Complete requirements for the majors, minors, and licenses listed below can be found in the JMU Undergraduate Catalog.


Bachelor of Science in Geology

The B.S. degree in geology is designed for students who plan to obtain professional employment in geology or enter graduate school upon graduation. Geology majors must choose either a General Geology Concentration or an Environmental/Engineering Geology Concentration within the major.

Bachelor of Arts in Geology, Earth Science Major

The B.A. in geology degree is designed to integrate all the Earth sciences in a systems approach to understanding the Earth. This includes incorporating and integrating subjects which are seldom selected elective opportunities in the B.S. degree in geology, such as oceanography, meteorology and astronomy. The emphasis is on the preparation of individuals to work in a wide range of professional public sector service careers where preparation in Earth science and communication of science to nonscientific audiences is a requirement or an asset. Students who intend to receive a B.A. in geology should major in Earth Science.

Recommended minors to pair with the Earth Science major include Astronomy, Economics, Environmental Information Systems, Environmental Management, Integrated Science and Technology, Management Science, Nonprofit Studies, Secondary Education, and Technical and Scientific Communication.


Geology Minor

The requirement for a minor in geology is a minimum of 18 credit hours of geology approved by the students geology advisor. This generally includes only one 100-level course.

Geophysics Minor

The minor in geophysics is an interdisciplinary minor, with required coursework coming from Math and either Geology or Physics, and electives coming from a selection of Astronomy, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Math, or Physics courses. The requirements for a geophysics minor are a minimum of 21 credits selected from an approved list of courses. No more than 10 credits from the geophysics minor may be used to double count with a major. Please contact a geology advisor for more details.

Climate Science Minor

The minor in climate science is a new interdisciplinary minor, with required coursework coming from Geography and/or Geology, and electives coming from a selection of Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Math, ISAT, or Computer Science courses. The requirements for a climate science minor are a minimum of 18 credits selected from an approved list of courses. Please see the Climate Science Minor Handout or contact a geology advisor for more details.

Environmental Minors

Courses offered in the department also contribute to the Environmental Management, Environmental Science, and Environmental Studies minors. More details on the environmental minors are available at the JMU Environment website.

Teaching Licensure

Licensure in secondary earth science teaching also requires courses in astronomy, meteorology, and oceanography, to total no less than 32 hours in the earth sciences (including geology) and a minimum of 16 hours total in physics, chemistry, and biology, in fulfillment of the requirements of the Virginia Department of Education requirements. It is necessary to be admitted to the JMU Teacher Education program (Education minor plus Master of Arts in Teaching) prior to enrolling in professional education courses at the College of Education. For a full description of professional education requirements and a listing of specific certificate requirements in earth sciences, refer to the JMU College of Education website.

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