In the Geoscience Department at HWS, a focus on science with complete immersion in the liberal arts provides students with a framework for developing knowledge, skills and independence. The study of geoscience provides students with a strong preparation for a variety of careers where they can use their expertise to teach, research new scientific questions, monitor environmental changes, manage natural resources, and inform policy-makers and the public.
Many students choose to double major in Geoscience and Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Physics, Mathematics, or Computer Science.
If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options in Geoscience or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.
Geoscience offers two disciplinary majors, a B.A. and a B.S., and a disciplinary minor.
Requirements for Major (B.A.)
disciplinary, 12 courses
GEO 182, GEO 184, GEO 186; seven additional geoscience courses that form a coherent program of study, approved by the department; CHEM 110, PHYS 150, or BIOL 167; MATH 130 or BIOL 212. Credit/no credit options cannot be used for departmental or cognate courses except GEO 299. No more than two courses from another institution may count toward the major. Only three 100-level GEO courses can count toward the B.A.
Declaration/Audit Form (B.A.)
Requirements for Major (B.S.)
disciplinary, 15 courses
GEO 182, GEO 184, GEO 186; seven additional geoscience courses that form a coherent program of study, approved by the department; CHEM 110; PHYS 150; MATH 130; MATH 131 or PHYS 160; BIOL 167, CHEM 240, CHEM 280, or PHYS 160. Credit/no credit options cannot be used for departmental or cognate courses except GEO 299. No more than two courses from another institution may count toward the major. Only three 100-level GEO courses can count toward the B.S.
Declaration/Audit Form (B.S.)
Requirements for Minor
disciplinary, 6 courses
Any two introductory courses from this list: GEO 14x, GEO 182, GEO 184, GEO 186; four additional geoscience courses at the 200-level or greater. All courses for the minor must be completed with a grade of C- or better. Credit/no credit options cannot be used for departmental or cognate courses except GEO 299. No more than two courses from another institution may count toward the minor.
Minor Declaration/Audit Form
GEO 182 Introduction to Meteorology
The influence of weather and climate affect our daily activities, our leisure hours, transportation, commerce, agriculture, and nearly every aspect of our lives. Take an in-depth look at many of the fundamental aspects of the atmosphere needed to understand severe weather and factors influencing climate, such as the thermal and moisture properties of the atmosphere, the Jet stream, large-scale pressure systems and fronts. Also, explore a variety of severe weather types such as hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms, ice storms, and floods, to develop an understanding of the elements of weather and climate that are most important to society.
GEO 184 Introduction to Geology
Explore the form and function of the solid Earth, using plate tectonics as the central theme. From this framework, explore rocks and minerals, volcanoes, earthquakes, the rise and fall of mountains, the origin and fate of sediments, the structure of our landscape, and geologic time. Learn about geological resources, and how humans interact with Earth processes and, in some cases, alter them.
GEO 186 Introduction to Hydrogeology
Learn about hydrology using scientific quantitative reasoning to examine the characteristics and importance of water across environmental and geophysical sciences. Discuss the role of water in natural systems, and explore atmospheric moisture; floods and stream processes; the physical, chemical, and ecological characteristics of lakes and oceans; aquifers and groundwater processes; and wetlands. Learn about how much freshwater is available and how humans alter the quantity and quality of water available on Earth.