Geology, General Geology Emphasis, Comprehensive Major

Liberal Arts (Code 160-010)

University Requirements

Credit Requirements
Minimum total for graduation 1120
Upper division credits (courses numbered 300 and higher)39
Liberal Education Core36
Academic Concentrations
Grade Point Requirements 2
Total2.00 average
Resident2.00 average
Major2.00 average
Minor2.00 average
Certificate2.00 average
University Residency Requirements 3
Minimum total30
Senior year23
Major, Standard, upper division in residence12
Major, Comprehensive, upper division in residence21
Certificate25 percent of credits
Procedures Required for Graduation
Obtain admission to the degree program and/or the College offering it.
Apply for graduation on CampS.

Certain programs exceed this minimum.


See special requirements in each College.


See special requirements for the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Liberal Education Core

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire measures learning outcomes to ensure that its graduates have achieved a liberal education and prepared themselves to contribute to a complex society. Upon graduation, each undergraduate will have met the four learning goals of our liberal education core and the 11 learning outcomes they comprise. 

Knowledge Goal
Knowledge Outcome 1 (K1): Natural SciencesTwo (2) learning experiences
One experience in laboratory science must be selected from either K1 or K2.
Knowledge Outcome 2 (K2): Social SciencesTwo (2) learning experiences
One experience in laboratory science must be selected from either K1 or K2.
Knowledge Outcome 3 (K3): HumanitiesTwo (2) learning experiences
Knowledge Outcome 4 (K4): Fine ArtsOne (1) learning experience
Skills Goal
Skills Outcome 1 (S1): Written and Oral CommunicationTwo (2) learning experiences
Skills Outcome 2 (S2): MathematicsOne (1) learning experience
Skills Outcome 3 (S3): CreativityOne (1) learning experiences
Responsibility Goal
Responsibility Outcome 1 (R1): Equity, Diversity, and InclusivityTwo (2) learning experiences
Responsibility Outcome 2 (R2): Global PerspectivesOne (1) learning experiences
Responsibility Outcome 3 (R3): Civic and Environmental IssuesOne (1) learning experiences
Integration Goal
Integration Outcome 1 (I1): IntegrationTwo (2) learning experiences
Service-Learning Goal
Service-Learning30 hours

College Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Degree (B.A./B.S.)

University Graduation Requirements. All candidates for degrees must fulfill the requirements for credits, curriculum, GPA, and University residency as specified in the section of this catalog titled University Graduation Requirements.

College Graduation Requirements: Grade Point Averages. All candidates for degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences must earn minimum resident and total GPAs of 2.00 in the major, the minor, and the certificate. The resident and total GPAs for the major are computed using all attempted credits applicable to the major including those offered by departments other than the major department. The resident and total GPAs for the minor and the certificate are computed similarly.

Major-Minor and Major-Certificate Requirements. A standard major (a minimum of 36 credits) must be supplemented by a minor (a minimum of 24 credits) or by a certificate (12 to 18 credits) to meet graduation requirements for completing a first and second degree program. No minor or certificate is required with a Comprehensive Major (60 or more credits) or with two majors of 36 or more credits each.

Certain degree programs which include Comprehensive Majors may require more than the minimum of 120 credits for graduation.

Acceptable academic program combinations are determined at the college level. A major and a minor or a major and certificate or two majors (if available) may not be elected in the same department or program, except in the approved combinations listed here.

College Credits. Earn at least 90 credits in courses offered by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bachelor of Arts Degree in the College of Arts and Sciences (B.A.)

Fulfillment of all University Graduation Requirements (which includes the Liberal Education Core); all College-level degree requirements (major and minor/certificate emphases, GPAs, earning at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences course work); foreign language competency at the 102 level.  Foreign language competency may be met in one of two ways:  (1) Achieve a score on the foreign language placement test that qualifies the student to enter the 201-level course in a foreign language.  (2) Earn a grade of at least C (not C-) or a mark of S in a 102-level foreign language course (or AIS 112 or AIS 122 / LANG 122 or CSD 103).

