So what does a degree in geology actually mean? A review of commonly required courses
Unlike other fields such as chemistry (ACS, 2019), engineering, physics (ABET, 2019) and biology (ASBMB, 2019), the geosciences have no greater accrediting body. In terms of the classes that are required, there is also no intentional uniformity throughout geology or geoscience programs across the country. Because of this, we tend to rely on folk understandings of what courses should be required of our majors. As a growing field, the geosciences are in need of an examination of what constitutes a degree in geology to ensure equal, or near equal, qualification that is not dependent on where one earned their degree. This project is a review that compiles common courses offered and required at universities by analyzing publicly available course bulletins and presenting trends in both types of courses, as well as their sequences. Programs were limited to those included in the American Geoscience Institure's Directory of Geoscience Departments. A frequency analysis was used to identify commonality of courses, followed by a factor analysis to identify common clusters of classes.
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