BA in Geological Sciences

This major program prepares students for the study of the Earth and its ocean, and the ongoing processes of geophysical and geochemical change. Research at UM focuses on carbonate sedimentology and corals reefs’ geochemistry, paleoclimatology, tectonic processes (volcanoes and earthquakes), and the impact of rising sea level on coastal systems. This major is designed for careers in education, business, law, or science journalism.

Curriculum Requirements

Geological Sciences
GSC 110The Earth System 13-4
or GSC 103 Evolution of the Modern Earth's Environment
GSC 111Earth System History 13-4
or GSC 102 Evolution of the Biosphere
GSC 260Earth Materials4
GSC 360Depositional and Diagenetic Systems4
GSC 482Field Methods2
GSC 561Communicating Geoscience2
Select 9 credit hours of approved electives in Geological Sciences 29
Other Required Courses
ENG 105English Composition I3
ENG 107English Composition II: Science and Technology3
or ENG 106 English Composition II
Select one of the following:3-4
Precalculus Mathematics II
Finite Mathematics
Introductory Calculus
Calculus Concepts with Foundations A
Calculus I
Calculus I
Select one of the following:3-4
Environmental Statistics
Computer Programming I
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Foundations of Computational Marine Science
Courses in approved minor15
Arts and Humanities Cognate Courses9
People and Society Cognate Courses9
Additional Electives48
Total Credit Hours120-124

Suggested Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
FallCredit Hours
GSC 110 The Earth System 4
ENG 105 English Composition I 3
MTH 108 Precalculus Mathematics II 3
HUM Course #1 3
Elective #1 3
 Credit Hours16
GSC 111 Earth System History 4
ENG 107 English Composition II: Science and Technology 3
MSC 204 Environmental Statistics 3
HUM Course #2 3
Minor Course #1 3
 Credit Hours16
Sophomore Year
GSC 260 Earth Materials 4
GSC 360 Depositional and Diagenetic Systems 4
Minor Course #2 3
Elective #2 3
 Credit Hours14
GSC 482 Field Methods 2
PS Course #1 3
Elective #3 3
Elective #4 3
Elective #5 3
 Credit Hours14
GSC 580 Summer Field Geology 1 4
 Credit Hours4
Junior Year
HUM Course #3 3
Minor Course #3 3
Elective #6 3
Elective #7 3
Elective #8 3
 Credit Hours15
PS Course #2 3
Minor Course #4 3
Elective #9 3
Elective #10 3
Elective #11 3
 Credit Hours15
Senior Year
GSC 561 Communicating Geoscience 2
GSC Course 5
PS Course #3 3
Minor Course #5 3
Elective #12 3
 Credit Hours16
Elective #13 3
Elective #14 3
Elective #15 3
Elective #16 3
 Credit Hours12
 Total Credit Hours122


The mission of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is to deepen our collective knowledge of our planet through cutting-edge scientific research on the oceans, atmosphere, geology, biota, and the human dimension, while training the next generation of scientists. We transfer the knowledge gained to our students, the national and international scientific community, and to policymakers and the public.

The educational mission of the BS degree in Geological Sciences at the University of Miami is to graduate students with the ability and desire to integrate knowledge of geological science into their future careers. 


In a time of increasing stress on Earth’s resources, land, oceans and environment, we strive to train our students in both the fundamentals of the Geological Sciences and natural systems and also the global environmental stresses facing Earth and society. In addition to the basic classroom and hands-on education in the various aspects of the Geological Sciences, we focus on preparing our undergraduate students in three critical areas: extensive field training and research to give students competence in dealing with the complexities of the real world; training in written and oral communication to give them competence in sharing their accumulating knowledge with their peers and also with the public; and an understanding of how increased human population and resource use is affecting Earth’s climate, environment and future character.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate a strong knowledge base in the basics of geological sciences materials, history and processes (as provided in our GSC 110, 111, and 260 courses).
  • Students will demonstrate a competent knowledge base in the following advanced sub-disciplines of geological sciences: sedimentology, stratigraphy, structural geology, paleontology/paleoecology, geochemistry, geophysics, and petrology.
  • Students will demonstrate research competence in supervised research projects through course, employment, and/or a Senior Thesis.
  • Students will demonstrate a competence in application of their geological sciences knowledge to field research applications, including mapping, sequence analysis, paleo-environmental reconstruction, structural/tectonic history, and process reconstruction.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate their scientific knowledge and findings orally and in writing both at the professional scientific level and in lay terms.