Carleton College Geology Curriculum
The Carleton College Geology department offers one major degree program, in geology. The interests and goals of Carleton's geology students are diverse; more than three-fourths go to graduate school as preparation for careers in environmental sciences, industry, academia and the public sector at the local through federal levels. A degree in geology has also proved to be a good foundation for graduate work in law, architecture, engineering, resource economics, and resource management, conservation and work with the Parks Service. Typical of Carleton, the department's graduates can also be found in business, medicine, social work, the ministry, and a dozen more other professions, in part because the geology curriculum is both flexible and rooted in the traditions of a liberal arts education.
The primary goal of Carleton's geology program is to produce well-rounded citizens with the skills they'll need to succeed in geology or related fields. The focus is on collaborative, investigative learning; real-world research experiences integrated throughout the curriculum; analytical and critical thinking; and learning how to learn. The department's success is evident through the success of its alumni.
Courses and Sequencing
Entry into the program
- Geology in the Field
- Introduction to Geology
- Introduction to Environmental Geology
- Geology and Human Health
Core courses and electives
Students are required to take 6 upper-level geology courses*, selected from the following list:
- Petrology (Prerequisite: Mineralogy)
- Geology of Soils
- Sedimentology & Stratigraphy
- Structural Geology
- Hydrology (Prerequisite: Geomorphology)
- Geochemistry of Natural Waters
* Paleoecology may count toward the geology major if taken concurrently with the Paleoecology lab.
Other required courses
- Elementary Physics OR Introduction to Physics
- Principles of Chemistry OR Principles of Environmental Chemistry
- Calculus I and ONE of the following:
- Calculus II
- Introduction to Statistics
- Introduction to Computer Science
- Senior Thesis
- The requirements listed above are considered to be minimal. Students planning a career in geology or the earth sciences should take several additional courses in mathematics and other sciences as well as geology.
- Geology majors are encouraged to participate in a recognized field camp and take part in summer research opportunities.
- Only 6 credits (the equivalent of one regular course) can be counted toward the major from any one off-campus program.