Geobiology, B.S.

Program Code: GEOBI_BS

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Geobiology, a minimum of 121 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 97

21 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 9 credits of GN courses, 6 credits of GQ courses, 6 credits of GWS courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
CHEM 110Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 111Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course1
CHEM 112Chemical Principles II Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 113Experimental Chemistry II Keystone/General Education Course1
EMSC 100SEarth and Mineral Sciences First-Year Seminar Keystone/General Education Course 13
GEOSC 1Physical Geology 23
GEOSC 201Earth Materials4
GEOSC 494WSenior Thesis3
GEOSC 496Independent Studies3
MATH 140Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 141Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course4
PHYS 211General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course4
PHYS 213General Physics: Fluids and Thermal Physics Keystone/General Education Course2
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
BIOL 110Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course4
BIOL 220WBiology: Populations and Communities Keystone/General Education Course4
GEOSC 204Geobiology4
GEOSC 310Earth History4
Additional Courses
BIOL 444Field Ecology3
or GEOSC 472A Field Geology I (Introduction to Field Methods
ENGL 15Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 30H Honors Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course
GEOSC 202Chemical Processes in Geology4
or GEOSC 203 Physical Processes in Geology
Select 3-4 credits of the following:3-4
Biology: Molecules and Cells Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Function and Development of Organisms Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Microbiology
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 17-18 credits, in consultation with adviser, supportive of the student's interest 317-18
Select 12 credits, at least 3 credits from each category, from the approved list of evolution, paleobiology and geology courses and biogeochemistry courses12

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Jacob Hoover
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
542 Deike Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-7791
undergrad@geosc.psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Geobiology, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
MATH 140 or 140G (GQ)‡†4MATH 141 or 141G (GQ)‡†4 
CHEM 110 (GN)3CHEM 1123 
CHEM 111 (GN)1CHEM 1131 
GEOSC 1 or 203ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15 (GWS)3 
EMSC 100S (GWS)‡†13GEOSC 2014 
 14 15 
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
PHYS 211 (GN)4PHYS 2132 
BIOL 110 (GN)*†4GEOSC 310*4 
Supporting Course3BIOL 220W* 4 
General Education Knowledge Domain3General Education Knowledge Domain3 
General Education Knowledge Domain3General Education Health and Wellness (GHW)3 
 17 16 
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
GEOSC 202 or 2034GEOSC 204*4GEOSC 472A or BIOL 4443
BIOL 230W, MICRB 201, or BIOL 240W3-4Advanced GEOBI Elective23 
Advanced GEOBI Elective23Supporting Course33 
General Education Knowledge Domain3General Education Knowledge Domain3 
 Supporting Course33 
 13-14 16 3
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
Advanced GEOBI Elective23GEOSC 494W3 
GEOSC 4963Advanced GEOBI Elective23 
General Education Foundation selection (GWS)3Supporting Course33 
General Education Knowledge Domain3Supporting Course33 
Supporting Course33  
 15 12 
Total Credits 121-122

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Geobiology, B.S. at Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
MATH 140 (GQ)4MATH 141 (GQ)4 
CHEM 110 (GN)3CHEM 1123 
CHEM 111 (GN)1CHEM 1131 
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15 (GWS)‡†3General Education Foundation selection (GWS)‡13 
General Education knowledge domain3General Education knowledge domain3 
 14 14 
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
PHYS 211 (GN)4PHYS 2132 
BIOL 110 (GN)*†4BIOL 220W* 4 
General Education Knowledge Domain3General Education Foundation selection (GWS)‡13 
General Education Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5General Education Knowledge Domain3 
General Education Knowledge Domain3General Education Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5 
 General Education Knowledge domain3 
 15.5 16.5 
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
BIOL 230W, MICRB 201, or BIOL 240W3-4GEOSC 204*4GEOSC 472A or BIOL 4443
GEOSC 1 or 203GEOSC 310*4 
GEOSC 2014Advanced GEOBI Elective23 
Advanced GEOBI Elective23Supporting Course33 
 Supporting Course33 
 13-14 17 3
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
GEOSC 202 or 2034GEOSC 494W3 
Supporting Course33Advanced GEOBI Elective23 
GEOSC 4963Supporting Course33 
Advanced GEOBI Elective23Supporting Course33 
Supporting Course33  
 16 12 
Total Credits 121-122

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Career Paths

Because geobiology is an interdisciplinary field, it can help students prepare for a range of collaborative careers or opportunities for graduate studies.

Careers

This degree is ideal for students who wish to pursue careers in environmental geology, geochemistry, environmental microbiology, museum paleontology, and even medicine.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE GEOBIOLOGY PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Students obtaining a bachelor's degree in geobiology are prepared for graduate degrees in environmental sciences, including geosciences, environmental sciences, or the biological sciences. Some students continue to medical school.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF GEOSCIENCES
503 Deike Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-6711
contact@geosc.psu.edu

http://www.geosc.psu.edu