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The Bachelor of Science in Geosciences

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree: 120 units

See “Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree” in The University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

The department has prepared a suggested Four Year Advising Plan to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. Please request a plan from your major adviser or view it and other current advising information on the CSU, Chico Web.

General Education Requirements: 48 units

See “General Education Requirements” in The University Catalog and The Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Requirements and course offerings. The course requirements marked below with an asterisk (*) may also be applied toward General Education.

Geosciences majors in the Option in Science Education may meet the Breadth Area B2 requirement by completing BIOL 006A.

Cultural Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See “Cultural Diversity” in The University Catalog. Most courses used to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education.

American Institutions Requirement: 6 units

See the “American Institutions Requirement” under “Bachelor’s Degree Requirements.” This requirement is normally fulfilled by completing HIST 050 and POLS 055. Courses used to satisfy this requirement do not apply to General Education.

Literacy Requirement:

See “Mathematics and Writing Requirements” in The University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or better to receive WP credit. See The Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 001 (or its equivalent) with a C- or better before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 63-70 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses, dependent upon a selected option or advising pattern, are outlined following the degree core program requirements.

DEGREE CORE PROGRAM: 15-16 units

2 courses required:

CHEM    037    General Chemistry    4.0    FS *

Prerequisites: Second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry or CHEM 016. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)

MATH    007A    Analytic Geometry and Calculus    4.0    FS *

Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; both MATH 004 and MATH 006 (or high school equivalent); a score that meets department guidelines on a department administered calculus readiness exam.

1 course selected from:

PHYS    002A    General Physics    4.0    FS *

Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. High school trigonometry and second-year high school algebra or equivalent (MATH 003 and MATH 004 at CSU, Chico).

PHYS    004A    Mechanics    4.0    FS *

Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of MATH 007B (second semester of calculus) or equivalent.

1 course selected from:

MATH    007B    Analytic Geometry and Calculus    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; MATH 007A with a grade of C- or higher.

MATH    005    Statistics    3.0    FS *

Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement.

Students choosing the Science Education Option must select either MATH 007B or MATH 005.

Students choosing the Earth Science, Geology, or Hydrology Option who contemplate attending graduate school should talk with an adviser about additional preparatory courses in chemistry, mathematics, and physics. We recommend CHEM 037 and CHEM 038; MATH 007A and MATH 007B; and either PHYS 002A and PHYS 002B or PHYS 004A, PHYS 004B, and PHYS 004C.

Major Option Course Requirements: 48-54 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required dependent upon the option chosen. Students must select one of the following options for completion of the major course requirements.

THE OPTION IN HYDROLOGY: 53-54 units

Students anticipating becoming licensed as a Certified Hydrogeologist in the State of California must also be licensed as a Registered Geologist prior to certification. To qualify as a Registered Geologist in the State of California requires graduation with a major in geology or the completion of 30 semester units in geological science courses leading to a major in geology, of which at least 24 units must be upper-division or graduate courses. The department therefore recommends that students complete a major in geology in addition to the Option in Hydrology.

Lower-Division Requirements: 16 units

5 courses required:

CHEM    038    General Chemistry    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 037.

GEOS    002    Physical Geology    3.0    FS *

Prerequisites: High school chemistry or physics is recommended; students with no previous science courses are advised to enroll in GEOS 001. No college credit for those who have passed GEOS 001.

GEOS    050    Computer Applications in Geosci    1.0    FS

Prerequisites: Prior or concurrent enrollment in MATH 007A, or consent of instructor.

GEOS    060    Environmental Soil Science    2.0    FA

Prerequisites: CHEM 037, PHYS 002A or PHYS 004A (may be taken concurrently).

GEOS    070    California Water    2.0    SP

Prerequisites: One course from Breadth Area B1 of General Education.

1 course selected from:

PHYS    002B    General Physics    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: PHYS 002A.

PHYS    004B    Electricity and Magnetism    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: MATH 007B, PHYS 004A.

PHYS    004C    Heat/Wave Motion/Sound/Light    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: MATH 007B, PHYS 004A.

Upper-Division Requirements: 37-38 units

Option Core: 26 units

9 courses required:

GEOS    100    Earth Science    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: ENGL 001 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, CHEM 027 or equivalent, PHYS 002A, PHYS 002B.

GEOS    106    Mineralogy and Lithology    4.0    FA

Prerequisites: GEOS 001 or GEOS 002; CHEM 037 or CHEM 027 or equivalent; or faculty permission.

GEOS    130    Environmental Science    3.0    FS *

Prerequisites: One course from Breadth Area B1 and one course from Breadth Area B2 of the General Education requirements.

GEOS    180    Hydrology    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: GEOS 070; PHYS 002A or PHYS 004A (may be taken concurrently).

