​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

The geology major at CMU emphasizes mastery of the basics required for success as a geoscientist. You’ll acquire a strong foundation of geologic knowledge and skills related to observation, field and laboratory projects, critical thinking, computer use, and technical writing. CMU’s comprehensive course of study in the geology major also serves as excellent preparation for graduate school.

Points of Pride

  • CMU’s Biological Station on Beaver Island offers marshes, coastal wetlands and beachfront research opportunities for studying geology. CMU is the only university in Michigan and one of two in the Midwest to operate an island research station.
  • You can gain professional development, resources and contacts through student organizations such as CMU Geology Club and Sigma Gamma Epsilon Earth Science Honor Society.

Put Your Degree to Work

For More Information

Visit the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences website or contact:

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Brooks Hall 314
Email: lemke1ld@cmich.edu
Phone: 989-774-3179

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Geology Major

Students are encouraged to meet with a departmental advisor once every semester to discuss alignment with their individual goals. Note additional MTH (or STA) and PHY (or CMH) courses strongly recommended for students who plan to go to graduate school. A minor is encouraged but not required.
Total: 66-71 semester hours
Core Courses I
(3-4 hours)
Introduction to the Geosciences Select one of the following options:
CR1A-GEL
Option A
(3 hours)
CR1B-GEL
Option B
(3 hours)
CR1C-GEL
Option C
(4 hours)
Core Courses II
(25-27 hours)
Geoscience Fundamentals
GEL 201
Earth History
3
GEL 270
Field Methods
2
GEL 277
Research and Communication Skills in Geosciences
1
GEL 280
Geomath
3
GEL 310
Introductory Mineralogy and Petrology
4
GEL 340
Stratigraphy and Sedimentology
4
GEL 370
Structural Geology
3
GEL 409/ENS 409
Professional Development in the Fields of Environmental Science and Geoscience
1
GEL 450
Geology Field Camp
4-6
Required Courses I
(19 hours)
CHM 131
General Chemistry I
4
GEO 203QR
Introduction to Geographic Information Science
3
MET 301
Climatology & Climate Change
3
MTH 132
Calculus I
4
PHY 145QR
University Physics I
4
PHY 175
University Physics Laboratory I
1
Required Courses II
(4-5 hours)
Select one of the following options:
MR2A-GEL
Option A
(4 hours)
MR2B-GEL
Option B
(5 hours)
Required Courses III
(3-4 hours)
Select one of the following courses:
Note: In addition, students interested in pursuing graduate school are strongly recommended to take both options listed under Required Courses II and Required Courses III.
MTH 133
Calculus II
4
STA 382QR
Elementary Statistical Analysis
3
Electives
(12 hours)
Select four or more of the following courses for a total of 12 hours. Six (6) hours of WI courses are recommended:
Notes: Additional courses that may be offered as Writing Intensive are: GEL 385 , 397, and 523. Check Course Search and Registration for WI sections. Only one of GEO 303 or GEO 308 or HNS 425 may be counted as an elective.
ENS 389/GEL 389
Well Construction and Design
1
GEL 205/GEO 205
Oceanography
3
GEL 305
Engineering Geology
3
GEL 308
Water Resources and Hydrologic Processes
3
GEL 372
Introduction to Geophysics
3
GEL 375
Special Problems in Geology
1-6
GEL 380WI
Hydrogeology
4
GEL 385
Introductory Petroleum Geology
3
GEL 397
Independent Study
1-3
GEL 406WI
Senior Thesis
3-6
GEL 413
Geomorphology
3
GEL 420
Applied Geostatistics
3
GEL 444
Preparation for ASBOG Fundamentals of Geology Exam
1
GEL 502
Geochemistry of Natural Waters
3
GEL 509
Applied Hydrologic Modeling
3
GEL 512
Stable Isotope Geochemistry
3
GEL 523
Advanced Petrology
3
GEL 550
Economic Geology
3
GEL 575
Special Topics in Geosciences
1-6
GEL 597
Advanced Independent Study
1-6
GEO 303
Geographic Information Systems
3
GEO 308
Fundamentals of Remote Sensing
3
HNS 425
Hazardous Materials Technology
3
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