Building Strong Departments > Curricula & Programs > Curriculum Design > Curriculum Profiles > Earth Science, SUNY College at Oneonta

Earth Science, SUNY College at Oneonta

Information for this profile was provided by James Ebert in 2009.

SUNY College at Oneonta is a university with graduate programs, primarily masters programs .

Overview and Context

Illustration of the SUNY Oneonta earth science curriculum, constructed by Monica Bruckner, based on information provided by James Ebert. Click on the image to see a larger version.
This is a broad-based curriculum addressing all aspects of the Earth Sciences: Geology, Meteorology, Oceanography and Astronomy. Although this is a stand-alone curriculum, it is most commonly taken as a dual major with Adolescence Education Earth Science.
This is one of five curricula available to undergraduates in the Earth Sciences at SUNY Oneonta. It is designed to provide students with a broad background in all areas of the Earth Sciences. Subject matter in the curriculum is closely aligned with the subject matter of New York State's high school Core Curriculum for the Physical Setting: Earth Science to provide a solid foundation for pre-service teachers. Graduates with a dual major in our programs Earth Science and Adolescence Education Earth Science are widely recognized as exceedingly well prepared to teach the subject. Our program enjoys a strong, state-wide reputation.

Program Design

The Earth Science curriculum at SUNY Oneonta is particularly effective because of its broad treatment of all areas of the Earth Sciences. This prepares pre-service teachers of Earth Science to teach more effectively than a major in a single discipline such as geology. For those that do not intend to teach it provides a broad overview which enables them to choose multiple career paths.

Goals and Assessment

  • To provide a broad foundation in all areas of the Earth Sciences
  • To provide comprehensive and excellent content knowledge to pre-service teachers of Earth Science
  • To give students experience with the nature of science
  • To impart to students an appreciation of the impact of Earth processes and materials on society

These goals are assessed through periodic external evaluation of the program, feedback from alumni and locally developed assessment instruments.

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program

  • Introduction to Geology
  • Introduction to Meteorology
  • Water and the Blue Planet
  • Introduction to Forensic Geology
  • Science of Natural Disasters

Core courses

  • Earth History and the Fossil Record (Prerequisite: any 100 level geology course with a lab)
  • Introduction to Meteorology
  • General Oceanography (Prerequisite: any 100 level geology course with a lab or Introduction to Meteorology)
  • Stars and Galaxies (Prerequisite: two semesters of physics)
  • Earth Materials (Prerequisite: any 100 level geology course with a lab)


Students take 12-13 credits (4-5 courses), choosing one from each of four categories:

  • Geologic Data and Analysis or Laboratory Techniques in Earth Science and Technologies in General Science (these two co-requisite courses are only available to dual majors in Adolescence Education Earth Science; non-dual majors take Geologic Data and Analysis)
  • Geomorphology or Introduction to Hydrogeology (Prerequisites: Earth History and the Fossil Record)
  • Environmental Geology or Mineral Resources and the Environment or The Atmospheric Environment (Prerequisites varies with selected course)
  • Introduction to Climatology or Our Solar System (Prerequisites varies with selected course)

Other required courses

  • Two semesters of chemistry
  • Two semester of physics
  • Elementary Functions or Calculus 1
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Selected course from biology, chemistry, physics or environmental science

Additional Materials

« Water Resources (Hydrogeology), SUNY College at Oneonta       BS - Meteorology, Central Michigan University »