Building Strong Departments > Curricula & Programs > Course, Degree Program, and Department Examples > Curriculum Profiles > Geology Major (BA/BS), Dickinson College

Geology Major (BA/BS), Dickinson College

Information for this profile was provided by Ben Edwards in 2009. Information is also available on the department website.

Dickinson College is a private four-year institution, primarily undergraduate .

Overview and Context

Illustration of the Dickinson geology curriculum, constructed by Monica Bruckner, based on information provided by Ben Edwards. Click on the image to see a larger version.
We require a total of ten courses in Geology (see below) for a geology major, including two introductory level classes and six 'core' courses. A geology minor requires six geology courses.
This is our only geoscience curriculum at present. We recently suggested starting an Environmental Geology major but the proposal was not approved by the College's Academic Programing Committee.

Program Design

Our program was designed to give students a particularly strong grounding in field geology and geochemistry within the Liberal Arts context. It needs to serve as an entryway into graduate school and the workplace.

Goals and Assessment

This curriculum was formulated many years before two of the four faculty in the department arrived. We are presently working to more clearly formulate what our goals should be.

We are presently working to construct proper assessment tools.

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program

  • History of Life
  • Geology of National Parks
  • Planet Earth
  • Global Climate Change
  • Geology of Natural Disasters
  • Earth Systems Science

Core courses

  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology

  • Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • Chemistry of Earth Systems

  • Field Geology

  • Structural Geology


Students are required to take 2 credits (2 courses) of electives. These vary as we have a variety of courses taught as topics courses, and many students do Independent Research or Independent Study.

Other required courses

  • One semester of Chemistry


  • Senior Research or Internship

Additional Materials

Detailed_Dept_Curr (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 204kB May19 09)

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