The Professional Geology concentration prepares students for a career in Geology immediately upon graduation or for graduate studies in Geology. Students take fundamental geology courses such as Mineralogy, Petrology and Structural Geology as well as more specialized courses such as Hydrogeology and Economic Geology. Depending on student aspirations there are also requirements for Math and Physics coursework. Recent graduates have found work in geotechnical and environmental consulting firms, state and federal agencies and the energy and mining industries, and have been accepted to MS and PhD graduate programs nationwide.
For more information, please see the Academic Catalog. A program map, which provides a guide for students to plan their course of study, is available for download in the Courses tab below.
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Geology is the study of Earth including its structure, the materials of which it is composed and the processes that shape it. Geology is also concerned with the history of Earth and its life forms, the application of geologic knowledge to the search for natural resources, and understanding how humans interact with our physical environment. It is the study of rocks, minerals and water; of fossils, shorelines and mountains; of earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides. Although geology incorporates elements of chemistry, biology and physics it puts them together in a way that provides a unique framework for understanding planet earth.
Method of Delivery
Face to Face
The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Credit and transfer
Total semester hours required: 120
This program may be earned entirely face-to-face. However, depending on the courses chosen, a student may choose to take some partially or fully online courses.
UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited universities of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen.
- Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
- The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
- Face-to-face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
- Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
- Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
- One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, he/she will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
- For cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Student Accounts and Billing Services website
There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.
Area F – GEOL 1121+1121L, GEOL 1122+1122L, CHEM 1211L. Choose one from: BIOL 1107+Lab, CHEM 1212+Lab, MATH 1634, 2644, PHYS 1111, 1112, 2211, 2212, or other approved elective.
CHEM-1211L - Principles of Chemistry I Lab
Laboratory exercises supplement the lecture material of CHEM 1211.
GEOL-1121 - Introductory Geosciences I: Physical Geology
Acquaints students with geological concepts, processes, and earth materials and their effects on mankind and the environment. Topics include rocks and minerals,volcanoes, earthquakes, rivers, glaciers and the dynamic forces that move continents, build mountains, and create ocean basins.
GEOL-1121L - Physical Geology Laboratory
Laboratory exercises to supplement lectures of GEOL 1121.
GEOL-1122 - Introductory Geosciences II: Historical Geology
Application of modern geological and biological concepts to interpret earth history. Acquaints students with fossil evidence for tracing the origin and evolution of life. Emphasis placed on developing a broad understanding of the origin and development of the earth and solar system, concepts of sea-floor spreading and plate tectonics and the evolution of the earth's atmosphere and life.
GEOL-1122L - Historical Geology Laboratory
Laboratory exercises to supplement lectures of GEOL 1122.
MATH-1401 - Elementary Statistics
This is a non-calculus based introduction to statistics. Course content includes descriptive statistics, probability theory, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and other selected statistical topics. Prerequisites: Math 1101 Mathematical Modeling, 1111 College Algebra, or 1113 Precalculus or approved equivalent.
MATH-1634 - Calculus I
The first of a three-course sequence in calculus. Limits, applications of derivatives to problems in geometry and the sciences (physical and behavioral). Problems which lead to anti-derivatives.
MATH-2644 - Calculus II
A continuation of MATH 1634. The definite integral and applications, calculus of transcendental functions, standard techniques of integration, sequences and series.
GEOL-3004 - Field Geology and Geologic Mapping
A practical course that familiarizes students with basic instruments and techniques used by Geologists to collect structural, stratigraphic, topographic and other data in the field.
GEOL-3014 - Mineralogy and Crystallography
The origin and physical properties of the more common minerals and their crystal forms. Megascopic recognition of specimens, their mineral associations, and a brief introduction to modern x-ray diffraction. CHEM 1211 may be taken concurrently.
GEOL-3024 - Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
A study of the classification and origin of igneous, and metamorphic rocks. The geologic processes that form these rocks are studied by examining rock samples in the field and laboratory using hand sample, microscopic, and chemical techniques. Petrologic problems are studied at the local, regional, and global scales.
GEOL-3034 - Structural Geology
The recognition, description, and interpretation of primary and secondary rock-structures. Laboratory and field periods will be spent using both graphical and instrumental techniques necessary for describing and interpreting common structural deformation features. In addition to laboratory and classroom examples, each student is required to complete a lithologic and structural mapping project.
GEOL-4024 - Paleontology
Classification, biology, distribution and diversity of major invertebrate animals with a fossil record. The course is designed to integrate modern biological concepts as applied to fossil organisms. Students will study fossil organisms to develop an understanding of the principles of evolution, stratigraphic correlation, and paleoecology.
GEOL-4034 - Sedimentation and Stratigraphy
Course illustrates how observations from sediments and sedimentary rocks in the field and laboratory can be used to identify formative processes and depositional environments. This methodology is central to the analysis of depositional basins and to an understanding of the geologic time scale.
