2023-2024 Pomona College Catalog 
    
    Jul 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Pomona College Catalog

Geology Major


Requirements for the Major in Geology


The department offers five major tracks of study and a minor.

General Geology Track Requirements


This track’s curriculum is intended for students who wish to pursue their liberal arts education by learning about the geological formation and evolution of the Earth. Such study provides students with a sound basis for assessing numerous scientific and social issues, including many of the key environmental problems currently faced by our society. Requirements include:

  1. One introductory course: GEOL 015 PO , GEOL 020A PO , GEOL 020C PO , GEOL 020E PO , GEOL 133 PO , EA 055L KS , EA 100L KS  
  2. A set of seven core courses: GEOL 125 PO , GEOL 127 PO , GEOL 129 PO , GEOL 131 PO , GEOL 181 PO , GEOL 183 PO , GEOL 185 PO  
  3. Two geology electives (any two non-introductory GEOL credits other than GEOL 199 not already being used to fulfill major requirements)
  4. GEOL 192 PO , a year-long senior thesis
  5. MATH 030 PO 
  6. An additional quantitatively grounded course in mathematics or the natural sciences, not used to fulfill the requirements above. Course selection must be approved in writing by the student’s Geology major advisor, with a copy sent to the Department Chair. Geologically relevant quantitative courses outside the natural sciences may be considered via petition to the Chair.

Students, particularly those interested in pursuing graduate studies or professional careers as geologists, are strongly encouraged but not explicitly required to take a full year of introductory chemistry and physics, as well as an approved summer field camp. An excellent way to pursue the latter is through participation in the College’s competitive Frontiers Abroad study abroad program in New Zealand, which includes a five-week field camp prior to the start of an academic semester in Christchurch. Frontiers Abroad programs are offered in both the spring and fall semesters. Study Abroad programs at many other locations (e.g., Cape Town, Edinburgh) also provide excellent opportunities for students to explore a diverse array of geological settings and environments.

Environmental Earth Science (E.E.S.) Track Requirements


This broader scientific track is intended for students who wish to acquire a geological basis for understanding environmental problems. As a more science-intensive complement to the geology option in the Environmental Analysis Program, it is designed to support careers in environmental policy, law, teaching, consulting or, with supplementary graduate training, environmental research. Requirements include:

  1. One introductory course: GEOL 015 PO , or any GEOL020 PO course, EA 055L KS , or EA 100L KS  

  2. Four intermediate-level courses (take four of five): EA 103 KS , GEOL 125 PO , GEOL 127 PO , GEOL 129 PO , or GEOL 131 PO  

  3. One upper-division course (take one of three): GEOL 181 PO , GEOL 183 PO , GEOL 185 PO  
  4. Two geochemical courses (take two of three): GEOL 120 PO GEOL 189G PO , or GEOL 189I PO   
  5. MATH 030 PO  
  6. BIOL 040 PO  and BIOL 041E PO , or BIOL 043L KS  or BIOL 044L KS  and BIOL 146L KS  

  7. CHEM 001A PO , CHEM 001B PO  or if placement exam allows, CHEM 051 PO  only.  Equivalent introductory chemistry courses from Keck Sciences or Harvey Mudd may be substituted.  

  8. One upper-division course in biology BIOL103 PO - BIOL107 PO or chemistry (CHEM 110A PO ). EQuivalent biology, chemistry, or environmental analysis courses from Keck Sciences or Harvey Mudd may be substituted and approved in writing by the student’s major advisor, with a copy sent ot the Department Chair. 

  9. One pertinent elective to be selected by the student. This elective can be any single non-introductory GEOL credit not already being applied toward the major (other than GEOL 199) but need not be from the geology curriculum. Non-GEOL course selection must be approved in writing by the student’s major advisor, with a copy sent to the Department Chair. Relevant courses from any of the Claremont Colleges may be considered.

  10. GEOL192 PO - Senior Project in Geology  

Earth, Planetary and Space Science Track Requirements


This track, which blends geology and physics/astronomy, facilitates interdisciplinary exploration of the space sciences with a focus on understanding the formation and evolution of our planet, other solar system bodies, stars and the galaxies of our universe. The curriculum below is specifically intended for students who wish to explore their interest in planetary geology, though preparation for graduate study and a professional career often requires additional course work framed in consultation with faculty; a similar track with a slightly different space science emphasis (i.e., disciplinary focus) is offered by the Physics Department.

Requirements include:

  1. Introductory Courses: GEOL 015 PO   or any course from the GEOL 020  PO course options or EA 055L KS  or EA 100L KS ; ASTR 051 PO  or ASTR 062 PO ; PHYS 041 PO  and PHYS 042 PO ; MATH 030 PO , MATH 031 PO  and MATH 032 PO .
  2. Disciplinary Focus in Geology: Any three courses from GEOL 125 PO , GEOL 127 PO , GEOL 129 PO , or GEOL 131 PO ; one course from GEOL 181 PO , GEOL 183 PO  or GEOL 185 PO ; one GEOL elective selected in consultation with Mr. Grosfils; and one other astronomy credit of the student’s choice.
  3. Independent Study: GEOL 199 PO or PHYS199 PO, an advanced independent study topic to be selected in consultation with Mr. Grosfils or Mr. Choi.
  4. GEOL192 PO - Senior Project in Geology .

Geochemistry Track Requirements


A wide range of problems in Earth sciences, ranging from the generation of magmas to the operation of Earth’s climate system, rely upon geochemical approaches. This track’s focused curriculum is intended for students who wish to pursue graduate studies and professional careers as geochemists. The numbered sequence below indicates roughly the order in which courses in geology, chemistry and mathematics could be taken concurrently.

  1. One introductory course: GEOL 015 PO  or any GEOL020 PO course, EA 055L KS , EA 100L KS  
  2. Introductory Chemistry: CHEM 001A PO  and CHEM 001B PO , or if placement exam allows, CHEM 051 PO  only. Equivalent introductory chemistry courses from Keck Sciences or Harvey Mudd may be substituted.
  3. At least one upper-division chemistry course numbered 100 or above. Note that prerequisites for upper-division chemsitry courses may vary.
  4. Disciplinary Focus in Geology: two classes from: GEOL 125 PO , GEOL 127 PO , GEOL 131 PO ; two classes from GEOL 120 PO ,GEOL 189C PO  GEOL 189I PO ; once course from GEOL 181 PO  or GEOL 183 PO .
  5. One class from: GEOL 129 PO , GEOL 185 PO .
  6. At least one additional elective geology course selected from 100 or above.
  7. GEOL192 PO - Senior Project in Geology  

Public Policy Major in Geology Track Requirements


This track is intended for students with minimal interest in pursuing a career in geology; however, it differs from the environmental analysis-geology path in having a much stronger public policy focus and a lighter science course load. See the Public Policy Analysis Program  section of this catalog for information about requirements.