3290 Geosciences

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Geosciences (3290.1)
    • Concentration in Geography
    • Concentration in Urban Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Geosciences (3290.2)
    • Concentration in Geology
    • Concentration in Environmental Geosciences
    • Concentration in Geography
    • Concentration in Urban Studies
  • Minor in Geosciences (3290.3)
  • Dual B.A. or B.S. / M.S. in Geosciences (3290.4)
  • Certificate in Geographic Information Science (3290.5)

Department of Geosciences
340 Kell Hall
404/413-5750
geosciences.gsu.edu

Daniel Deocampo, Chair
Leslie Edwards, Undergraduate Director

Geosciences involves the study of the social and physical dimensions of the earth, including its interior, surface, atmosphere, and people. The Department of Geosciences makes available to students instruction, training, and experiences in the fields of Geology and Geography.  These two disciplines provide complementary perspectives on a broad range of issues dealing with natural landscapes at all spatial and temporal scales, human-environment interactions, geospatial analysis, including Geographic Information Systems, and the social and physical dynamics of urban life.

The Department of Geosciences offers the B.A. degree in Geosciences with a concentration in either Geography or Urban Studies; and the B.S. degree in Geosciences with a concentration in Geology, Geography, Environmental Geosciences, or Urban Studies.

3290.1 B.A. in Geosciences

Students earning the B.A. degree in Geosciences must choose one of two concentrations: either Geography or Urban Studies.

The Geography concentration develops a broad understanding of social and environmental issues, attains depth in a specialized area within Geography, and provides skills needed to gain employment and carry out lifelong learning.  An undergraduate degree Geosciences with a Geography concentration affords many opportunities for employment in both the public and private sectors. Geographers generally find employment as cartographers, city/regional planners, conservationists, environmental managers, environmental regulators, Geographic Information System (GIS) specialists, historic preservationists, location analysts, and as physical scientists working for the government. In addition, with their broad liberal arts training, geographers also qualify for professional management positions as well as teachers.

The Geography concentration also provides a solid intellectual foundation for people getting advanced degrees in either the social or natural sciences. In addition to having substantial flexibility of course selections, students in the Geography concentration are required to take multiple upper-division courses in human geography, physical geography, and geographic information science. Finally, the Geography concentration enables majors interested in geography to find their intellectual niche within geography.

The Urban Studies concentration permits the students to focus on the study of cities including urban development and economics, urban politics and institutions, the urban built environment, social and environmental disparities in cities, and the changing physical and social dynamics of urbanization processes.  This interdisciplinary approach enables students to draw from a variety of courses to solve some of the most pressing challenges of the twenty-first century city.  The Urban Studies concentration draws from classes in other complementary departments, enabling the student to develop specific interests within the concentration.

In addition to course content focused on different aspects of urban problems and solutions, students will gain a skill set to address such issues, including a holistic approach to understanding urban dynamics, critical thinking and writing skills to express the complexity of urban issues, and a tool kit of data collection and analysis skills, which may include Geographic Information Systems (GIS), quantitative spatial analysis, and/or qualitative analysis.  Students graduating with this concentration will be well poised to enter jobs and graduate study in urban planning, urban policy work, non-governmental organization administration, community-based work, and in urban public health, among many others. Students interested in any geography or urban studies course, or in enrolling in these concentrations within the B.A. degree in Geosciences or pursuing a minor in Geosciences, are invited to contact the Geosciences Undergraduate adviser to discuss how this degree program may best help make their college experience positive and productive.

Program Degree Requirements

In addition to the Program Degree Requirements, students must fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements (see section 3030) and the University Degree Requirements (see section 1400).

Program Financial Information

Lab fees will be assessed automatically for students who register for certain courses. For more information, please feel free to contact the department or review the GoSolar or catalog course listings to determine if a course includes a lab fee.

B.A. in Geosciences

Areas A-E: Core Curriculum Recommendations

Geography and Urban Studies concentrations: GEOG 1101, GEOG 1112, GEOG 1113 with a grade of C or higher.

