Geology Major

Shawnee State has an outstanding degree in geology, designed for students seeking careers in earth science, environmental science, or entry into graduate programs in geology or environmental science.

Geology Assistant Professor Erik Larson with students

Shawnee State designed its geology program with a core curriculum (closely modeled after the American Institute of Professional Geologists recommendations) which is enhanced through elective courses, field experiences, and research opportunities. This balance maintains a unique, field-oriented curriculum of which few programs of similar size can boast.

At Shawnee State, faculty get to know our geology majors as individuals, and are able to mentor them—be it with regard to coursework, research opportunities, or career guidance—throughout their college careers.

  • Two faculty members with Ph.D.'s in Geology.
  • Undergraduate research opportunities every semester.
  • Upper-division classes are small, with class sizes typically around 10 students.
  • SSU's location allows us to incorporate field based instruction into most of our courses.
  • Frequent field trips and extended field courses so that students get firsthand exposure to Geology outside our immediate region.
  • A teaching licensure option is available with our BS Natural Sciences degree
  • Graduates have been admitted to graduate, medical, and pharmacy schools at: The Ohio State University, Ohio University, and the University of Cincinnati.
  • We have an active FB icon geology club that invites speakers to campus, gets involved in our community, and organizes social activities.

If you have any questions about our geology program, feel free to drop us an email at:

You can also learn more about the geology research being conducted by Dr. Erik Larson and Dr. Kurt Shoemaker by visiting their faculty profile pages.

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Degree Requirements for the BS Natural Sciences, Geology Concentration

2017–2018 Catalog

First Year Experience (FYE) Class (1–2 hours)

  • UNIV1100 (1 hour), or
  • HONR1101 (2 hours)

The FYE requirement is waived for all transfer students who have earned 30 or more credit hours.

General Education Program (30 hours)

The Natural Science and Quantitative Reasoning components of the GEP are satisfied by the science and math requirements of this degree. See the GEP Requirements in the online course catalog for further information.

Geology Concentration (28 hours)

GEOL1201 Physical Geology 4
GEOL1202 Historical Geology 4
GEOL2203 Mineralogy 
GEOL2204 Sedimentary Rocks
GEOL2111 Introduction to Geologic Field Methods 2
GEOL3205 Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology
GEOL4206 Structural Geology / Tectonics
GEOL4212 Advanced Geologic Mapping 2
Course Title Hours

Additional Science/Math, Area II (12 hours)

Select one area of science/math other than geology. You may choose from biology, chemistry, physics, or math. Math courses must be numbered 1200 or above.

Course Title Hours

Additional Science/Math, Area III (8 hours)

Select one area of science/math other than geology and your area II selection. You may choose from biology, chemistry, physics, or math. Math courses must be numbered 1200 or above.

Course Title Hours

Additional Science/Math (4 hours)

Select any course in biology, chemistry, geology, physics, natural science, or math not used above. Math courses must be numbered 1200 or above.

Course Title Hours

Capstone (3 hours)

IDST4490 Senior Seminar 
Course Title Hours

General Electives

Once all other requirements have been met, take enough general electives to meet the 120 hour requirement.

Additional Minimum Requirements

  • Proficiency in MATH 1250 (Trigonometry) through completion, or through placement in and completion of a higher level math (i.e. MATH 2110 Calculus), is required for all BS-Natural Science concentrations
  • 2.00 overall, cumulative GPA
  • 60 semester credit hours at 2000 level or above
  • TWO courses flagged as Writing Intensive (WI) - may be satisfied by courses already counted in the GEP

Special Minimum Requirements for Transfer Students

  • 30 semester credit hours completed at SSU, of which 21 credit hours must be upper division courses (3000 – 4000 level)
  • 12 semester credit hours in the Natural Sciences completed at SSU at the 3000 or 4000 level, of which 8 must be in geology

Natural Sciences

Contact Information

Department of Natural Sciences
940 Second Street
Portsmouth, OH 45662

Dr. Kimberly Inman, Chairperson
Sharon Messer, Secretary

Phone: (740) 351-3456
Fax: (740) 351-3815 or

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