Department of Geology

Glenn F. Embree, Department Chair
Roger D. Hoggan, Dean of the Division of Physical and Mathematical Science
Steven Hansen, Mark D. Lovell Edmund J. Williams
Departmental Office (208) 356-1905

Students interested in Physical or Life Science and who enjoy the opportunity to work in the field as well as the laboratory may find a satisfying and well paying career in geology. Geology professions provide experiences suited for those who enjoy working as teams as well as those who enjoy tackling projects on their own. Careers include opportunities in mineral or energy exploration and development, geological engineering, geophysics, environmental geology, water resources, computer application to geology, paleontology, and many other related fields. Careers also exist in education, consulting firms, and with local and federal government agencies. The broad background of a geology major would also prepare one for careers in business, law, or many other fields. The entry level for most jobs is a masterís degree but some employment opportunities require only a bachelorís degree.

Field experience is an essential part of a geology student's education. The unique location of BYU-Idaho offers an exceptional opportunity to study geology in the midst of some of the finest geologic settings in the world. Local and regional field trips to areas like Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Snake River Plain volcanic features, and the Grand Canyon, Arizona, provide for more effective learning, enhanced student understanding of geologic processes, and a better preparation for future careers.

The study of Geology also offers the non-science majors an opportunity to fill Physical Science requirements as well as to gain a better understanding of their natural environment.


Earth Science Education Major Endorsement (840)

Secondary Education Certificate

Students who are planning for a career in education and who enjoy the sciences should consider majoring in Earth Science Education. Nationally, as well as regionally, there is a significant demand for science teachers. A major in Earth Science Education, connected with a minor in Physical Science gives the broadest possible background in the physical sciences, including courses in geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and weather and climate. This combination of courses qualifies graduates to teach high school and junior high school classes in earth science, geology, chemistry and physics. With a minor in Natural Science, zoology and botany classes are added to the list above, and qualify graduates to teach biology as well. Such a degree is very marketable, especially in small school districts where there is a great demand for teachers capable of teaching a variety of courses.

Students intending to minor in Natural Science should select Bio 208 to fill their general education requirement in biology. Check with an advisor as early as possible to help you design a schedule to utilize your time as efficiently as possible.   Required Courses

Bachelor of Science General Education

Rel 371  Intro to Teaching               2
Rel 121-122  Book of Mormon              4
Rel Student Choice                       8

Reading & Writing
Eng 111  College Writ                    3
Eng 316 Adv Tech Writ                   (3)

Math 110  College Algebra               (3)

Basic Skills Option
Student Choice                           2-4

FA 100  Fine Arts Attendance             0
Student Choice                           3

Student Choice                           3

Physical Science
Chem 105  General Chem I                (4)

Biological Science
Student Choice                           4

American Institutions
Student Choice                           3

Social Science
Student Choice                           3

Professional Teacher Education Core

Ed 200  Foundations of Education         2

Ed 250  Educational Technology           1

Educational Psychology
Ed 300  Educational Psychology           2

Ed 320  Exceptional Students: 
        Principles of Collaboration      3

Ed 380  Reading                          4

General Methods/Assessment
Ed 402  General Secondary 
        Methods & Assessment             2

Student Teaching
Ed 490  Student Teaching                10
Rel 371  Introduction to Teaching       (2)
Total Credits                           26
Earth Science Education Major
Required General Education 
Eng 316  Adv Tech Writ                   3
Chem 105  General Chemistry I            4
Math 110 College Algebra                 3

Additional Mathematics 
Math 111  Trigonometry                   2

Earth Science
Ph 137 & Lab Weather and Climate & Lab   4

Ph 127 or 227  Descriptive Astronomy 
               or Astronomy              4

Geol 111 & 111L Physical Geology & Lab   4
Geol 112 & 112L Historical Geology & Lab 4
Geol 250  Rocks & Minerals               4
Geol 380  Regional Geology               3
Geol 405  Methods of Teaching Geology    2

(Choose 2)
Geol 411  Geomorphology                  3
Geog 220  Geographic Information Systems 3
Geol 480  Paleontology                   3
Geol 404  Environmental Geology          3
Total Credits                           49

Minor Endorsements Which Are Allowed

Natural Science Education               32
Physical Science Education              20
Program Totals                         120

Recommended sequence of courses

Secondary Education Certificate

Earth Science Education Major Endorsement

Freshman Year

Fall Semester 
Geol 111  Physical Geology               4
Ed 200  Foundations of Ed                2
Eng 111  College Writing                 3
Math 110  College Algebra                3
Math 111  Trigonometry                   2
Religion                                 2
Total Credits                           16

