Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences

Admission Requirements

Satisfy the Application and Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Programs.

Academic Requirements

In order to graduate with a BS in Geological Sciences, all courses listed as major requirements must be completed with a grade of C or better. Students who audit a GEOL course or who are unable to earn a grade of C or better in the course may repeat the course. All prerequisites for GEOL courses must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Please consult the undergraduate academic advisor in the Department of Geological Sciences to obtain a student handbook for the geological sciences major.

Graduation Requirements

Major Requirements

Some major requirements may also be used to satisfy the College of Arts and Sciences BS requirements.

Support Courses
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
MATH A251Calculus I *4
Basic Physics I
and Basic Physics I Laboratory
Basic Physics II
and Basic Physics II Laboratory
STAT A253Applied Statistics for the Sciences4
or STAT A307 Probability and Statistics
Core Courses
GEOL A121Physical Geology for Science and Engineering Majors4
GEOL A221Historical Geology4
GEOL A310Professional Practices in Geology3
GEOL A321Mineralogy4
GEOL A322Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology4
GEOL A335Structural Geology4
GEOL A350Geomorphology4
GEOL A360Geochemistry3
GEOL A430Sedimentology3
GEOL A435Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Petrology3
Complete 6 credits of the following:6
Geologic Field Methods
Alaskan Field Investigations
Geology field camp **
Complete 13-14 credits of the following:13-14
Geology of Ore Deposits
Earth Resources and Society
Anchorage Field Studies
Kenai Peninsula Field Studies
Geologic Field Studies
Petroleum Geology
Depositional Systems and Dynamic Stratigraphy
Advanced Sedimentary Petrology
Geothermal Energy
Glacial and Quaternary Geology
Geology of Alaska
Environmental Geochemistry
Isotope Geochemistry
Environmental Geophysics
Geologic Field Methods ***
Alaskan Field Investigations ***
Geologic Field Investigations
Advanced Topics in Geology
Geology Seminar
Geology Internship
Student Research
Senior Thesis
Total Credits79-80

MATH A252 is highly recommended for students majoring in geological sciences.


Geology field camps offered through other accredited academic institutions must be approved by the Department of Geological Sciences. Credits must be transferable to UAA from the academic institution that is offering the course and must be completed with a minimum grade of 2.00.


GEOL A480 and GEOL A481 may be applied toward recommended electives if they are not being applied to satisfy core requirements. 

Environmental Geological Track
Students wishing to receive a degree with an environmental geological sciences track should complete the above electives requirement with the following courses:
GEOL A440Hydrogeology4
Select 6 credits of the following:6
Earth Resources and Society
Petroleum Geology
Geothermal Energy
Glacial and Quaternary Geology
Geology of Alaska
Environmental Geochemistry
Isotope Geochemistry
Geology Internship
Complete at least 4 additional credits from the electives requirements list above.4
Total Credits14

A minimum of 120 credits is required for the degree, of which 42 must be upper division credits. 

Honors in Geological Sciences

The Department of Geological Sciences offers recognition to students who demonstrate exceptional promise in the science by awarding them with departmental honors in geological sciences. To graduate with departmental honors, the student must be a declared geological sciences major and meet the following requirements:

  1. Satisfy all requirements for a BS in Geological Sciences.
  2. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50.
  3. Complete 6 credits of GEOL A499, or 3 credits of GEOL A498 and 3 credits of GEOL A499, with a grade of B or better.
  4. Students intending to graduate with departmental honors must notify the departmental honors committee in writing on or before the date they file their Application for Graduation with the Office of the Registrar.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

The curriculum of the UAA Geological Sciences program is designed to produce graduates who:

  • Have a basic knowledge of the principles related to the geological sciences with either an emphasis in environmental geology or general geology.
  • Have an understanding of how to think scientifically and apply their knowledge to solve geologic problems.
  • Have sufficient competence to obtain employment as an entry-level geologist or environmental geologist, and be able to progress professionally within the discipline and are prepared for advanced study.
  • Have a fundamental understanding of Alaskan geology and environmental problems in Alaska.
  • Are able to communicate their ideas.
  • Are prepared for and understand the need for continued professional development throughout their careers.

In keeping with the objectives, it is expected that graduates of the UAA Geological Sciences program will have:

  • An ability to apply their knowledge of general geology and/or environmental geology.
  • An ability to accept challenges and think through problems until they are solved.
  • An ability to design and conduct projects that include field work, laboratory analyses and interpretation in their area of emphasis.
  • Experience in field geology in Alaska.
  • An ability to communicate effectively.
  • A recognition of the need for, and ability to pursue, lifelong learning.