintain frequent contact with their academic advisors so that all degree requirements are met in a timely fashion.