Area F: Courses Appropriate to the Major Field

Students should select Area F courses in consultation with their advisor, as some upper level geosciences courses have prerequisites.

    1. Required Courses for the Geography and Urban Studies concentrations: Math 1070 (3) or approved substitute.
    2. Satisfy Foreign Language Requirement (Lang 1002 or higher).
    3. Select additional courses from the following to complete the 18 hours in Area F.
      Any geography courses listed above at the 1000/2000 level not taken in Area E. AAS 2010, ANTH 2030, ANTH 2020, ECON 2105, ECON 2106, Hist (any course not taken in Area E), Lang 1001 (if student has no previous experience with language), Lang 1002, MATH 1070, PHIL 1010, POLS 1101, POLS 2401, PSYC 1101, SOCI 1101, SOCI 1160, WGSS 2010.

Area G: Major Courses, B.A. in Geosciences.

Geography Concentration Courses (39)

A grade of C or higher is required in all major courses.

  1. Required course to fulfill CTW requirement (4)
    • Select one of the following: Climatic Change (GEOG 4784) or Urban Geography (GEOG 4764)
  2. Capstone requirement: (4)
  3. Required courses
  4. Remaining Geography or Geology courses selected in consultation with advisor.

Urban Studies Concentration Courses (39)

A grade of C or higher is required in all major courses. At least half of the required 39 hours be GEOG courses as specified in 1, 2, and 4 below.

  1. Required course to fulfill CTW requirement (4)
  2. Capstone requirement: (4)
  3. Required courses
    • Contemporary Urban Theory and Issues, GEOG 4774 (3)
    • Metropolitan Atlanta, GEOG 4768 (3)
    • GEOG 4515 Qualitative Methods (4) OR Geog 4520 Quantitative Spatial Analysis (4)
    • Select one or more courses from following:
  4. Remaining Geography or Geology courses selected in consultation with advisor.

Area H: Minor and Additional Courses

Students earning a B.A. in Geosciences are not required to take a minor.

3290.2 B.S. in Geosciences.

Students earning the B.S. degree in Geosciences must choose one of four concentrations: Geology, Environmental Geosciences, Geography, or Urban Studies.  Many career opportunities allow for practical application of geosciences in industry, consulting firms, and governmental agencies at all levels. Practical and essential applications of geology and geography include development and stewardship of water resources, both surface and subsurface; land-use planning for urban, suburban, and rural development; exploration for and development of mineral and energy resources including petroleum and other fossil fuels; and development of environmentally sound strategies for hazardous waste disposal and treatment. The curriculum leading to the B.S. degree in geosciences is excellent preparation for graduate work in geoscience and environmental science, geography, and urban studies. For students who are interested in geoscience and environmental science but who intend to pursue graduate or advanced study in other fields, for example environmental law or business, the B.S. degree may still be an appropriate choice.  The B.S. degree meets certain federal criteria required for science-track career pathways in federal agencies such as the EPA, USGS, and others.

The concentrations in Geography and Geology are the most traditional of the programs, and they are designed to prepare the student for graduate studies or employment in a wide variety of geoscience areas. Students considering employment and state licensure as a Professional Geologist (required for supervisory environmental consultants) should select the traditional Geology concentration. The Environmental Geoscience emphasizes the study of ground water and the delicate environmental balances of the natural world. The Urban Studies Concentration is focused on geoscience topics applicable to the study of urban settings. Specific requirements for the concentrations are shown below.

Majors should be aware that there are prerequisites for many geology courses and that several courses are offered only once a year. As soon as they have selected the geology concentration, these students are advised to consult with department advisers to be informed in these matters and to ensure that programs of study accord with their specific career aspirations and needs. The department participates actively in the university’s Cooperative Education Program, whereby the student can work and attend school at the same time or in alternate years. The program enables students to develop long-term career opportunities while in school. Because of the potential complexities of such a program, students are encouraged to seek early advisement in the department. Co-op students also should discuss their academic plans and curriculum options with their employers.