Bachelor of Science Degree in the College of Arts and Sciences (B.S.)

Fulfillment of all University Graduation Requirements (which includes the Liberal Education Core); all College-level degree requirements (major and minor/certificate emphases, GPAs, earning at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences course work); mathematics competency at the MATH 111, MATH 112 or MATH 113 level.  Mathematics competency can be met in one of three ways:  (1) Achieve a score on the mathematics placement test that qualifies the student to enter MATH 114.  (2) Earn a grade of at least C (not C-) or a mark of S in MATH 111, MATH 112, or MATH 113.  (3) Achieve a satisfactory score on the MATH 112 competency test.  This test may be attempted no more than two times.

Major Requirements

The objective of the comprehensive major in geology is to prepare students for graduate programs in geological sciences or for careers as professional geologists, hydrogeologists, or geological engineers. The liberal arts comprehensive major requires completion of the Core and one of the five Emphases listed below.

NOTE: Communication classes, both written and oral, are strongly recommended to fulfill liberal education requirements in any of the following emphases.

Core Requirements for all Liberal Arts and Teaching Emphases in the Comprehensive Geology Major

23-25 credits
Select one of the following:4
Earth Science
Physical Geology
Environmental Geology
Societal Issues in Earth Science
GEOL 312Mineralogy and Petrology I5
GEOL 320Sedimentology and Stratigraphy4
GEOL 468Computers in Geology1
GEOL 470Field Geology I3
CHEM 115Chemical Principles (or equivalent)6
Capstone Experience 10-2

Each major is required to complete a capstone experience.

For liberal arts majors, the capstone options may include: GEOL 395 (for a minimum of two credits) or GEOL 471. The capstone will consist of student selection of one of the following options: faculty/student collaborative research, preparation and presentation of a department seminar, internship, field experiences, or other approved experiences. Students working with their adviser will submit a proposal to the department faculty outlining their choice of the capstone experience and explicitly stating how the capstone fits into their personal career goals. The proposal for a capstone experience must be submitted to the chair of the department no later than the second week of the first semester of the senior year.

For teaching majors, the capstone may be satisfied by successful completion of the professional semester in the College of Education and Human Sciences. 

General Geology Emphasis

Recommended for students planning careers in geology, especially those planning to attend graduate school in geology or engineering. This emphasis comprises the Core plus the required and elective credits as listed below.

Sixty semester credits, including:
Required Courses
GEOL 313Mineralogy and Petrology II4
GEOL 315Hydrogeology I4
GEOL 330Structural Geology4
GEOL 418Earth History4
GEOL 471Field Geology II3
MATH 215Calculus II4
PHYS 211General Physics 15
or PHYS 231 University Physics I
CS 170Computing for the Sciences and Mathematics3
or GEOG 335 Geographic Information Systems I
At least two courses selected from:
Introduction to Geochemistry
Geomorphology and Aerial Photography Interpretation
Glacial Geology
Economic Mineral Deposits
Hydrogeology II
Engineering Geology and Geophysics
Select additional electives to total at least 60 credits from the following:
Population and Community Ecology
Vegetation Ecology
Invertebrate Zoology
Wisconsin Wildlife
Quantitative Analysis
Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry I
Physical Chemistry II
Remote Sensing of the Environment
Quaternary Environments
Soils and the Environment
Watershed Analysis
Fluvial Processes and Landforms
Geographic Information Systems III
Materials Characterization
Any Geology course numbered 300 or above
Calculus III
Elementary Statistics
Differential Equations
Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory
General Physics
University Physics II
Astronomy-Solar System
Astronomy-Stars and Galaxies
Electric and Electronic Circuits
Electromagnetic Fields

Students should be advised that a second semester of physics is usually required for entrance to graduate school.