1997-98 UAF Catalog

Degrees and Programs

Course Description Index


College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Department of Geology and Geophysics

Degrees: B.S., M.A.T., M.S., Ph.D.

Minimum Requirements for Degrees: B.S.: 130 credits including summer field courses; M.S.: 30 additional credits, including thesis; M.A.T. 36 additional credits; Ph.D.: open

Graduates in geology will have broad backgrounds in the earth sciences with firm foundations in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. There are many options available in the geological sciences, and the suggested curricula are intended to be flexible enough to allow the students to pursue their own emphases in the junior and senior years. The bachelor's degree should prepare one for positions with industry or government or for graduate studies. Graduate programs are tailored around minimal core course requirements (M.S. only) to the special research and study interest of the student. In addition to courses listed under the geology and geophysics program, students should check the course listings under the School of Mineral Engineering and the Marine Science program.

All serious students of the geological sciences at UAF should note that in addition to the facilities available directly through the instructional program, there are active research laboratories in the fields of seismology, volcanology, paleomagnetism, isotope geochronology, glaciology and ice physics which are housed in the Geophysical Institute (see also Geophysical Institute under Research). These laboratories can frequently provide topics for M.S. and Ph.D. theses. Other laboratories are also available in other divisions on campus, as listed under Research. There are about 40 professional geoscientists in residence on campus, and graduate students normally participate in the ongoing research of these professionals. There are similar possibilities for the motivated undergraduate.

Teaching and research assistantships are available to graduate students in many of these areas.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Geology -- B.S. Degree

  1. Complete the general university requirements.
  2. Complete the following degree and program (major) requirements:
    ENGL 111X -- Methods of Written Communication (3 credits)
    ENGL 211X -- Intermed. Expos. with Modes of Literature
         or ENGL 213X -- Intermed. Exposition (3 credits)
    COMM 131X or 141X (3 credits)
    Perspectives on the Human Condition (18 credits)
    MATH 200X, 201X - Calculus (8 credits)
    STAT 200 or STAT 300 - Statistics (3 credits)
    PHYS 103X-104X or
         PHYS 211X-212X - General Physics (8 credits)
    CHEM 105X-106X - General Chemistry (8 credits)
  3. For General Geology, Economic Geology and Petroleum Geology options, complete the following requirements:
    Geology Core Courses:
    GEOS 101X -- The Dynamic Earth (4 credits)
    GEOS 112X -- Historical Geology (4 credits)
    GEOS 213X -- Mineralogy (4 credits)
    GEOS 214X -- Petrology and Petrography (4 credits)
    GEOS 215X -- Paleobiology and Paleontology (4 credits)
    GEOS 225 -- Field and Computer Methods in Geology (2 credits)
    GEOS 304 -- Geomorphology (3 credits)
    GEOS 314 -- Structural Geology (4 credits)
    GEOS 322 -- Stratigraphy and Sedimentation (4 credits)
    GEOS 351 -- Field Geology* (6 credits)
    GEOS 430 -- Statistics and Data Analysis (3 credits)
  4. Complete one of the following options:
    General Geology Option:
    Complete at least 8 credits from the courses listed below:
    GEOS 321 -- Sedimentology (3)
    GEOS 401 -- Invertebrate Paleontology (3)
    GEOS 408 -- Photogeology (2)
    GEOS 416 -- Applied Geophysics (3)
    GEOS 417 -- Introduction to Geochemistry (3)
    GEOS 418 -- Basic Geophysics (3)
    GEOS 422 -- Remote Sensing (3) (8 credits)
    Electives (professional and general) to bring total to (130 credits)
    Economic Geology Option:
    GEOS 417 -- Geochemistry (3 credits)
    GEOS 432 -- Geology of Mineral Resources Lecture
         or GEOS 432L -- Geology of Mineral Resources
    Laboratory 2 or 3
    One of the following:
    MIN 202 -- Mine Surveying (3)
    MIN 304 -- Intro. to Metallurgy (3)
    MIN 313 -- Intro. to Mineral Preparation (3)
    MIN 407 -- Mineral Industry and the Environment (2)
    MIN 408 -- Mineral Valuation and Economics (3)
    GE 365 -- Geological Engineering I (3) (2-3 credits)
    One of the following:
    GEOS 416 -- Applied Geophysics (3)
    GEOS 418 -- Basic Geophysics (3) (3 credits)
    Electives (professional and general) to bring total to (130 credits)
    Petroleum Geology Option:
    PETE 205 -- Intro. to Petroleum Drilling and Production (3 credits)
    PETE 302 -- Well Logging (3 credits)
    GEOS 416 - Applied Geophysics (3 credits)
    Electives (professional & general) to bring total to (130 credits)

*GEOS 351 is offered at UAF when there is sufficient demand. In years when GEOS 351 is not offered (decision made early in fall semester), students are required to take a 6 credit field geology class at another institution. The Department of Geology and Geophysics will offer financial assistance to geology majors when GEOS 351 is not offered to attend an approved field camp at another institution. Amount of the assistance is dependent on the number of students involved, but will typically be about $500. The Geology and Geophysics undergraduate advisor will assist students in placement in a field geology class and will inform the department head about students requiring financial aid.

Studies in Geophysics: Students interested in pursuing a program in geophysics are encouraged to pursue a major in Geology which includes GEOS 418 and 416 with a minor in Physics. Students should consult with the Geology Department regarding constructing a plan of study.

MINOR in Geology:

A minor in geology requires 15-16 credits of approved geosciences courses.

Graduate Degree Requirements

Geology -- M.S. Degree

Students working on the M.S. in Geology can specialize in one of four options: General geology; Economic geology; Petroleum geology; and Quaternary geology.

Admission Requirements

  1. The applicant is expected to have a background at least to the level of that listed for the relevant B.S. Option in Geology and Geophysics. However, deficiencies can be made up concurrently with the degree program.
  2. Complete university application requirements.

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete UAF degree requirements.
  2. Pass a comprehensive examination.
  3. Write a thesis and pass an oral defense of thesis.
  4. Complete a minimum of 30 credits, at least 24 of which must be at the 600 level, and at least 15 of which must be from coursework (not thesis or research) at the 600 level. All courses in the program must be approved by the student's graduate advisory committee.
  5. Complete one of the following options:
    General Geology Option:
    Complete the required program as arranged by conference with the graduate advisory committee. This program will include any coursework necessary to provide the student with a background equivalent to the B.S. degree with a general geology option, including GEOS 417 and GEOS 418.
    Economic Geology Option:
    Complete 9 credits in applied geoscience with at least one course in mineral economics or engineering management.
    Petroleum Geology Option:
    Complete at least one course in each of the following areas (12 credits):
    Advanced structural geology
    Advanced stratigraphy
    Advanced sedimentology
    Geophysics (12 credits)
    Electives (6 credits) chosen from:
    GEOS 643 -- Sandstone Depositional Environments (3)
    GEOS 646 -- Seismic Stratigraphy (3)
    GEOS 647 -- Advanced Sedimentology (3) (6 credits)
    Quaternary Geology Option:
    Complete 8 credits in Quaternary geology and at least one course in another area of Quaternary studies, as approved by the graduate advisory committee.
  6. Total minimum required (30 credits)

Geology -- M.A.T. Degree

Complete UAF degree requirements. Complete a minimum of 36 credits. Contact the head of the department for further information.

Geology -- Ph.D. Degree

  1. Complete UAF degree requirements.
  2. Complete a comprehensive examination.
  3. Complete at least 18 credits of thesis. Write a thesis and pass an oral defense of thesis.
  4. Complete a required research program as arranged with the graduate advisory committee.