Earth Science Teaching (5-12) (BS)

Catalog Year

Years 2019-2020


Bachelor of Science






Program Requirements

Required General Education

Broad survey of astronomy: the night sky, seasons, moon phases, eclipses, light, telescopes, stars, stellar evolution, galaxies, cosmology, the solar system.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

Study of biological processes at the suborganismal level including cell chemistry, metabolism, reproduction, genetics, and complex tissue physiology. Laboratory and discussion sessions stress problem solving and experimental design.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

Introduction to the basic principles of chemistry including atomic and molecular structure, bonding, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, thermodynamics and states of matter. Laboratory will reinforce lecture concepts. Prereq: C or higher in MATH 112 or the equivalent; high school chemistry or C or higher in CHEM 104

Prerequisites: “C” (2.0) or higher in MATH 112 or the equivalent; high school chemistry or “C” (2.0) or higher in CHEM 104.

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-03

Physical geology is the study of how the earth works. From mountain building to soil erosion, this course provides an introduction to all the main areas of geologic study. Lecture discussions and laboratory exercises are designed for students seeking a major or minor in one of the natural sciences.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03, GE-10

Addresses drugs and drug use from psychological, behavioral, pharmacological, historical, legal and clinical perspectives - while examining the effects of drug use on personal health and social functioning.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-05

Study of interpersonal skills, motivation, and group skills. Applied to educational settings. Requires 18 hours clinical service learning experience (out of class). Meets State of Minnesota human relations requirement for teacher licensure.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-07, GE-11

Diverse Cultures: Gold

Major Common Core

Techniques for observing with the naked eye, binoculars and small telescopes; constellation and star identification; use of star atlases and handbooks; observations of stars, binaries, clusters, nebulae, planets and the sun and moon, etc. Students will also learn how astronomical theories are formulated and tested by observing phenomena in the sky. Evening observing labs required.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

Study of biological processes at the organismal level including a survey of life forms (viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi, plants, and animals), their evolution, and ecology. Laboratory and discussion sessions stress problem solving and experimental design.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105 

An examination of the processes involved in weather formation. Students will be introduced to weather map analysis, simple forecasting and observational techniques, and weather instruments.

Prerequisites: none

This course will cover elements of the structure of the earth and the variety of landforms found on the earth's surface, with emphasis upon the processes, both past and present, that act upon the surface to create the landforms now visible. Local field trips.

Prerequisites: none

The characteristics of particular climates and understanding the factors that control their spatial distribution.

Prerequisites: none

An examination of the development and evolution of life on earth. In addition to reviewing the range of life forms and global climates existing on earth during various times in its geologic past, we will also look at how global industrialization could lead to the earth's next period of mass extinction. Weekly laboratory assignments help illustrate principles discussed in lectures.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

Examination of the elemental composition and crystal structure of various common minerals. Laboratory time is spent practicing techniques of identifying crystals and minerals. The importance and occurrence of many economic minerals is also covered thoroughly in this course.

Prerequisites: GEOL 100 or GEOL 121 

An integrated, multi-disciplinary study of the Earth and the solar system. The course builds on basic concepts of astronomy, chemistry and geology to give students an enhanced understanding of the nature and relationship among the forces that control the Earth's evolution. Learning outcomes partially fulfill licensure requirements for secondary science educators.

Prerequisites: AST 101, CHEM 201, GEOL 121 

General background in physical concepts for those who do not plan advanced study in physics or engineering. Topics include mechanics, fluids, heat and thermodynamics. Lecture and laboratory.

Prerequisites: Either MATH 112 and MATH 113, or MATH 115; and high school physics or PHYS 101. 

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-03

Includes waves and sound, electricity and magnetism, light and optics, and topics in modern physics. Lecture and laboratory.

Prerequisites: PHYS 211 

Major Restricted Electives

Research Electives - Choose 1 - 3 Credit(s).

Various excursions to study physical and cultural landscapes inside and outside of Minnesota.

Prerequisites: none

Topics vary in physical, cultural, economic, political, and historical geography, as well as environmental conservation and geographic techniques.

Prerequisites: none

An assignment that is tailored to individual needs of a student. An arrangement is made that the student works on a project (term paper, readings, mapping, field investigation,GIS, or related topics).

Prerequisites: Consent 

Course Electives - Choose 9 Credit(s). Must choose from at least two different departments.

Survey of our solar system: the sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and meteoroids; history of the discovery and exploration of the solar system.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

Experiments in astronomy; astronomical observations; measurement, interpretation, and analysis of various types of astronomical data. Lab included.

Prerequisites: AST 101 or AST 102

Goal Areas: GE-03

The course will be an introduction to the analysis of spatial data using the concept of a geographic information system (GIS). Content of the course will be, to a great extent, based on the NCGIA core curriculum with assignments tailored to the data and software available within the department such as ArcGIS.

Prerequisites: none

Survey of natural resources emphasizing energy, minerals, soils, fisheries, and water resources. Also addresses timber, wetlands, and wildlife on public and private lands.

Prerequisites: none

Study of the compositions and origins of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks in a plate tectonic context. Topics include mineral optics and geochemistry. Lab portion of course emphasizes identification and study of rocks.

Prerequisites: GEOL 201

Study of the processes and results of rock deformation at scales ranging from microscopic to plate tectonic, and at conditions ranging from the Earth's surface to the deep interior.

Prerequisites: GEOL 121 

This course introduces physical and chemical studies of hydrogeology. The main areas of discussion will include the physical and chemical attributes of aquifers, movement of ground-water and solute through soils and rocks, and reactions between earth materials and pollutants in ground-water systems. The class includes extensive use of MODFLOW and MT3D, the two most commonly usedgroundwater modeling programs currently available.

Prerequisites: CHEM 201, GEOL 121 

Other Graduation Requirements

See the Secondary 5-12 & K-12 Professional Education section of the undergraduate catalog for admission requirements for professional education and for a list of required professional education courses.


No minor is required.