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    Northern Illinois University
  Feb 23, 2018
2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geology and Environmental Geosciences (B.S.)

Students planning careers as professional geologists normally complete the emphasis in geology. The emphasis in environmental geosciences is designed for students seeking a broad scientific base for pursuit of careers in professions that may utilize environmental knowledge, such as land-use planning, law, political science or economics and therefore includes several courses in or related to a cross-disciplinary department of the student’s choice. These courses may provide the basis for the completion of a minor in that department. Students planning to pursue initial teacher certification to teach in grades 6-12 will usually select the emphasis in earth science education, but completion of the emphasis does not fulfill all the requirements for initial teacher certification.

Senior Thesis Requirements

Seniors having a cumulative GPA of 2.75 and having completed at least 26 semester hours in geology and environmental geosciences are eligible to undertake a senior thesis. It is the student’s responsibility to find a faculty member willing to serve as project adviser. The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences cannot guarantee any student an adviser. A course permit number will not be issued until a project adviser approval form has been filed with the undergraduate adviser. A second committee member will be appointed by the departmental undergraduate committee. The thesis shall be a written report prepared in accordance with accepted guidelines for published scientific literature and reflecting a research effort commensurate with the hours of credit to be earned.

Emphasis 1. Geology

Requirements in Department (44)

  • Upper-division GEOL course work, which may include senior thesis, selected in consultation with undergraduate adviser (15)

Requirements outside Department (24)

Students who want to pursue graduate study in geochemistry, geophysics, or hydrogeology should take MATH 229, MATH 230, PHYS 253, PHYS 273, as well as MATH 336.

With written approval of the departmental undergraduate adviser, students with a special interest in ecology and/or paleontology may substitute BIOS 205T and BIOS 208T for PHYS 210 and PHYS 211 (or PHYS 253 and PHYS 273).

Please note corequisite information in course descriptions.

Total Hours for Emphasis 1, Geology: 68

Emphasis 2. Environmental Geosciences

Requirements in Department (33-36)

  • Upper-division GEOL course work (9-12) of which a minimum of 9 semester hours shall be in courses other than GEOL 489, GEOL 498,or GEOL 499H (except by approval of the undergraduate adviser).

Requirements outside Department (29-35)

  • Any of the two-semester laboratory science sequences, other than CHEM or GEOL, listed under the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences “College Requirement for the B.S. Degree” in the Undergraduate Catalog. These would normally be selected to complement the cross-disciplinary focus. Substitutions for special reasons, such as to satisfy a minor, may be approved by the undergraduate adviser. (8)
  • Upper-division course work selected with approval of undergraduate adviser, from the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Economics, Geography, Physics, and/or Political Science. (9-12)
    (A cross-departmental pre-law sequence is also available. Students desiring to pursue other disciplines may petition the department’s Undergraduate Committee.)

Additional Requirement: The 9-12 hours of upper-division GEOL course work and 9-12 hours of upper-division approved course work from the co-disciplinary departments must together total to a minimum of 20 hours.



And either


Total Hours for Emphasis 2, Environmental Geosciences: 64-68

Emphasis 3. Earth Science Education

Completion of this emphasis does not fulfill all requirements for initial teacher certification.

One of the following areas of study

Earth and Space Science (12)

  • Upper-division course work in geology and environmental geosciences or, with approval of the certification coordinator, from other areas of earth science, usually physical geography, meteorology, or astronomy (3)

Environmental Science (12-13)

Requirements outside Department (39-46)

Please note corequisite information in course descriptions.


One course from each of the following areas (6)

One course approved for use in the department’s teacher preparation programs in each of the following areas (6)

  • Educating the exceptional child (3)
  • Educational psychology (3)

Math Options

Total Hours for Emphasis 3, Earth Science Education: 79-87