Initial Publication Date: June 11, 2015

Geology, Eastern Kentucky University

Information for this profile was provided by Walter S. Borowski in 2009. Information is also available on the Geography and Geology department degree programs website. Eastern Kentucky University is a public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate . Students in this program are pursuing a BS degree.

Program Design & Assessment


We have a number of introductory geoscience courses that can be used as a stepping stone to a geology major. Our thought is to capture any students that initially take these courses as general education requirements. As our department teaches many gen ed courses, it makes sense to throw the net wide to capture geology majors.

Our core courses are presently traditional, although we plan to explore other paths in the curriculum. Faculty trained in the geosciences are also part of a department – Department of Geography and Geology – that is moving away from cultural geography and toward physical geography. Thus, we plan to broaden our program and perhaps add remote sensing experts to the geography faculty. We will look to integrating this expertise into our geology program.

We currently have a capstone course, which has been taught as a seminar course, but are thinking of moving to a project-based course. We are concerned that some of our students will not clear this hurdle and damage our graduation rate.

Strengths of this program

Our curriculum is designed to offer easy entry, minimal math and sciences courses and a traditional geology core that is supplemented by broad elective offerings in geology and mapping techniques. Our desire is to produce graduates with good cognitive abilities who can find employment in the geosciences or move on to graduate school. We intentionally focus on practical applications in geology with an eye to ASBOG testing and certification of our graduates as geosciences professionals.

Types of students served

Program Goals

The goals of this program are as follows:

Our updated curriculum aims to supplement a broad background of geological knowledge with skills transferrable to the working world or scientific investigation. We purposefully offer classic core courses in geology with other program requirements and electives in computer mapping techniques. Educational themes running through are curriculum are data and map interpretation, critical reading and thinking skills that pertain to the geological literature, presentation skills, and technical writing.

The learning goals were informed by the following resources:

How program goals are assessed

Design features that allow goals to be met

Alumni Careers

Graduation rate

Careers pursued by our alumni

Courses and Sequencing

Diagram of course sequencing and requirements

Entry into the program

  • Gold and Diamonds
  • Plate Tectonics: The Active Earth
  • Great Moments in Earth History
  • Geology and Human Health
  • Earth Science
  • Global Environmental Obstacles
  • The World Ocean
  • Dinosaurs
  • Physical Geography

Core courses

  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology (Prerequisite: Mineralogy)
  • Hydrology
  • Structural Geology
  • Sedimentary Geology
  • Stratigraphy & Paleontology (Prerequisite: Sedimentary Geology)
  • Earth History (capstone)


Students are required to take 15 credits – usually 5 courses - of electives, selected from the following list:
  • Field Methods
  • Process Geomorphology
  • Applied Geology: Case Studies
  • Senior Thesis
  • Geology of Soils
  • Hydrogeology
  • Biogeochemical Treatment Processes
  • Selected Topics
  • Geographic Image Interpretation
  • Advanced GIS
  • Advanced Geographic Imagery
  • Statistical Reasoning
  • Applied Statistics

Other required courses

  • Introductory Biology or Principles of Biology
  • Introduction to Geochemistry or General Chemistry and General Chemistry Lab
  • Geographic Information Systems or Geographic Image Interpretation
  • Trigonometry or higher
  • Concepts of the Physical World or higher


  • Earth History

Other key features of this program:

other key features

Supporting Materials