Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Geological Sciences - About The Program

About Our Degrees

The undergraduate curriculum provides a comprehensive background in each of the major areas of modern geology through a required sequence of courses in geology and basic undergraduate courses in chemistry, physics, and calculus. In addition to the core courses in geology, a wide range of electives offers exposure to more specialized topics.

Acceptance Criteria
Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum grade of C in GLY 101 OR GLY 102.

Degree Requirements
Please see Degrees and Policies.

About Our Courses

The typical class size for:
Freshman/introductory courses is: 50-300
Sophomore/intermediate courses is: 30-40
Upper level/advanced courses is: 15-25

In the Department of Geology, what do teaching assistants (TAs) do?
TAs teach laboratory sections in almost all courses for the major, as well as lead field trips and assist in grading. Except in special circumstances, all lectures are given by faculty.

For course descriptions, please see Courses.

About Our Faculty

There are fourteen full-time faculty members and usually one or two part-time instructors in the department. We also have numerous adjunct, research and emeritus professors. Faculty members have extensive research experience and well-established international reputations. Dr. Charles E. Mitchell received the Milton Plesur Teaching Award, which is presented by the UB Student Association and he has also received the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor.

Please visit our department website for additional information about our faculty.

Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities

Notable Program Features
Field Camp: The 6-credit field camp course is a highlight of the undergraduate program. It is held for four weeks during the early summer in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado and operates from a mobile base camp. The course teaches applied geological field methods.

Undergraduate Research and Practical Experience
There are numerous opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in the exciting research activities within the Department of Geology. Undergraduates have been involved in research topics as diverse as glacial geology, watershed hydrology and planetary geology, and have worked in Alaska, Greenland, South America, and here in New York State. Many of these opportunities come with partial funding. Students generally register for independent study with a faculty advisor, pending availability so they earn credits while learning about how research is conducted and building their resume. Additional opportunities exist in research groups by assisting graduate student research. Many students get practice writing reports and presenting at conferences.

Honors, Awards, and Scholarships
In addition to the usual academic honors offered to students upon graduation, the department offers an honors program. Acceptance criteria for the Geology honors program include junior status, a minimum GPA of 3.25 in geology courses (including the Chemistry, Math, and Physics courses required for the major) and have completed at least three courses in geology. Requirements for an honors in Geology distinction include maintenance of a 3.25 GPA, two consecutive semesters of independent study, and final approval of a senior research experience that will conclude with a capstone product, as well as the usual departmental BS degree requirements.

Reginald H. Pegrum Award
This award is available to graduating geology majors. Dr. Reginald H. Pegrum, founder of the department, established an annual award to be presented to an outstanding senior majoring in geology. The student selected is presented with a check and a certificate.

Gilbert Jaffe Memorial Award
This award is given to a graduating senior in geology, with preference given to a student excelling in marine geology or environmental science. The award consists of a check and a certificate.

Duttweiler Field Camp Award
Thanks to the generosity of alumna Dorthea Duttweiler, this award is given to one or more outstanding student(s) attending the Department of Geology's summer field camp, with preference given to females as specified by the donor. An award is presented to the top UB attendees.

Extracurricular Activities

As a geology major, you are encouraged to join the UB Geology Club, an active undergraduate student organization that sponsors field trips to sites of geological interest, community service events, visiting lectures, picnics and special outings. UB Geology Club is also a good source to learn about the geology job market and current geologic issues as the club may bring in speakers from time to time to discuss various topics. Officers are elected each year.

See the UB Student Association.

Complementary Programs and Courses

Majors that Complement Geology

Minors that Complement Geology

Links to Further Information About this Program

Last updated: November 22 2021 21:01:55