Education: Secondary Education, Geosciences (BS)

Degree: Bachelor of Science
Major: Geosciences
Concentration: Secondary Education
Program Code: 3474

About This Major . . .

The Geosciences secondary licensure degree is structured for graduates to pursue teaching careers at the middle or high school level.  The basic curriculum includes all of the major topics within a traditional geology program while also incorporating teacher education courses required for licensure by the state of Colorado.  The degree plan includes basic chemistry, physics, and biology.  Instruction takes place in a state of the art science complex on campus which houses several instructional laboratories, projects rooms, a computer applications lab, petrology-mineralogy lab, and rock storage facilities.  Most classes include a strong field component, allowing students to take advantage of the diverse geological setting of the Grand Junction area.  Students have access to department equipment that includes research petrographic microscopes, binocular microscopes, a computer-assisted x-ray diffractometer, scanning electron microscopes, GPS units, short- and long-period seismometers, and a magnetometer.

The secondary licensure program provides teacher education candidates with broad content knowledge in science and prepares them as teachers for grades 7 through 12.  A minimum of 75 credit hours of Essential Learning and content area coursework must be completed with a minimum GPA of 2.80 before a candidate may apply for admission to the Center for Teacher Education secondary licensure program.  Please see the Teacher Education Admission Packet for further information on admissions criteria.  EDUC 115, What It Means to be an Educator, and EDUC 215, Teaching as a Profession, must be taken before applying to the program.

Important information about this degree:

  • 2.80 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • 2.80 cumulative GPA or higher in coursework toward the major content area.
  • A “C” or higher is required in all major and foundation courses.
  • All EDUC prefix courses must be completed with a grade of “B” or better.
  • Students must pass the PRAXIS II exam in the content area prior to beginning the internship.  Also,  all other coursework toward the degree must be successfully completed prior to the internship.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Geosciences Outcome 1: Articulate the fundamental knowledge base and ideas of the major fields of geoscience. (Specialized Knowledge)
  2. Geosciences Outcome 2: Collect and interpret geoscience field data. (Applied Learning/Critical Thinking)
  3. Geosciences Outcome 3: Collect and interpret geoscience laboratory data. (Applied Learning/Critical Thinking)
  4. Geosciences Outcome 4: Use technology (e.g. computer software) for evaluating quantitative geoscience data. (Quantitative Fluency)
  5. Geosciences Outcome 5: Write an effective report on a geoscience study. (Communication Fluency)
  6. Geosciences Outcome 6: Give an effective oral presentation on a geoscience study. (Communication Fluency)
  7. Teacher Education Outcome 1: Demonstrate mastery of major area’s content knowledge and pedagogical strategies through fieldwork with learners in professional settings. (Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning)
  8. Teacher Education Outcome 2: Design and establish a safe, inclusive, and respectful learning environment for a diverse population of students. (Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning)
  9. Teacher Education Outcome 3: Plan and deliver effective instruction to students, based on research-based pedagogical practices. (Communication Literacy/Information Literacy)
  10. Teacher Education Outcome 4: Collect and analyze student assessment data and use results to inform planning and instruction. (Quantitative Fluency)
  11. Teacher Education Outcome 5: Demonstrate professionalism through ethical conduct, reflection, and leadership. (Personal and Social Responsibility)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Specific to this program:

  • 126 semester hours required for the BS in Geosciences, Secondary Education.
  • 2.80 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below.  If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 2
MATH 113College Algebra-GTMA1 (or higher) 33
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
PSYC 233Human Growth and Development-GTSS3 43
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course 53
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts Course3
Natural Sciences 6
BIOL 105Attributes of Living Systems-GTSC13
BIOL 105LAttributes of Living Systems Laboratory-GTSC11
Select one Natural Science course3
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Must receive a grade of “B” or better and must be completed by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


 Must receive a grade of “C” or better, must be completed by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


This is a 4 semester credit hour course. 3 credits apply to the Essential Learning requirements and one credit applies to foundation courses.


Must receive a grade of “B” or better.


GEOG 103 - World Regional Geography (3) recommended.


One course must include a lab.

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Essential Learning Capstone must be taken after completion of the Essential Learning English and Mathematics requirements, and when a student has earned between 45 and 75 hours. 

Foundation Courses

(17 semester hours, must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course.)

MATH 113College Algebra-GTMA1 11
CHEM 131General Chemistry I-GTSC14
CHEM 131LGeneral Chemistry Laboratory I-GTSC11
PHYS 101Elementary Astronomy-GTSC23
PHYS 111General Physics I-GTSC14
PHYS 111LGeneral Physics I Laboratory-GTSC11
MATH 130Trigonometry3
Total Semester Credit Hours17

This is a 4 semester credit hour course. 3 credits apply to the Essential Learning requirements and one credit applies to foundation courses.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(40 semester hours, must pass all courses with a grade of “C” or higher with a 2.8 accumulative GPA or higher)

