Bachelor of Science

BS students satisfy the Culminating Experience within the major by completing the Supervised Research Experience (described below).

Bachelor of Arts

The Culminating Experience for BA students is designed to provide more flexibility to allow for students on a non-professional track to better tailor this experience to their broad interests. All BA geology majors will meet the Culminating Experience through one of three options:

  • Successful completion of the Supervised Research Experience (described below).
  • Successful completion of a summer field course, subject to approval by the department.
  • Successful completion of an internship, subject to approval by the department.

By the first day of classes during their junior year, students submit a written proposal to the department summarizing a work plan for satisfying the Culminating Experience. The faculty vet proposals and set criteria for successful completion. A grade of C- or above is typically expected for successful completion of summer field camp. A positive support letter from the primary supervisor is typically expected for successful completion of an internship.

Supervised Research Experience

To satisfy the Supervised Research Experience, students plan and execute a research project supervised by a faculty member during their junior or senior year. All BS majors must complete this requirement for their Culminating Experience. BA majors may elect to complete this requirement for their Culminating Experience. Students consult with a faculty research adviser to develop a written proposal summarizing the research objective, work plan and significance. The proposal is then vetted by the department faculty. Research projects are one-semester minimum duration during the academic year or eight weeks minimum duration during the summer. Research may be conducted off-campus under the supervision of an off-campus co-adviser. If the research takes place during the academic year, students must successfully complete GEOL 319 Undergraduate Research and/or GEOL 320 Undergraduate Research (0.5 credit course for supervised independent research). Results are presented orally to the department and archived in a written thesis, manuscript, or scientific report following guidelines approved by the department.

View the Senior Thesis Guidelines (pdf) which will help to guide your Supervised Research Experience.


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