Sep 29, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geology B.S.

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Plans of Study

The Bachelor of Science degree program provides the student with a hands-on foundation in the fundamentals of geosciences. As a result of faculty interests and geographic locations, several geologic sub-disciplines are emphasized, including applied geophysics, coastal geology, geochemistry, geomorphology, geoscience education, hydrogeology, paleobiology, petrology, and volcanology. However, the wide variety of courses and electives offered by the Geology, Environmental Sciences, and Geography programs within the School of Geosciences provides students with programs of study that can be tailored to fit individual needs while maintaining a sound background in all general aspects of geology.

University Admissions - College of Arts and Sciences

Admission to the University is based on the University’s Undergraduate Admission Requirements that may be found by clicking on the following urls:

For Admission information specific to the College of Arts and Sciences, see the information at College of Arts and Sciences.

Graduation Requirements - College of Arts and Sciences

Satisfactory completion of the following requirements:

  • Students must complete all State and University level graduation requirements.
  •  Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in USF coursework. Note: Some Departments/program/major require a higher GPA. Students should refer to Department/program/major specific catalog requirements.
  • Physical Education coursework is limited to two (2) semester hours.
  • ROTC courses that are primarily physical training and field experiences will not be applied to College of Arts and Sciences degree programs. All other military Science coursework will apply, in particular, coursework utilized toward completing an established ROTC minor will be applied to the total hours toward degree. 
  • When earning a second degree, double major or concurrent degree, the Major Core and Major Elective/Concentration areas of the degree audit must not overlap for both degrees.  All other areas of the degree audit may have overlapping credit hours applied.
  • Maximum of 20 hours of S/U option. S/U contracts must be negotiated in writing within the first three (3) weeks of the term. None of the 20 credits may be taken in the student’s major unless S/U is the only grading option. Coursework fulfilling the General Education Core Curriculum Requirements and the State Communication Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Writing) and State Computation Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Math) may not be taken S/U.
  • The Audit option is available only during the first 5 days of classes.
  • “D” grades are not acceptable in the major and supporting sciences for all natural sciences majors (Biomedical Sciences; Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology; Integrative Biology; Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences; Medical Technology; Chemistry; Geology; Math; Physics, and Physical Sciences). “D” grades are not acceptable for the major area in Anthropology, Communication, English, Geography, History, Humanities, Mass Communications, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology.
  • Complete all major course requirements.
  • College of Arts and Sciences students are expected to complete a minimum of 50% of their major and/or minor coursework in residence at USF. Some College of Arts and Sciences Departments/programs/majors have established additional major course hours to be taken in residency at USF. See the major or program section of the catalog for these credit-hour requirements.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites - Geology B.S.

Following Florida BOG Regulation 8.010, state mandated common course prerequisites are lower-division courses that are required for progression into the upper division of a particular baccalaureate degree program. 

Transfer students should complete the State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted. Successful completion of the common prerequisites alone does not guarantee a student admission into the degree program.

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

  • (CHM X045 and CHM X045L General Chemistry I) or CHM X045C or (CHM X040 and CHM X041) - 4-6 credit hours
  • (CHM X046 and CHM X046L General Chemistry II) or CHM X046C - 4 credit hours
  • MAC X311 Calculus I or MAC X281 - 4 credit hours
  • GLY X010C Introduction to Physical Geology or (GLY X010 and GLY X010L) - 4 credit hours
  • (PHY X048C and PHY X049C)* or [(PHY X048 and PHY X048L) and (PHY X049 and PHY X049L)] or (PHY X053C and PHY X054C) or [(PHY X053 and PHY X053L) and (PHY X054 and PHY X054L)] - 8-10 credit hours

FOR ALL MAJORS: Students are strongly encouraged to select required lower division electives that will enhance their general education coursework and that will support their intended baccalaureate degree program. Students should consult with an academic advisor in their major degree area.
* The choice of Physics sequence depends on the area of Geology specialization.