GEOS    181    Hydrologic Field Methods    2.0    FA

Prerequisites: GEOS 070 (may be taken concurrently), GEOS 180, GEOS 215, prior hydrology course work, or consent of instructor.

GEOS    215    Hydrogeology    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: CHEM 037, GEOS 106; MATH 007A; either PHYS 002A or PHYS 004A; either GEOS 070 or GEOS 180. Recommended: GEOS 107.

GEOS    260    Water Resources Management    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: Upper-division standing, GEOS 130 or GEOS 180.

GEOS    265    Geochemistry    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: CHEM 037, GEOS 002. Recommended: GEOS 106.

GEOS    275    Senior Project    2.0    SP

Prerequisites: Senior standing in Hydrology or Environmental Science Options.

ADVISING PATTERN CORE REQUIREMENTS: 11-12 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required depending upon the advising pattern chosen. Students must select one of the following advising patterns for the completion of the major course requriements.

Watershed Advising Pattern: 11-12 units

2 courses required:

GEOS    190    Surficial Processes    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: MATH 007A; either PHYS 002A or PHYS 004A.

GEOS    210    Intro to Watershed Hydrology    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: GEOS 180 or concurrent enrollment in GEOS 215 or prior hydrology course work and consent of instructor.

5-6 units selected from:

In consultation with an adviser, select 5-6 units of relevant upper-division courses in Biological Sciences, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Geography, and Geosciences.

Hydrogeology Advising Pattern: 11-12 units

2 courses required:

GEOS    107    Stratigraphy    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: GEOS 003 and GEOS 106 (both may be taken concurrently), or faculty permission.

GEOS    230    Environmental Systems Modeling I    3.0    F2

Prerequisites: CHEM 038; GEOS 130 or faculty permission; MATH 007A; either PHYS 002B or PHYS 004C.

5-6 units selected from:

In consultation with an adviser, select 5-6 units of relevant upper-division courses in Biological Sciences, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Geography, and Geosciences.

THE OPTION IN SCIENCE EDUCATION WITH A CONCENTRATION IN GEOSCIENCES: 48 units

This option fulfills all requirements for the Single Subject Teaching Credential with a Concentration in Geosciences. See the Single Subject Credential secton which follows for more information.

Lower-Division Requirements: 24 units

7 courses required:

BIOL    006A    Biological Principles    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: Recommend CHEM 037 or concurrent enrollment.

BIOL    006B    Biological Principles    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: BIOL 006A; recommend CHEM 038 or concurrent enrollment.

CHEM    038    General Chemistry    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 037.

GEOS    002    Physical Geology    3.0    FS *

Prerequisites: High school chemistry or physics is recommended; students with no previous science courses are advised to enroll in GEOS 001. No college credit for those who have passed GEOS 001.

GEOS    003    Principles of Historical Geology    2.0    FA

Prerequisites: GEOS 001 or GEOS 002.

GEOS    005    Introduction to Astronomy    3.0    FS *

PHYS    002B    General Physics    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: PHYS 002A.

Upper-Division Requirements: 21 units

7 courses required:

GEOS    100    Earth Science    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: ENGL 001 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, CHEM 027 or equivalent, PHYS 002A, PHYS 002B.

GEOS    103    Invertebrate Paleontology    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: GEOS 003 or course in Biology.

GEOS    106    Mineralogy and Lithology    4.0    FA

Prerequisites: GEOS 001 or GEOS 002; CHEM 037 or CHEM 027 or equivalent; or faculty permission.

GEOS    107    Stratigraphy    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: GEOS 003 and GEOS 106 (both may be taken concurrently), or faculty permission.

GEOS    120    Introduction to Meteorology    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: MATH 007A; either PHYS 002B or PHYS 004C.

GEOS    143    Oceanography    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: A lab course in the biological sciences and a lab course in the physical sciences.

GEOS    160    Field Methods    2.0    SP

Prerequisites: GEOS 106, GEOS 107.

1 course selected from:

GEOS    205    Solar System Astronomy    3.0    S1

Prerequisites: PHYS 002A or equivalent, or faculty permission.

GEOS    206    Origin/Evolution of Universe    3.0    S2

Prerequisites: PHYS 002A; PHYS 002B; or equivalents; or faculty permission.

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor’s degree, select additional elective courses from the total university offerings. You should consult with an adviser regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your university experience and apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program.
Consult your undergraduate adviser for specific information.

Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major.
It involves 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

Your Honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair. Most importantly, however, the Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the university for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or competition in shows; such experience is valuable for graduate school and later professional life.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are

1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. At least 3 of these 6 units are independent study (299H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5 percent of majors in your department.
4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5 percent of majors in your department.
5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your Honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major adviser for further information.