Geology Undergraduate Programs

Geology Undergraduate Programs

Objectives of the department are varied, including preparation of undergraduate and graduate students for graduate school and careers as professional geoscientists and also preparation of earth science teachers at the primary and secondary levels.

A wide variety of geologic phenomena in the adjacent Cascade Range and the marine environment of Salish Sea provide a broad spectrum of geologic features for study.

The department offers BA, BAE, BS and MS degrees plus specialized courses in the following subjects: economic geology; environmental geology; geochemistry; geomorphology; geophysics; glacial geology; hydrology; paleomagnetism; paleontology; petrology; planetary geology; sedimentation; seismology; stratigraphy; and structure and tectonics.

How to Declare your Geology BS, Geology BA 

To declare a major a Geology BS, Geology BA , you will need to visit the Geology Department Office (ES 240) and complete a blue major declaration card. Open declaration hours are Tuesday 10:00 am - 12 noon or Thursday 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Please make an an appointment if you cannot make open declaration hours. Call the Program Coordinator for Advising 360-650-3582 to make an appointment. Please see advising page as well. You may declare your major at any time and students are encouraged to declare early so that they are assigned to a faculty advisor and may be included in important departmental announcements. For more information on specific courses please see the university catalog.

How to Declare a Geophysics Major

To declare a major in geophysics you will need to make an appointment with our Geophysics Faculty Advisors before you can declare.  Please e-mail Dr. Jackie Caplan-Auerbach - jackie.caplan-auerbach@wwu.edu or Dr. Melissa Rice - melissa.rice@wwu.edu to make an appointment.  Once you have seen one of our geophysics faculty advisor you may come into the main office (ES 240) and declare a geophysics major. Open declaration hours are Tuesday 10:00 am - 12 noon or Thursday 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Please make an an appointment if you cannot make open declaration hours. Call the Program Coordinator for Advising 360-650-3582 to make an appointment. You may declare a geophysics major at any time and students are encouraged to declare early so that they are assigned to a faculty advisor and may be included in important departmental announcements. For more information on specific courses please see the university catalog.

BAE in Education Earth Science or Earth Science/General Science Major

To declare a major in a BAE  you will need to make an appointment with our BAE Faculty Advisors before you can declare.  Please e-mail Susan DeBari - susan.debari@wwu.edu or Robin Dahl - robin.dahl@wwu.edu to make an appointment.  Once you have seen one of our BAE faculty advisor you may come into the main office (ES 240) and declare a BAE major. Open declaration hours are Tuesday 10:00 am - 12 noon or Thursday 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Please make an an appointment if you cannot make open declaration hours. Call the Program Coordinator for Advising 360-650-3582 to make an appointment. You may declare a geophysics major at any time and students are encouraged to declare early so that they are assigned to a faculty advisor and may be included in important departmental announcements. For more information on specific courses please see the university catalog.

Phase I and Phase II of the Geology BS and Geophysics Major

NOTE: Students who declare and complete a BA in Geology, or a BA in Education Earth Science or Earth Science/General Science are not part of the Phase system.

Phase I: Students can declare as a Phase I major at any time as long as they are in good academic standing.

Students who wish to earn a BS Geology or BS Geophysics degree must complete a set of preparatory courses for admission into these degree programs. Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in this set of preparatory courses, and be in good academic standing to qualify for admission. Priority for admission will be given to students who have a GPA of 2.5 or higher in these preparatory courses; students with a lower GPA will be admitted on a space-available basis.

NOTE: The preparatory courses DO NOT need to be completed before declaring a geology major.

Preparatory courses for BS Geology:
- GEOL 211, GEOL 212 and GEOL 213
- one of GEOL 306, GEOL 310, GEOL 318, or GEOL 352
- CHEM 121, MATH 124

Preparatory courses in BS Geophysics:
- GEOL 211, GEOL 352
- PHYS 161, PHYS 162
- MATH 124

The Geology Minor (23 - 26 credits)

Students who are interested in pursuing a geology minor can declare at anytime. Open declaration hours are Tuesday 10:00 am - 12 noon or Thursday 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Please make an an appointment if you cannot make open declaration hours. The minor in geology is designed for students who want some preparation in geology to accompany their major course of study. Students majoring in Biology, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Computer Science, Anthropology, Journalism, etc. may find that an understanding of Earth processes will be useful in a variety of careers. Thus students minoring in geology are allowed extensive flexibility for selecting courses that complement their goals. Please see university catalog for specific required courses and electives.