Jul 16, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geosciences, B.S.

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College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Geosciences

Geosciences Program Information

Box 70357
322 Ross Hall (Main Office)
Phone: (423) 439-7516
FAX: (423) 439-7520
Web Address:http://www.etsu.edu/cas/geosciences


Geosciences is the study of the Earth in all its complexities, from the investigation of minerals and rocks, natural resources, evolution of plants and animals, climate change, natural hazards caused by earthquakes, horrendous weather, or careless human engineering, to the tools of geospatial science used to map out and visually portray our land. It is a fundamental science for humans to appreciate, understand, and utilize in order to have a functioning society.

Currently the department offers two Bachelor of Science degrees:  BS in Geography and BS in Geology.  These will end in 2018 but beginning the Fall of 2015 they will be replaced by the BS in Geosciences.  This new accommodating degree program brings together depth and breadth and does so by offering four concentrations: Geospatial Science, Paleontology, Geology & Environment, and Geography.  Geospatial science is an applied science (a tool) taught throughout all the concentrations and is found to be highly beneficial in obtaining employment, be it in geosciences, urban planning, public health, anthropology, sociology, engineering, or among a host of federal and state government agencies.

ETSU’s graduates in the geosciences with a good background in geospatial sciences typically obtain jobs right after graduation.  Graduates in paleontology often continue with advanced degrees in the profession.

Department of Geosciences offers a major in Geography and Geology with the B.S. degree; and beginning in the Fall of 2015 will offer a major in Geosciences with the B.S. degree.  These majors must satisfy the General Education Core Requirements and B.S. requirements at the beginning of the College of Arts and Sciences section of this catalog.  A minor is not required in the B.S. in Geosciences; however, it is advisable.  The Department of Geosciences with its new B.S. in Geosciences degree also will offer four minors:  Geography, Geology, Geographic Information Systems, and Paleontology.

Double counting of courses for the major and minor are permitted when utilizing a minor offered by the Department of Geosciences.

Graduate Study-Students interested in graduate studies in geosciences may elect to participate in either the Geospatial Analysis or Paleontology concentrations with a M.S. degree.  Further information is contained in the Graduate Catalog.


Students with 0-59 earned credit hours:

Contact the Center for Advisement and Student Excellence (CASE) to schedule an appointment with your advisor. Visit the CASE website (http://www.etsu.edu/cas/case/) or call (423) 439-5602.

Students with 60 or more earned credit hours:

Contact Dr. Jim Mead, Chair [mead@etsu.edu; (423) 439-7515] or Dr. Arpita Nandi [nandi@etsu.edu; (423) 439-6086] for advising.

Transfer Students

Transfer students majoring in geosciences should contact the chair of the department for advising as soon as possible. This will ensure that the student’s previous work will be coordinated efficiently with ETSU requirements.

For general information about the department or courses, contact Dr.Jim Mead, Chair [mead@etsu.edu; (423) 439-7515].

General Program Information

To earn a degree from ETSU, there are specific course requirements established by ETSU, by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), by each college, and by each department. All students must meet the degree requirements at each of these levels outlined in the following list:

University-level Degree and Graduation Requirements

Total Credit Hours for Degree: 120

College of Arts and Sciences B.S. Degree Requirements

Students majoring in the College of Arts and Sciences must meet the following requirements for the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Some requirements must be taken in addition to the General Education Core, whereas others specify which courses from the General Education Core must be taken.

