Degrees Offered

Majors

Undergraduates at the Jackson School have eight degree options, anchored by fundamental courses taken by all majors during their first two to three years. Students enter as Geological Sciences entry level or Environmental Science entry level majors and, after completion of freshman requirements, can be admitted to one of the degree options. Faculty and academic advisors work with students to select the best option for them. Consult the short descriptions below for more information, or see the UT Austin Undergraduate Course Catalog.

 

Minors & Certificate Programs

Minors for Geosciences Majors

While a minor is not required as part of any geological sciences degree program, students may choose to complete a minor in a field of study other than their major and to which they gain entry. Students may declare only one minor or certificate to supplement their Jackson School major.

Jackson School students must declare their minor/certificate intentions before they have completed 65 percent of their degree requirements, as indicated on the Interactive Degree Audit (IDA). Exceptions to these policies require prior approval by the dean.

Minors for Non-Geosciences Majors

The minors offered by the Jackson School of Geosciences promote the understanding of Earth as a system, its resources, and environment, for the lasting benefit of humankind. Any non-geosciences student with a University grade point average of at least 2.5 may apply to a JSG minor. Students must apply for admission to the minor, have it added to their degree profiles, successfully complete all requirements, and apply to graduate for it to appear on their transcript.

The Jackson School reserves the right to limit the number of students accepted to the minor. If demand exceeds space, students will be selected based on review of a student’s academic record. Acceptance into the minor does not come with preferences or guarantee of a seat in any GEO course. Registration for any of these courses will require that existing prerequisite course requirements are adequately met.

For more information, please visit the Minor and Certificate Programs section in The University chapter.

  • Computational Geosciences Minor

    The Computational Geosciences Minor provides a selection of courses that will establish an understanding of computational methods in geosciences. The courses in this minor emphasize the understanding of geophysical and geochemical laws and their equations. Students completing this minor will gain knowledge on how to solve such equations, both analytically and numerically, to solve specific geoscience problems (e.g., transport in porous media to study pollutant plumes, wave equation to study earthquakes and seismic methods). Students will use high-level programming tools (e.g., MATLAB, Python).

    The Computational Geosciences Minor requires 15 credit hours as follows:

    Requirements Hours
    GEO 303 Introduction to Geology 3 or 4
    or GEO 401 Physical Geology
    GEO 354 Physics of Earth 3
    One of the following four courses: 3
    Computational Applications in the Geosciences
    Computational Methods
    Numerical Modeling in the Geosciences
    Mathematical Methods in Geophysics
    Two upper-division GEO courses: 6 or 7
    Quantitative Seismic Interpretation
    Climate System Modeling
    Geodynamics of the Lithosphere and Mantle
    Construction and Interpretations of 3-D Stratigraphy
    Seismic Data Processing
    Potential Field Applications in Geophysics
    Seismic Exploration
    List of additional upper-division course options available on the JSG website.
    Please Note:
    Registration for any of these courses requires that existing prerequisite course requirements are adequately met.
    Petitions to substitute another course to use toward any requirement must be submitted to the JSG Advising Office prior to the start of the semester in question.
  • Geosciences Minor

    The Geosciences Minor provides a selection of courses that will establish an understanding of the Earth’s history, evolution, and its properties. The courses in this minor emphasize the chemical, physical, and biological processes that shape the Earth system. Students completing this minor will gain knowledge in the methods geologists use to characterize geological processes, such as identifying rocks, minerals, and fossils. They will also examine the role of geological processes on geological hazards (e.g. volcanos, tsunami) and water and energy resources. The opportunity to gain skills analyzing data from laboratory and field settings supplement multiple other areas of study such as engineering, education, and business.

    The Geosciences Minor requires 16 credit hours as follows:

    Requirements Hours
    GEO 303 Introduction to Geology 3 or 4
    or GEO 401 Physical Geology
    One of the following three courses: 4
    Life through Time
    Earth Materials
    Sedimentary Rocks
    Three upper-division GEO courses: 9
    Introductory Field Geology
    Computational Applications in the Geosciences
    Continental Tectonics
    Introduction to Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology
    Gems and Gem Minerals
    List of additional upper-division course options available on the JSG website.
    Please Note:
    Registration for any of these courses requires that existing prerequisite course requirements are adequately met.
    Petitions to substitute another course to use toward any requirement must be submitted to the JSG Advising Office prior to the start of the semester in question.
  • Hydrology Minor

    The Hydrology Minor provides a selection of courses that will establish an understanding of the water cycle and associated hydrological processes. The courses in this minor emphasize physical and chemical processes that control the movement of water through the Earth system and water quality. Students completing this minor will gain knowledge in the methods hydrologists use to characterize hydrological processes, including environmental monitoring data and aquifer properties.

    The Hydrology Minor requires 16 credit hours as follows:

    Requirements Hours
    GEO 303 Introduction to Geology 3 or 4
    or GEO 401 Physical Geology
    GEO 346C Introduction to Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology 3
    GEO 476K Groundwater Hydrology 4
    Two upper-division GEO courses: 6 or 7
    Geochemical Problem Solving with Atoms and Ions
    Physical Hydrology
    Aqueous Geochemistry
    Hydrogeophysics
    Applied Karst Hydrogeology
    List of additional upper-division course options available on the JSG website.
    Please Note:
    Registration for any of these courses requires that existing prerequisite course requirements are adequately met.
    Petitions to substitute another course to use toward any requirement must be submitted to the JSG Advising Office prior to the start of the semester in question.
  • Sedimentology and Earth Surface Processes Minor

    The Sedimentology and Earth Surface Processes Minor provides a selection of courses that will establish an understanding of the processes that shape the Earth’s surface, the rock record results, and interactions with other systems over time. Students completing this minor will gain an understanding of the changing character of the surface environment of the Earth which is critical for understanding the past and future trajectories for life on Earth.

    The Sedimentology and Earth Surface Processes Minor requires 16 credit hours as follows:

    Requirements Hours
    GEO 303 Introduction to Geology 3 or 4
    or GEO 401 Physical Geology
    GEO 416M Sedimentary Rocks 4
    or GEO 416K Earth Materials
    Three of the following upper-division GEO courses: 9 or 10
    Transitions in the History of Life
    Energy Exploration
    Quantitative Seismic Interpretation
    Geodynamics of the Lithosphere and Mantle
    Construction and Interpretations of 3-D Stratigraphy
    Geomorphology Process and Form
    Evolution of Reef Ecosystems
    List of additional upper-division course options available on the JSG website.
    Please Note:
    Registration for any of these courses requires that existing prerequisite course requirements are adequately met.
    Petitions to substitute another course to use toward any requirement must be submitted to the JSG Advising Office prior to the start of the semester in question.
  • Computational Science and Engineering Certificate
    The Computational Science and Engineering Certificate program is sponsored by the Cockrell School of Engineering, the Jackson School of Geosciences, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Natural Sciences; it is administered by the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES). Information regarding the specific requirements of the Certificate can be found in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Minor and Certificates section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

 

Undergraduates by Major, Fall 2020

Major # of Students
Geological Sciences, Entry-level/Undeclared (J00100/45000) 62
B.A. Geological Sciences (45200) 4
B.S. Geological Sciences: General Geology (45300) 64
B.S. Geological Sciences: Geophysics (45900) 14
B.S. Geological Sciences: Hydrogeology (45500) 17
B.S. Geosystems Engineering & Hydrogeology (45800) 10
B.S. Geological Sciences: Teaching (45600) 1
B.S. Environmental Science, Entry-level (46000) 21
B.S. Environmental Science, Geological Sciences (46100) 8