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Geology Requirements

Required for the Major: The program for a geology major consists of 11 courses within the department and two additional cognate courses. These courses must include:

(1) One 0100-level course (we strongly recommend Environmental Geology (GEOL 0112), Elements of Oceanography (GEOL 0161) or Dynamic Earth (GEOL 0170).

(2) Four core courses: Bedrock Geology of Vermont (GEOL 0201), Mineralogy (GEOL 0211), and Structural Geology (GEOL 0281) are required, plus either Landscape Evolution (GEOL 0251) or Water Resources and Hydrogeology (GEOL 0255).

(3) Four elective courses (GEOL 0200-level or higher) chosen from the Middlebury geology curriculum.  A maximum of two electives (total) can be GEOL 0500, courses taken off campus (with approval of the Chair), or a combination of the two.

(4) Two cognate courses (any Biology, Chemistry, or Physics laboratory course, or Math 0116 or higher).

(5) Two Credits of Senior Work (GEOL 0400 and GEOL 0700)

The two course senior sequence (GEOL 0400 and 0700) is the culmination of the geology major and consists of original research based on field and/or laboratory investigations by the student. The requirements for the major listed above are considered to be minimal. We suggest students planning a career in geology or the earth sciences take additional courses in other sciences and mathematics, as well as additional geology courses. The requirements for the major allow for considerable flexibility and thus students should consult regularly with their geology department advisors for the selection of specific courses.
Geology Minor: A total of five courses is required. The minor shall consist of one introductory course (either GEOL 0112 or GEOL 0161 or GEOL 0170), plus four upper-level courses, which must include GEOL 0201 or GEOL 0211. After completing an introductory geology course, students who intend to minor in geology should arrange specific upper-level courses with the geology chair or designate.  Only one GEOL 0500 or off-campus course can count toward the minor.

Environmental Studies-Geology joint major: One introductory course chosen from among: GEOL 0112 (preferred), GEOL 0161, and GEOL 0170; one course from among GEOL/GEOG 0251, GEOL 0255, and GEOL 0257; one course from among GEOL 0201, GEOL 0211, and GEOL 0281; three GEOL 0200-level or higher courses, and two-term senior thesis focusing on geology and the environment: GEOL 0400/0700. Students wishing to pursue graduate study in geology are advised to take additional science and math courses and should consult with their advisor.

Departmental Honors in geology are based primarily on outstanding work in original research (GEOL 0700), and are related to course grades only in the context of guidelines in the College Handbook.


Department of Geology

McCardell Bicentennial Hall
276 Bicentennial Way
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753