Mathematics Specified General Education Core: MATH 1530  or MATH 1910  as specified by major.
Natural Sciences Eight (8) credit hours in a SINGLE laboratory science from the following:
  1. ASTR 1010  and ASTR 1020 
  2. BIOL 1010  /BIOL 1011  and BIOL 1020  /BIOL 1021  
  3. BIOL 1110  /BIOL 1111  and BIOL 1120  /BIOL 1121  or BIOL 1130  /BIOL 1131 
  4. CHEM 1110  /CHEM 1111  and CHEM 1120  /CHEM 1121 
  5. GEOL 1040 /GEOL 1041  and GEOL 1050 /GEOL 1051 
  6. PHYS 2010  /PHYS 2011  and PHYS 2020  /PHYS 2021  or PHYS 2110  and PHYS 2120 
  * Higher-level laboratory courses in these departments also meet this requirement.
Philosophy of Science PHIL 2640 
Reasoning PHIL 2030  or SPCH 2320 


TBR General Education Requirements: 41 Credit Hours

Listed below are the categories and courses specified under TBR General Education Requirements. Note that certain courses are required for this degree, specific to this major. Thus, these courses will satisfy both a TBR General Education requirement AND a requirement of this major. (Other majors may require different General Education courses.) Where specific courses are required for this major,  only those courses are listed under the category. If there are no specific major requirements for a category, all course options appear.


9 credits, consisting of 6 credits of written composition and 3 credits of oral communication.

Written Composition

Complete both of the following: 

Oral Communication

Note: Other courses from this block are acceptable, but this course satisfies the Reasoning requirement for the BS degree in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Humanities and Fine Arts

9 credits, consisting of 3 credits of literature, 3 credits of fine arts, and 3 credits of humanities electives.


Note: Other courses from this block are acceptable, but this course satisfies the Philosophy of Science requirement for the BS degree in the College of Arts and Sciences.


6 credits, consisting of both of the following:


Students will enroll in the appropriate general education math course during their first calendar year of enrollment at ETSU. Students required to complete learning support in mathematics must enroll in a learning support-designated section (L01-L99) of MATH 1530  during their first 15 hours at ETSU (not including summer) unless they are also required to complete learning support in reading or writing. Students needing learning support in reading or writing in addition to learning support in math should enroll in MATH 1530-Lxx immediately upon completing their other learning support requirements. Additional information may be found on the University Advisement Center website www.etsu.edu/uac/learningsupport/

Geosciences Major Core Requirements: 19 Credit Hours

Geospatial Science Concentration: 30 Credit Hours

Paleontology Concentration: 30 Credit Hours

Geography Concentration: 30 Credit Hours

Electives: 28-30 Credit Hours

Minor: no minor required

Graduation Requirements

Graduation in this major/concentration requires a minimum of 120 credits, including General Education requirements, CSCI 1100 , college degree requirements, major requirements, and minor requirements.

Passing the CSCI 1100 proficiency test produces no credit, but satisfies the graduation requirement (see http://http://www.cs.etsu.edu/academics/proficiency). If the total credits from these areas are less than 120 credits, students may use free electives to complete the requirement.

Additional Information

Click here to view the Geosciences Suggested Course Sequence .

Teacher Education

Students interested in pursuing a teacher education program for certification as a teacher will major in the subject they wish to teach and minor in Secondary Education. They should see their major advisor AND an advisor in the College of Education Office of Student Services, 321 Warf-Pickel Hall. The Teacher Education program has separate admission requirements, and teaching certification has these additional requirements:

  • Professional Education requirements met through the Secondary Education Minor  
  • Fulfillment of Teaching Content Area requirements
  • Successful completion of CUAI 4580 “Residency II”
  • Praxis II for content area
  • PLT Praxis
  • Recommendation for Licensure

All students desiring to complete a teacher education or other public school licensure program (for initial licensure, add-on endorsement, or advanced study in education) must file a Declaration of Intent in the College of Education Office of Student Services, 321 Warf-Pickel Hall. The Declaration of Intent should be filed before 30 credit hours of coursework has been completed or, in the case of transfer and post-baccalaureate students, in the first semester at ETSU. Delay or failure to file the Declaration of Intent may result in incomplete advisement. Students who have not filed the Declaration of Intent will not be considered for admission to teacher education and may be ineligible to enroll in many professional education courses.

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