  • Students must pass the PRAXIS II exam in the content area prior to beginning the internship. Also, all other coursework toward the degree must be successfully completed prior to the internship.
Core Courses
GEOL 103Weather and Climate-GTSC23
or GEOL 104 Oceanography-GT-SC2
Select one of the following: 14
Principles of Physical Geology-GTSC1
and Principles of Physical Geology Laboratory-GTSC1
Field-Based Introduction to Physical Geology-GTSC1
and Field-Based Introduction to Physical Geology Laboratory-GTSC1
GEOL 112Principles of Historical Geology-GTSC13
GEOL 112LPrinciples of Historical Geology Laboratory-GTSC11
GEOL 202Introduction to Field Studies3
GEOL 204Computer Applications in Geology3
GEOL 250Environmental Geology3
GEOL 301Structural Geology3
GEOL 301LStructural Geology Laboratory1
GEOL 331Crystallography and Mineralogy3
GEOL 331LCrystallography and Mineralogy Laboratory1
GEOL 340Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology3
GEOL 340LIgneous and Metamorphic Petrology Laboratory1
GEOL 402Applications of Geomorphology3
GEOL 402LApplications of Geomorphology Laboratory1
GEOL 444Sedimentology and Stratigraphy3
GEOL 444LSedimentology and Stratigraphy Laboratory1
Total Semester Credit Hours40

Either GEOL 111/GEOL 111L or GEOL 113/GEOL 113L may be taken for credit, but not both.

Secondary Education Requirements

(29 semester hours, must earn a grade of "B" or better in each course.)

Program Requirements:  ENGL 111ENGL 112PSYC 233EDUC 115 and EDUC 215 (all with a grade of B or better) and formal acceptance to the Teacher Education Program.

EDUC 115What It Means To Be An Educator (8 field experience hours)1
EDUC 215Teaching as a Profession (12 field experience hours)1
EDUC 342Pedagogy and Assessment: Secondary and K-12 (20 field experience hours)3
EDUC 343Teaching to Diversity (20 field experience hours)3
EDUC 442Integrating Literacy Across the Curriculum: Secondary and K-12 Art (60 field experience hours)3
EDUC 475Classroom Management for K-12 Educators1
EDUC 497Content Methodology Practicum (80 field experience hours)3
EDUC 497DMethods of Teaching Secondary Science 12
EDUC 499GTeaching Internship and Colloquia: Secondary (600 field experience hours)12
Praxis II Exam Passed
Total Semester Credit Hours29

This course is only offered in the fall semester.  It may be taken with either the 300-level or 400-level EDUC courses but must be taken before the student teaching semester.

All EDUC prefix courses listed above must be completed with a grade of B or better to progress through the program sequence. 

Students must pass the PRAXIS II exam in the content area prior to commencing the internship.  Also, ALL other coursework toward the degree must be successfully completed prior to the internship.

General Electives 

All college level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours. 3 semester hours.

Select electives3
Total Semester Credit Hours3
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
GEOL 103
Weather and Climate-GTSC2
or Oceanography-GT-SC2
Select one of the following: 4
Principles of Physical Geology-GTSC1
and Principles of Physical Geology Laboratory-GTSC1
Field-Based Introduction to Physical Geology-GTSC1
and Field-Based Introduction to Physical Geology Laboratory-GTSC1
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
MATH 113 College Algebra-GTMA1 4
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
GEOL 112
Principles of Historical Geology-GTSC1
and Principles of Historical Geology Laboratory-GTSC1
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
MATH 130 Trigonometry 3
PSYC 233 Human Growth and Development-GTSS3 3
GEOG 103 World Regional Geography-GTSS2 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Second Year
Fall Semester
GEOL 202 Introduction to Field Studies 3
GEOL 250 Environmental Geology 3
CHEM 131
General Chemistry I-GTSC1
and General Chemistry Laboratory I-GTSC1
PHYS 111
General Physics I-GTSC1
and General Physics I Laboratory-GTSC1
EDUC 115 What It Means To Be An Educator 1
 Semester Credit Hours17
Spring Semester
GEOL 204 Computer Applications in Geology 3
BIOL 105
Attributes of Living Systems-GTSC1
and Attributes of Living Systems Laboratory-GTSC1
PHYS 101 Elementary Astronomy-GTSC2 3
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
KINA Activity 1
 Semester Credit Hours17
Third Year
Fall Semester
GEOL 301
Structural Geology
and Structural Geology Laboratory
GEOL 331
Crystallography and Mineralogy
and Crystallography and Mineralogy Laboratory
Essential Learning - History 3
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
EDUC 215 Teaching as a Profession 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
GEOL 340
Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
and Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology Laboratory
GEOL 444
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
and Sedimentology and Stratigraphy Laboratory
EDUC 342 Pedagogy and Assessment: Secondary and K-12 3
EDUC 343 Teaching to Diversity 3
General Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours17
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
GEOL 402
Applications of Geomorphology
and Applications of Geomorphology Laboratory
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
EDUC 442 Integrating Literacy Across the Curriculum: Secondary and K-12 Art 3
EDUC 475 Classroom Management for K-12 Educators 1
EDUC 497 Content Methodology Practicum 3
EDUC 497D Methods of Teaching Secondary Science 2
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
EDUC 499G Teaching Internship and Colloquia: Secondary 12
 Semester Credit Hours12
 Total Semester Credit Hours126

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for their intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be their responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.