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Bachelor of Science Degree

The geological sciences encompass a variety of types of studies of the Earth, including considerations of composition, structure, prehistoric life, internal and surficial processes, and geological history. These studies have applications in the discovery and use of mineral resources, fuels, and water; in protection of the environment; and in planning for natural limitations (earthquakes, landslides, resources, etc.) on societal development. Students undertake the study of geological sciences in the classroom, laboratory, and field.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UK is in the process of revising its undergraduate curriculum to incorporate modern field, laboratory, and quantitative approaches to geological problem solving.

Premajor training begins with a field- and laboratory-based course sequence that provides a firm grounding in geological materials and an introduction to field methods, mapping, and GIS-based spatial analysis (EES 230 and 235).  

Upper level geology courses provide modern insights for and methodologies of geological inquiry. Opportunities for in-depth exploration and specialization during the upper level course work are expanded.  Students are encouraged to pursue a senior project, working closely with a faculty member.

One of the aspects of the B.S. route which sets it apart from the B.A. is EES 323, more commonly known as field camp. While UK provides a traditional field camp out west for students, others take the opportunity to attend field camps internationally, participate in a virtual field camp if they aren't as into the outdoors, or choose one focusing specifically on their area of interest.

Degree Requirements

In addition to satisfying UK Core requirements and the College or Arts & Sciences requirements, each student completes the following requirements:

Premajor Requirements Hours
EES 220 Principles of Physical Geology 4
EES 230 Fundamentals of Geology I 3
EES 235 Fundamentals of Geology II 3
EES 295 Geoscience Orientation 1
CHE 105/111 General College Chemistry I + Lab 4
CHE 107/113 General College Chemistry II + Lab 4
MA 113/114 Calculus I/II 8
Core Courses Hours
EES 323 Field Work in Regional Geology 6
EES 360 Mineralogy 4
EES 420G Structural Geology 4
EES 450G Sedimentary Geology 4
EES 461 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology 4
EES 490 Earth Dynamics 3
Elective I
Six credit hours of EES courses at the 400 level or above, not including EES 495 or EES 496.
Elective II
Six additional credit hours at the 300 level or higher of either EES courses or courses in a related field.
Related Fields
A 200 level, two-course sequence in physics. Four additional hours in a related field at 200 level or higher.

Potential Electives in Earth and Environmental Sciences:

  • EES 310 Explorations of the Solar System [3]
  • EES 341 Landforms [3]
  • EES 345 Paleoclimatology: The Science [3]
  • EES 350 Regional and Historical Geology [3]
  • EES 385 Hydrology and Water Resources [3]
  • EES 395 Independent Studies in Geology [1-6]
  • EES 399 Experiential Education [1-6]
  • EES 401G Invertebrate Paleontology [3]
  • EES 480 Advanced Topics in Geological Sciences (Regional Field Trips) [3]
  • EES 495 Senior Thesis Seminar [3]
  • EES 496 Senior Thesis Research [3]
  • EES 511 Petroleum Geology [3]
  • EES 530 Low Temperature Geochemistry [3]
  • EES 550 Fundamental Geophysics [3]
  • EES 555 Stratigraphy [3]
  • EES 560 Geophysical Field Methods [4]
  • EES 585 Hydrogeology [3]

Suggested Courses in Related Fields:

  • BIO 325 Introductory Ecology [3]
  • CE 341 Fluid Mechanics [3]
  • CE 461G Hydrology [3]
  • CE 471G Soil Mechanics [3]
  • CHE 230 Organic Chemistry [3]
  • CHE 440 Physical Chemistry [3]
  • ENS 200 Introduction to Environmental Studies [3]
  • ENS 400 Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies [3]
  • GEO 309 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems [3]
  • MA 213, 214 Calculus III, IV
  • MA 321 Introduction to Numerical Methods [3]
  • MA 322 Matrix Algebra [3]
  • PHY 404G Mechanics [3]
  • PLS 366 Fundamentals of Soil Science [3]
  • PLS 450G Biogeochemistry [3]
  • CS 221 Computer Science [2]
  • STA 291 Statistical Methods [3]