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Geology/Earth Science

Clarion University’s academic structure has recently been reorganized. The information on these pages is valid for students who began their degrees prior to fall 2014.

For students looking for information about degrees in the new academic structure, it can be found on the college web pages:

College of Arts, Education and Sciences
College of Business Administration and Information Science
Venango College

For students seeking information about degree programs prior to fall 2014, it is available in the 2013-15 Undergraduate Catalog or in the 2013-15 Graduate Catalog.

A new catalog reflecting the reorganized academic structure will be available this fall. Curricular questions should be directed to your academic advisor.


Have you ever wondered how a mountain forms? Or where the water you drink comes from? Or where we are going to safely put the huge quantities of waste materials a modern society produces? Or why "fossil fuels" are called that? Or been captivated by dinosaurs or gemstones? Have you wondered about earthquakes, or landslides, or floods? If so, you may want to investigate geology-the science that studies all of these and much more. As an intellectual field of study, geology attempts to understand how all the features of the earth are formed and in what historical sequence. As an applied field of study, geologists take the basic understanding of earth processes and attempt to predict where oil, gas, coal and other earth resources are located and how best to extract them. They may also help to locate and predict geologic hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides. Others may apply the knowledge of geologic processes to predicting human occupation sites for archaeologists, and then help interpret the environment when the site was occupied. Others, sometimes more correctly called planetologists, use knowledge of planet earth to understand other planets in the solar system. A few even assist in solving crimes. Clearly, geology is a varied field of study with hundreds of sub-specialties within it.


In the AGES Department, students can get a strong foundation in the basics of geology with the geology degree, a beginning that would prepare them for graduate studies and employment in a number of commercial firms and governmental agencies. Those with a specific interest in environmental applications may wish to enroll in the environmental geoscience program. This is specifically designed to prepare students to work in the rapidly expanding environmental consulting field. Individuals who would like to teach in the public schools will want to investigate the Secondary Education-Earth and Space Science program. Those who would like to combine an interest in the earth with another field of study may want to enroll in a dual major or a minor in earth science. A distinctive feature of the geology program at Clarion is the opportunity to include GIS (Geographic Information Systems) classes, which add a powerful mapping and spatial analysis tool to the skills of our graduates.


Geology (B.S.) Outcomes

  1. To understand the scientific method and theory development and demonstrate the ability to follow and/or generate standard scientific procedure.

  2. To understand physical earth processes and their manifestations.

  3. To apply knowledge of earth processes in problem solving.

  4. To effectively communicate information relative to the discipline.


Environmental Geoscience (B.S.) Outcomes

  1. To understand the scientific method and theory development and demonstrate the ability to follow and/or generate standard scientific procedure.

  2. To understand physical earth and environmental processes and their manifestations.

  3. To understand major environmental concerns and human related issues.

  4. To apply knowledge of earth and environmental processes in problem solving.

  5. To obtain technical ability relative to environmental and geophysical data manipulation, analysis, and interpretation.

  6. To effectively communicate information relative to the discipline



GEOLOGY, B.S. (54-66 credits)

Required: ES 150, 250, 255, 350, 355, 360, 370, 390; 15 additional hours must be elected from the following courses, GEOG/ES 345, 385, 400, 425, 450, 470, 490; ES 260, 270, 280, 300, 330, 375, 404; GEOG 125; BIOL 111, 155/165, 156/166, 202; CHEM 351 or Field Camp.* In addition to these 46 credits, the following courses are required: CHEM 153/163, 154/164; PH 251, 252; MATH 260.

*In cooperation with another college or university.


Certification for grades K-12, Earth Science (see Secondary Education Earth Science).


Required: ES 150, 255, 260, 280, 330, 455, 470, BIOL 155/165, 156/166, 202; CHEM 153/163, 154/164, and MATH 221; and 18 credits in one (or more) of the following tracks:

Hydrogeology track: ES 250, 345, 350, 360, 370, 390, 404, GEOG/ES 490; CHEM 351/361, MATH 171, 260; BSAD 340, PH 251, 252.

Surficial Geology track: ES 250, 345, 350, 355, 360, 370, 375, 390, 400, 404, 425; GEOG/ES 490; BSAD 340; PH 251, 252.

Atmospheric track: ES 270, 380, 385, GEOG/ES 490; PH 251, 252; BSAD 340.

The AGES Department also offers a program in secondary education.