Program Financial Information

Lab fees will be assessed automatically for students who register for certain courses. For more information, please feel free to contact the department.

Program Degree Requirements

In addition to the Program Degree Requirements outlined below, students must fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements (see section 3030) and the University Degree Requirements (see section 1400).

B.S. in Geosciences

Areas A-E: Core Curriculum Requirements and Recommendations

Area A:           Required: MATH 1113 Precalculus (3) (or a higher-level mathematics course)

Area D:           Recommended: Weather and Climate (GEOG 1112), Introduction to Landforms   (GEOG 1113). Or Introductory Geosciences I (GEOL 1121K and GEOL 1122K). Math recommendation is MATH 1070, MATH 2201, MATH 2202, MATH 2211 or higher.

Area E:            Recommended: GEOG 1101, Introduction to Human Geography

Area F: Courses Appropriate to the Major Field (18 hours) *

  1. MATH 1070 (or approved substitute), if not taken in Area D. (3)
  2. Calculus with One Variable I (MATH 2211), Calculus with One Variable II (MATH 2212), or higher 2000-level calculus course, if not taken in Area D. (3-4)
  3. Two introductory lab course sequences appropriate to the concentration in addition to those completed in Area D:  CHEM 1211K and CHEM 1212K, GEOL 1121K and GEOL 1122K or GEOG 1112 and GEOG 1113, PHYS 1111K and PHYS 1112K; BIOL 1103K and BIOL 1104K. Please note, the CHEM 1211K/CHEM 1112K sequence and the GEOL 1121K/GEOL 1122K sequence must be completed in Area D or Area F. (8)
  4. As necessary, choose major related courses at the 1000/2000-level not taken in areas A-E in the following subjects to complete the 18 hours required in Area F: geology, geography, statistics, mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry and physical anthropology.

Students should select Area F courses appropriate to their Geoscience concentration and to their career goals.  Students are advised to select courses after having consultation with the Geosciences Undergraduate Director and relevant Geoscience faculty members familiar with the specific GEOS Bachelor degree concentrations. Area G courses have pre-requisites that can be satisfied through careful selection of courses in Areas A-F.    A student’s plan of study must have consultation with both the College advisement and Departmental guidance.

Additional Notes:

If more than eighteen credit hours are earned as a result of completion of a two course sequences, then credit hours earned in excess of 18 hours can be applied to the 60 hours beyond the Core.

The GEOL 1121KGEOL 1122K sequence is required for the Geology concentration.  GEOG 1112GEOG 1113 sequence is required for Geography and Urban Studies concentrations.

CHEM 1211K & CHEM 1212K sequence is required for the Geology concentration and highly recommended for the Environmental Geosciences concentration. GEOL 1121K & GEOL 1122K or GEOG 1112 & GEOG 1113. Students may substitute courses from 3 above if they have already taken GEOL 1121K and GEOL 1122K or GEOG 1112 & GEOG 1113  in Area D.

Taking either the Biology Sequence (BIOL 1103K & BIOL 1104K) or an appropriate Physics sequence (PHYS 1111K & PHYS 1112K, or PHYS 2211K & PHYS 2212K) is highly recommended for Geology and Environmental Geosciences concentrations. GEOG 2020 is highly recommended for Geography and Urban Studies concentrations.

Area G: Major Courses, B.S. in Geosciences.
Geology Concentration Courses (39)

A grade of C or higher is required in all major courses.

  1. Required course to fulfill CTW requirement (4)
    • GEOL 4006 Sedimentary Environments and Stratigraphy (4)
  2. Capstone requirement: (4)
  3. Required Courses:
  4. Remaining Geology or Geography courses selected in consultation with advisor.

Environmental Geosciences Concentration Courses (39)

A grade of C or higher is required in all major courses.