GEOL-4082 - Geological Problems
Detailed assignments in specific areas of geology. Satisfies deficiencies or permits in-depth pursuit of the student's research in particular geological topics. Title to be supplied at the time of offering.
GEOL-4084 - Hydrogeology
An investigation of groundwater and the earth's hydrologic cycle. Examines the physical aspects of groundwater occurrence and movement, and provides an introduction to contaminant transport and chemical hydrogeology. Lab exercises will acquaint students with hydrogeology field methods and equipment.
GEOL-4501 - Geology Seminar
A program of study, discussion, readings, and presentations concerning the significant interrelationships of a wide variety of basic geological concepts. Topics may also include career paths, licensing and other matters concerning the profession of Geology. Advanced geology students, faculty, and outside speakers interact within a seminar framework designed to increase the geological maturity of the students.
GEOL-4604 - Economic Geology
Introduction to geology and economics of non-energy mineral resources. Emphasis placed on the descriptive geology and origin of economic mineral concentrations within the context of their overall geologic settings. Lab exercises will involve identification and characterization of representative ore suites from important mineral deposits. Students will complete a research project on exploring for or developing a major ore deposit or mineral/rock resource. A fieldtrip is anticipated to examine the geology, exploration methodology, development, and permitting issues related to mineral/rock production. Students will also prepare for and take the National Association of State Boards of Geology, Fundamentals of Geology (FG) professional licensing exam.
Choose any combination of the following: Any 3000 or 4000- level GEOL or GEOG courses or other approved elective.
CHEM-1212 - Principles of Chemistry II
Second course in a two-semester sequence covering the fundamental principles and applications of chemistry for science majors. Topics to be covered include chemical bonding, properties of solids, liquids and gases, solutions, equilibria, acids and bases, solubility, thermodynamics, kinetics and electricity. Corequisite: CHEM 1212L
CHEM-1212L - Principles of Chemistry II Lab
Laboratory exercises supplement the lecture material of CHEM 1212.
CHEM-2411 - Organic Chemistry I
The first course of a two semester sequence which provides a broad introduction to the basic principles, theories and applications of the chemistry of carbon compounds. Topics will include modern structural theory, organic nomenclature, stereochemistry, reaction mechanisms and kinetics, and an introduction to functional group chemistry. Also covers the interpretation of IR, NMR, and mass spectroscopy for the structure determination of organic compounds. CHEM 2411L may be taken concurrently.
CHEM-3310K - Analytical Chemistry
This course emphasizes skills needed for a student to function as a professional analytical chemist. The student will be firmly grounded in the areas of gravimetric and volumetric analysis, equilibria, quantitative spectroscopy, electrochemistry and chromatography. Special emphases will be placed on writing skills.
GEOL-2002 - Applied Computing for Geosciences
An introduction to computer hardware, software and techniques used for acquiring, storing, analyzing, and presenting scientific data, particularly geologic and hydrologic data. Emphasis will be placed on commonly used and widely available software such as word processing, spreadsheet and database programs as well as mapping and drafting programs commonly used in the sciences.
GEOL-2503 - Introduction to Oceanography
Introduces science and non-science majors to the biological, chemical, physical, and geological features of the oceans. Acquaints students with the topography and geologic history of the oceans, sea-floor spreading, plate tectonics, atmosphere/ocean interaction, current movements, and ocean biology and chemistry. The course also will discuss sources of food, energy, and mineral resources, as well as environmental issues affecting the sea. Satisfies Area D1 Core Requirements for non-science majors.
GEOL-2553 - Geology of the National Parks
The study of the geologic processes that formed our national parks. Selected national parks and monuments are used to illustrate fundamental geologic processes such as volcanism, sedimentation, glaciation, stream and shoreline erosion, and crustal deformation among others.
Guidelines for Admittance
Each UWG online degree program has specific requirements that you must meet in order to enroll.
- Complete online application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
- Official transcripts from all schools attended. Official transcripts are sent from a regionally or nationally accredited institution.
- Verify specific requirements associated with specific populations identified here: Freshman Adult Learners Transfer International Home School Joint / Dual Enrollment Transient Auditor Post-Baccalaureate Non-Degree Seeking Readmission
Undergraduate Priority Deadlines
Fall Semester - June 1
Spring Semester - November 15
Summer Semester - May 15
Admission Process Checklist
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Contact the Office of Admissions for additional information.
Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate only), Financial Aid, Fee Payments, Registration, Start/End of term, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP.
- Demonstrate understanding of the fundamental principles of the science of geology.
- Demonstrate ability to perform basic geologic field tasks including map reading/construction, field notebook composition, outcrop description, sampling, and surveying.
- Demonstrate ability to communicate geologic ideas in written format.
- Demonstrate ability to communicate geologic ideas in oral format.
- Participate in original scientific research.