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How do I Choose the Best Geology Classes?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 May 2018
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Some people go through school without ever taking geology classes. For those who aren’t science majors or geology majors, they’re not always required. Still many feel the appeal of studying this area of science that deals with the way earth formed, the rocks and minerals that are part this and the processes that shape earth to this day. Yet others are majors in geology and won’t take one class but will instead take many geology classes. Choosing which ones to take and determining how to decide may be based part on preference and part on requirements for graduation.

Those simply interested in fulfilling a science requirement for graduation often find geology classes are the best way to do this. Students may need to take courses that include a lab component, which may be part of general education requirements, and should look for classes that either have a lab or that have an option lab for a few extra credits. Basic introductions to geology are usually the simplest way to go and will give students a broad foundation of knowledge in this subject. Given a number of instructors teaching these classes, ask around to see which teachers are the most fun, grade the hardest, give the most homework, and et cetera.

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Those students who are majoring in geology don’t have quite the flexibility when choosing geology classes. They may need to take certain required courses before branching into their own interests. The best way to find out which geology classes to take is to speak with a professor, or even a teacher’s assistant/doctoral student on what classes are required for graduation. As a student gets more instruction, certain areas of geology may more appeal. When it comes to taking electives in a major, the student can begin to focus on the areas that are most interesting, and might later make up part of a career in the field. These classes will vary based on school and student interest. Again, the best advice is to get good advice from faculty or others to determine which courses are most important to take.

Students may also have the option of determining whether they want to get a BA or BS in geology. The BA is most for students who will take a theoretical teaching approach to geology. This would be a good major for those who might want to teach this science to junior high or high school students. The BS is more research oriented and prepares the student for masters and PhD work. When choosing geology classes, make sure to choose the ones that will adequately reflect type of degree being earned. Obviously those with a BS in geology can teach too, but it may be harder to get into graduate programs in science (without taking more classes) with a BA degree.

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