Declaring Your Major

Declaring the Major or Minor

Students may declare a geology major or minor at anytime if they are in good academic standing. However, students are encouraged to declare before registration so they can get access to major restricted courses. 

Major Restricted Courses

Most 300-400 level courses are major restricted, and 400-level courses are restricted to Phase II majors, so it is important to declare as early as possible. 

Which program are you interested in?

To declare your Geology BS or BA, please schedule an appointment with the Geology Program Coordinator here: https://calendly.com/parkh23/geology During the virtual appointment, you will complete major declaration paperwork, review departmental information and address any questions you may have about the major. 

To declare a major in geophysics, please schedule an appointment with one of our Geophysics Faculty Advisors before you can declare.  Please e-mail Dr. Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, jackie.caplan-auerbach@wwu.edu.

Once you have met with Dr. Caplan-Auerbach, please make an appointment with the Geology Program coordinator to declare your geophysics major: https://calendly.com/parkh23/geology 

Note: Dr. Melissa Rice, the other Geophysics faculty advisor, is on sabbatical this academic year and will return in AY2021. 

To declare a major in a BAE, please make an appointment with one of our BAE Faculty Advisors first.  Please e-mail Dr. Susan DeBari, susan.debari@wwu.eduor Dr. Robyn Dahl, robyn.dahl@wwu.edu, to make an appointment. 

Once you have seen one of our BAE faculty advisors, please schedule an appointment with the Geology Program Coordinator to declare: https://calendly.com/parkh23/geology. You may declare a BAE major at any time, and students are encouraged to declare early so that they are assigned to a faculty advisor and may be included in important departmental announcements. 

Please schedule a minor declaration appointment with the Program Coordinator. During the appointment, you will complete the declaration eform, and review information about the minor. 

The minor in geology is designed for students who want some preparation in geology to accompany their major course of study. Students majoring in Biology, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Computer Science, Anthropology, Journalism, etc. may find that an understanding of Earth processes will be useful in a variety of careers. Thus students minoring in geology are allowed extensive flexibility for selecting courses that complement their goals. 

Pre-majors (Phase I)

Students who wish to earn a BS Geology or BS Geophysics degree must complete a set of preparatory courses for admission into these degree programs. Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in this set of preparatory courses, and be in good academic standing to qualify for admission. Priority for admission will be given to students who have a GPA of 2.5 or higher in these preparatory courses; students with a lower GPA will be admitted on a space-available basis.

Majors (Phase II)

Once you have received passing grades for all of your preparatory courses, the Program Coordinator will move you to Phase II of your major. If you have not been moved to Phase II but have received your grades for the prep courses, please contact the Program Coordinator. 

BS Geology Pre-major Courses

  • Geology 211: Physical Geology w/ Lab (can be substituted with Geology 101 + 211A)
  • Geology 212: Historical Geology
  • Geology 213: GIS
  • Math 124: Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
  • Chemistry 161: General Chemistry I

And ONE of the following: 

  • Geology 306: Mineralogy 
  • Geology 310: Geomorphology
  • Geology 318: Structural Geology
  • Geology 352: Intro to Geophysics

Geophysics Pre-major Courses

  • Geology 211: Physical Geology w/ Lab (can be substituted with Geology 101 + 211A)
  • Geology 352: Intro to Geophysics
  • Math 124: Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
  • Physics 161: Physics with Calculus I
  • Physics 162: Physics with Calculus II