Winter Semester
Geol 112  Historical Geology             4
Chem 105  Chemistry                      4
Ed 250 Instruc Media & Tech              2
GE                                       3
Religion                                 2
Total Credits                           15

Year Total                              31

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester 
Chem 106  Chemistry                      4
Ed 300  Ed Psychology                    2
Geol 250  Rocks & Minerals               4
GE/Elective                              3
Religion                                 2
Total Credits                           15

Winter Semester
Ph 105 OR 201 Physics & Lab              4
Ed 320  Exceptional Students             3
Eng 316  Adv Tech Writ                   3
Geology Elective                         3
Religion                                 2
Total Credits                           15

Year Total                              30

Junior Year

Fall Semester
Ph 127  Astronomy                        4
Ph 137  Weather & Climate                4
GE /Elective                             7
Total Credits                           15

Winter Semester 
Ph 106  Physics & Lab                    4
Ed 380  Language & Reading               4
Ed 402  General Methods                  2
Geology Elective                         3
GE/Elective                              2
Total Credits                           15

Summer Semester 2nd Term  
Geol 380  Regional Geology               3
Religion                                 2
Total Credits                            5

Year Total                              35

Senior Year

Fall Semester 
Geol 405  Teaching Methods               2
GE/Elective                              8
Religion                                 2
Total Credits                           12

Winter Semester
Rel 371  Introduction to Teaching        2
Student Teaching                        10
Total Credits                           12

Year Total                              24

Grand Total                            120

Bachelor of Science in Geology (740)

The Geology department at BYU-Idaho will be offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology in the near future. Students wishing to major in geology at BYU-Idaho or to transfer as a geology major at some other university should follow the program below. It will fill the requirements for the first two years of a Bachelor of Science degree. Talk to an advisor as early as possible to help you design a curriculum which will meet your specific needs.


Freshman Year

Fall Semester
Geol 111  Physical Geology               4
Math 110  College Algebra                3
Math 111 Trig                            2
GE/Elective                              3
English 111  College Writing             3
Religion                                 2
Total Credits                           17

Winter Semester
Geol 112  Historical Geology             4
Math 112 Calculus I                      4
Chem 105  General Chemistry              4
GE/Elective                              3
Religion                                 2
Total Credits                           17

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
Geol 351  Mineralogy                     4
Chem 106  General Chemistry              4
GE/Elective                              6
Religion                                 2
Total Credits                           16

Winter Semester
Geol 352  Petrology                      4
Ph 121  Physics                          4
Eng 316  Adv Tech Writ                   3
GE/Elective                              3
Religion                                 2
Total Credits                           16

Year Total                              32

Grand Total                             66
Please contact a Geology advisor at (208)356-1905 or 356-1904 if you have questions.

Natural Science Field Expedition The Intermountain West is the outdoor classroom for the Expedition which is taught during the second summer term. This program is planned to offer students an experiential approach to the study of Geology, Biology, Religion, and other courses as available. Since these are the only classes taken that term, most of the time is spent in the field away from the BYU-Idaho campus. Field trip fee is $450, which includes a non-refundable fee of $100. Applicants must be accepted by BYU-Idaho before entering this program. For information, write to Ed Williams, BYU-Idaho Geology, Rexburg ID 83460-0510, or call (208) 356-1901.


Geol 101* Introduction to Geology (3:3:0)
Required Lab: Take Geology 102
General non-technical course for the non-science student who desires a broad introduction to Geology. Students who take Geol 101 may not also receive credit for Geol 111. This class is also taught on Discovery and Natural Science Field Expedition. Contact directors of these programs for special fees and other information.

Geol 102* Introduction to Geology Lab (1:0:2)
Lab Fee: approximately $7
General experience with mineral and rock identification, along with map and photo study and interpretation. Previous or concurrent enrollment in Geol 101, 104, or 110 required

Geol 103* Life of the Past (3:3:0)
Required Lab: Take Geology 103L
A non-technical study of the development of life and major events of earth history.
For non-science students.
No prior Geology class is required.

Geol 103L* Life of the Past Lab (1:0:2)
Lab Fee approximately $7
Lecture/lab experience with rock and fossil identification as well as application of basic geologic principles. Previous or concurrent enrollment in Geol 103 required.

Geol 104* Natural Disasters and Resources (3:3:0)
Class fee: approximately $12
Required Lab: Take Geology 102
For the non-science majors emphasizing physical geology related to geologic hazards, mineral and energy resources, and the environmental consequences of urban and rural development.