  1. Required course to fulfill CTW requirement (4)
    • GEOL 4006 Sedimentary Environments and Stratigraphy (4)
  2. Capstone requirement: (4)
    • GEOG 4830 Senior Seminar (4) [Also a CTW course.]
  3. Required Course: Geographic Information Systems (GEOG 4532) (4)
  4. Choose one of the following course pairs (a or b) (8):
    1. Quantitative Methods (GEOG 4520) and Remote Sensing (GEOG 4530), or
    2. Sedimentary Environments and Stratigraphy (GEOL 4006) and Petrology (GEOL 4016)
  5. Choose either of the following field experience courses (a or b) (4-6):
    1. Basic Field Geology (Geol 4120) and Advanced Field Geology (GEOL 4121), or
    2. Field School in Geography (GEOG 4550) (4)
  6. Select from the following to complete 39 credits:

Geography Concentration Courses (39)

A grade of C or higher is required in all major courses.

  1. Required course to fulfill CTW requirement (4)
    • Choose one of the following: Climatic Change (GEOG 4784) or Urban Geography (GEOG 4764)
  2. Capstone requirement: (4)
  3. Required courses
  4. Remaining Geography or Geology courses selected in consultation with advisor.

Urban Studies Concentration Courses (39)

A grade of C or higher is required in all major courses. At least half of the required 39 hours be Geography courses as specified in 1, 2 and 4.

  1. Required course to fulfill CTW requirement (4)
  2. Capstone requirement: (4)
  3. Required courses
  4. Choose at least one or more courses from following:
  5. Remaining Geography or Geology courses selected in consultation with advisor.

Area H: Minor and Additional Courses

Students earning a B.S. in Geosciences are not required to take a minor.

3290.3 Minor in Geosciences

Students who wish to minor in Geosciences must take 15-18 hours in courses in Geosciences, including at least nine hours at the 3000-level or above.  Students taking more than 15 hours in courses in Geosciences may count the additional hours toward their electives or may consider completing a double major.  A grade of C or higher is required in all courses counting toward the minor.  Courses that are being applied to the core may not also be applied to the minor.

3290.4 Dual B.A./M.S. and Dual B.S./M.S. Programs in Geosciences

The department offers a dual Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences and Master of Arts in Geosciences. The dual degree opportunity enables qualified students to enroll in graduate courses late in their undergraduate program and count the coursework toward both the bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Students must be formally accepted into the dual degree program by the department and College of Arts and Sciences to be able to take graduate courses as an undergraduate. Additionally, acceptance into the dual program does not constitute admission to the master’s program. Students must fulfill regular graduate admissions requirements and apply for the master’s program following college processes.

Information about the dual program, including application instructions and program requirements, can be found at cas.gsu.edu/dual-degrees/.

3290.5 Certificate in Geographic Information Science

Geographic Information Science (GIS) is a rapidly growing discipline, with applications in many fields. A strong demand exists for proficient users of geospatial technology. The undergraduate-level Certificate Program in GIS is designed to facilitate the learning of GIS by students working toward undergraduate degrees in Geosciences and in many other disciplines. The Certificate Program consists of four courses with a total of 15 credit hours. Please contact the Department of Geosciences for more information.

GIS Certificate Requirements (15 hours)

  1. Required Courses (12 hours). The student must take the following courses:
    • GEOG 4518 Digital Cartography (4)
    • GEOG 4532 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4)
    • GEOG 4534 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (4)
  2. Elective Course (3 hours). The student must complete one of the following courses:

Students enrolled in this certificate program should seek advice regarding choices of the elective course from the Undergraduate Director of Geosciences.  For students interested in programming, Intro to Computer Science (CSC 2010 (3)); CSC 1310 (3); or course(s) selected with approval of the Undergraduate Director of Geosciences may also qualify as elective courses for this Certificate.

Residency Requirement

A minimum of 39 semester hours in courses 3000 and higher must be completed in residence at Georgia State University with an average of C or higher.  At least 50% of the Area G courses must be completed at Georgia State University.

Honors Program

The Department of Geosciences encourages qualified students to participate in the GSU Honors Program.