Historical Geology STRONGLY recommended.

Required Courses: 9 courses; 47 credit hours

Geology Core Courses: 10 courses; 33 credit hours

Introductory Sequence*: 4 courses; 8 credit hours

One course, chosen from:

Geology Capstone Sequence: 3 courses; 6 credit hours

Field Mapping Requirement

The Geology major’s culminating experience capstone is six (6) credit hours of summer field camp broken into three sections of GLY 4948, each taught in two-week increments, with one course satisfying the field mapping requirement. 

Optional Geophysics Emphasis

Geology B.S. - Additional Information

GPA Requirements

Major GPA (All USF courses which are applied to major requirements): 2.0 
General Education GPA (All USF courses which are applied to General Education requirements): 2.0
USF GPA: 2.0
Overall GPA: 2.0

Grading Requirements

A grade of C- or better to meet major course requirements unless specified elsewhere. Will vary by area.

Note: Some USF courses have higher grade criteria to meet prerequisite knowledge necessary for progression into higher level courses.

Residency Requirements - College of Arts and Sciences

Department and College of Arts and Sciences Major Academic Residency Requirement - 50% of major must be completed at USF.

USF Academic Residency Requirement - 30 of the last 60 hours earned must be from USF.

Optional Honors Program

The purpose of the Honors Program is to provide a select group of undergraduate Geology majors an opportunity to undertake an intensive, individualized research experience. The culmination of the program is the completion and presentation of an honors thesis. To apply, interested students should contact the Geology undergraduate advisor during the second semester of the student’s junior year. Admission to the program requires a GPA of 3.50 in the major and an overall GPA of 3.2.

Research Opportunities - College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate students in any degree program are able to participate in undergraduate research. Several options exist to show mentored undergraduate research activity on a student’s official transcript. Those who wish to enroll in an undergraduate research course should consult with their academic advisor to understand how the credit will apply towards the degree requirements. If no credit is needed, students may be eligible to enroll in the 0-credit IDS 4914  course. This course will not impact degree credits or GPA but will show on an official transcript and document the experience. The Office of High Impact Practices and Undergraduate Research is able to assist with further inquiries.

Advising Information - College of Arts and Sciences

USF students schedule advising appointments online through USF Archivum Platform.  Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor each semester to discuss courses planning, degree progression, and career preparation. 

Tampa campus website:
For questions, email

4 Year Plan of Study - Geology B.S.



Potential Entry Level Job Titles:

  • Petroleum and Mining Industries
  • Geologist
  • Environmental Geologist
  • State and Federal Government
  • Environmental Consulting
  • National Laboratories

Potential Entry Level Salary Range:

$45,000 - $55,000

Year 1

Semester 1 (Fall)

Total Credit Hours: 14

Semester 2 (Spring)

Total Credit Hours: 13

Semester 3 (Summer)

Total Credit Hours: 3

Year 2

Semester 4 (Fall)

Total Credit Hours: 14

Semester 6 (Summer)

Please consider pursing High Impact Practice opportunities this semester such as Education Abroad, Internship Opportunities, Community Engagement, or Research Opportunities.

Questions about opportunities? Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor.

Year 3

Semester 8 (Spring)

Total Credit Hours: 13

Year 4

Semester 10 (Fall)

Total Credit Hours: 16

Semester 11 (Spring)

  • Major Elective Credit(s): 4
  • Apply for Graduation
  • Major Elective Credit(s): 4
  • General Elective Credit(s): 3
  • General Elective Credit(s): 3

Total Credit Hours: 14

2 Year Plan of Study - Geology B.S.


Year 1

Semester 1 (Fall)

Total Credit Hours: 13

Semester 2 (Spring)

Total Credit Hours: 14

Year 2

Semester 4 (Fall)

Total Credit Hours: 14

Semester 5 (Spring)

Total Credit Hours: 13

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