Geol 110* Earth Science (3:3:0)
Required Lab: Take Geol 102
This course is designed to enhance the students' understanding of their natural environment and how to relate it to their lives, and covers basic concepts and methods used in geology, astronomy, and meteorology. It also provides Education majors with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach these concepts in the classroom.

Geol 110L* Earth Science Lab (1:0:2)
(Note: Geol 102 Lab is currently being substituted for Geol 110L)
Prerequisite: Geol 110 concurrent registration required
Lab studies and field trips emphasize rock, mineral, and fossil classification and interpretation; map and photo interpretation; as well as weather and astronomical observation and interpretation.

Geol 111* Physical Geology (3:3:0)
Concurrent registration in Geol 111L required, one or more field trips may be required
Class fee: approximately $35
For majors in Geology, Engineering, Forestry, and other sciences. Includes a study of our earth and the processes that formed its features. Students who take Geol 111 may not receive credit for Geol 101. (F)

Geol 111L* Physical Geology Lab (1:0:2)
Concurrent registration in Geol 111 or instructors permission required
Mineral and rock identification and interpretation, as well as map and photo interpretation. Students who take Geol 111L may not receive credit for Geol 102. (F)

Geol 112 Historical Geology (3:3:0)
Prerequisite: Any of the following: Geol 101, 104, 110 or 111
Concurrent registration in Geol 112L required, one or more field trips may be required
Class fee: approximately $50
A study of the geological history of the earth and the evolution of its life forms. Students who take Geol 112 may not receive credit for Geol 103. (W)

Geol 112L Historical Geology Lab (1:1:1)
Concurrent registration in Geol 112 required
Examination of the principles of historic geology, along with the study of fossils, special attention given to identification, type of preservation and environments of fossils. Geologic map studies are included. (W)

Geol 250 Rocks and Minerals (4:3:2)
Prerequisite: Geol 101 and 102, 110 and 102, or 111, and Chem 105 or instructorís consent. Concurrent registration accepted, one or more field trips required
Class fee: approximately $50 v Hand specimen study of common rocks and minerals, including their identification, classification, and interpretation. For Secondary Earth Science Education majors, as well as, any other students interested in rocks and minerals. Not for Geology Majors. (W)

Geol 290 Directed Study 1-3
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Faculty student consultation will determine a special area of study and/or research problems that will give students greater preparation for advanced work in geology and related fields. Term of enrollment, credit, and other details will be arranged with instructor.

Geol 351 Mineralogy (4:3:2)
Prerequisite: Geol 101 and 102, 110 and 102, or 111, and Chem 105. Concurrent registration accepted,
One or more field trips may be required, Class fee: approximately $40
The study of crystallography and important physical, optical and chemical properties of minerals, with emphasis on hand specimen and microscope identification of rock-forming minerals. (F)

Geol 352 Petrology (4:3:3)
Prerequisite: Geol 351
One or more field trips may be required, Class fee: approximately $50
A detailed hand specimen and microscopic study of the genesis and classification of important igneous, and metamorphic rocks. (W)

Geol 380 Regional Geology 3
Prerequisite: Geology Majors - Geol 311, 352, 370, or instructorís consent
Earth Science Ed Majors - Geol 112, 250 or 352, or instructorís consent
Class fee: $450
Detailed field study at selected geologic sites in the Rocky Mountains, Basin & Range, Colorado Plateau, and Pacific Northwest. (2nd Su Term)

Geol 404 Environmental Geology (3:3:2)
Prerequisite: Geol 111 or 101 and 102
Class fee: $30
Theoretical and applied studies of environmental geology, groundwater and soil contamination, waste disposal, mine tailings and drainage, natural and man made geologic hazards.

Geol 405 Methods of Teaching Geology (2:1:2)
Prerequisite: Geol 380 or instructor's consent
Classroom, lab, and field experiences designed to furnish students with skills necessary to create lesson material, and organize and conduct field trip and laboratory activities. Techniques for preparing visual aids and collecting samples to use in classes and labs will be taught; and personal collections of materials will be initiated.

Geol 411 Geomorphology (3:3:2)
Prerequisite: Geol 111 or 101, Math 110/111
Class fee: $40
Analysis of land forms and their geologic and environmental significance. (Su or F)

Geol 480 Paleontology (3:3:2)
Prerequisite: Geol 112 or a general biology class, Class fee: $50
Distribution, morphology, paleoecology, and evolution of organisms in the geologic record. Includes vertebrates, invertebrates, and plant life. (Su or F)

Complete General Education listing

Credit Hour Designations/Abbreviations (e.g., 3:3:3)

BYU-Idaho | Catalog