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The Geosciences major prepares students for meaningful and productive post-baccalaureate employment and/or admission to high-quality graduate programs. The program incorporates a broad and challenging curriculum, which emphasizes and investigates many of the important geologic subdisciplines. These include rock-forming mechanisms and controls, deformational and tectonic processes, the weathering and erosion of geologic materials, the transport and deposition of derived sediments, and the physical and biological history of the Earth. In addition, all Geosciences graduates attend a senior-level geology field camp where they learn not only fundamental field and mapping skills, but also how to professionally apply and integrate what they have learned in their individual courses to complex, real-world geologic problems.

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the following requirements for the Geosciences Major may be satisfied by taking similar coursework through Rider Approved Study Abroad Programs. Please contact your academic advisor, the GEMS department chair, and/or Rider's Center for International Education (CIE) for further information.


GEMS (46+ Credits)
  ENV-200 Statistical and Computer Applications in the Natural Sciences 4
  ENV-205 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems 3
  GEO-100 Earth Systems Science 3
  GEO-102 Earth Materials and Processes Lab 1
  GEO-201 Elements of Mineralogy 4
  GEO-305 Petrology and Petrography 4
  GEO-306 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy 4
  GEO-310 Structural Geology 4
  GEO-350 Soils and Surficial Processes 4
  GEO-407 Hydrology and Water Resources 4
  MAR-120 Oceanography 3
  MAR-121 Introductory Oceanography Lab 1
  MAR-210 Marine Life Through Time 4
  N/A Completion of an approved geology field camp experience1 3+

Chemistry (8 Credits)
  CHE-120 Principles of Chemistry 3
  CHE-121 Principles of Chemistry Lab 1
  CHE-122 Introduction to Chemical Systems 3
  CHE-123 Quantitative Methods Lab 1

Physics (4 Credits)2
  PHY-100 Principles of Physics I 3
  PHY-100L Principles of Physics I Lab 1

Electives (6 Credits) Select two courses from the following:
  ENV-220 Weather and Climate Change 3
  ENV-375 Environmental Biogeochemistry 3
  GEO-168 Mesozoic Ruling Reptiles: Dinosaurs, Pterosaurs, and Plesiosaurs 3
  MAR-340 Marine Processes and Environments: Seminar 3

TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED: 64+ (In addition to CLAES core requirements). Geosciences majors also will take either MTH-105: Algebra and Trigonometry or MTH-210: Calculus I to satisfy the CLAES mathematics core requirement3.

Completion of a OSHA HAZWOPER Training Course is recommended for those students planning on employment within the environmental industry. This 40-hour course fulfills the requirements for the OSHA Hazardous Materials Technician, Level A and the 29 CFR 1910.20 regulations. Students who complete the course are fully certified to handle hazardous materials and waste products. Because OSHA certification normally is required for job positions in the environmental industry, OSHA-certified students are more competitive for summer, part-time, and full-time employment opportunities.

A minor or double major in Biology, Chemistry, or Marine Sciences is recommended.

1Rider University does not offer a geology field camp. Students fulfill this requirement by successfully completing (grade of C or better) an approved geology field camp offered by an accredited institution.

2PHY-101 and 101L also are strongly recommended for students considering a graduate program in the Geological Sciences

3Graduate schools usually require at least one semester of calculus.


Graduation with Honors in Geosciences is awarded in recognition of majors who have demonstrated outstanding academic ability. Enrollment in the program is by invitation of the GEMS faculty. Eligibility requirements include a minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses required for the major and the satisfactory completion of a senior thesis. In addition, an honors candidate must maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0.