Jul 17, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2024-2025 
Rensselaer Catalog 2024-2025

Geology B.S.

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Outcomes of the Undergraduate Curriculum

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to demonstrate:

  • knowledge of science (physics, chemistry, geology, biology) and mathematics (calculus) needed to understand natural systems at a fundamental level.
  • in-depth knowledge in one particular field of science (i.e. geology, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, or computer science) that is sufficient to allow meaningful study and insight into problems affecting natural systems.
  • an appreciation for Earth Systems, in particular, knowledge of their interconnectedness and their natural and human-induced changes through time (Earth Systems include the oceans, atmosphere, solid Earth and sub-systems thereof).
  • an appreciation for and knowledge of the societal context of science and the far-reaching impact of solid-Earth issues in society.
  • an awareness of potential career paths for scientifically trained individuals in the solid-Earth sector.
  • scientific background knowledge needed to pursue a career in the solid-Earth sector or graduate studies in a related field.

The program shown below requires a total of 124 credit hours. The program leads to a B.S. in Geology.

First Year



Second Year



Third Year

Please note: The third year of the program varies depending upon which semester the student chooses to take away following The Arch Summer Semester classes. Please note the following differences in curriculum:

  • If students are going to be away during the Fall semester of their junior year, they should take the listed courses for each term and any courses under the Fall Away Track for year three of their program.
  • If students are going to be away during the Spring semester of their junior year, they should take the listed courses for each term and any courses under the Spring Away Track for year three of their program.

The Arch Summer Semester*

*For more information on the ARCH process, please click here: The Arch 


Fall or Spring

  • Biology Requirement Credit Hours: 4 2
  • Elective Credit Hours: 8
  • ERTH 4XXX selected from the ERTH Electives: Credit Hours: 4

Fall or Spring

Fourth Year


  • Electives Credit Hours: 8
  • ERTH Electives Credit Hours: 4


  • Culminating Experience  Credit Hours: 4
  • Electives  Credit Hours: 6-7

Geology Group Options (Two courses from the following group)

ERTH Electives (The following are recommended as ERTH electives for the Geology curriculum)—choose 2 courses from the following:

Culminating Experience

Four credits total from the following:

  • Undergraduate Research Program


  1. With permission of the Department Head, a student may select another Math course (e.g. Diff Eq.,Course numbers MATH XXXX, MATP XXXX, or courses cross listed with these numbers).
  2. Biology Requirement (choose one):

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