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Geology Undergraduate Program

Geology majors may qualify to earn Honors in Geology, and/or may earn the CLAS certification for having completed the Research Experience Program. 

Honors in Geology, a Summary

The Department of Geology encourages the most capable and motivated undergraduate geology majors to earn the designation of Honors in Geology.  Usually, about 10% of our majors can qualify for honors, but we would be happy if all of our majors earned Honors.

Who May Attempt to Earn Honors in Geology

  1. Student must be a Geology major.
  2. Student must be invited to attempt the honors’ designation.  Invitation comes from the Departmental Honors Coordinator† (DHC), or a student can be nominated by a faculty member willing to serve as their primary advisor.
  3. Student must have a GPA of at least 3.25 for all courses and at least 3.50 for geology courses when requesting to attempt Departmental honors.
  4. Student must notify the DHC, in writing, of their intention to attempt to earn Departmental Honors.  The letter should include the name of the faculty supervisor and a tentative title of the research project.
  5. Student must complete a CLAS form entitled “Departmental Honors Intent Form”, submit it to DG (Department of Geology) Student Affairs Manager† (SAM) in Lindley 103, who will send it for review by the DHC.  If accepted, the student will be given the yellow copy of that form, and the remaining copies will be disbursed by the DG-SAM.  Receipt of the yellow copy of the form signifies the student has been accepted into the Department of Geology Honors Program.

What are the requirements?

  1. Student must be approved for attempting Honors in Geology (see above).
  2. Student must maintain a GPA of at least 3.25 for all courses and at least 3.50 for geology courses until graduation.
  3. Student must complete a research project under the guidance of a member of the faculty of the Department of Geology. 
    1. Student must maintain enrollment in GEOL 399 for the duration of the research project, but only three (3) credit hours of GEOL399 will count as a senior elective for the geology degree.
    2. Student must finish the research project and write a well-written report about it.   The faculty supervisor will review the report.  The student will make revisions as requested by the faculty supervisor, and, after the faculty supervisor is satisfied, the report will be reviewed by the rest of the Honors Committee†.
    3. Student must make a professional oral presentation on the research project.  The student will receive permission to proceed with the oral presentation by the Honors Committee after they have reviewed the report.  After permission is given, the student will then work with the DG-SAM so that the presentation will be advertised for at least two weeks prior to the date the presentation will be given.  The presentation will be open to the public, and is usually followed by a closed session in which the student meets with faculty. 
  1. The Honors Committee† will judge whether the student has satisfied the requirements for earning Honors in Geology.  The DHC will complete the paperwork necessary for the formal awarding of this title.

†  Explanation of Committee Makeup and Personnel

Honors Committee:

1) Faculty supervisor of the honors research.

2) Departmental Honors Coordinator (DHC)

3) Chairperson, Undergraduate Studies Committee (or another faculty member designated, in writing, by the Chairperson of the Undergraduate Studies Committee).

2013-2014 Personnel

Departmental Honors Coordinator:  Dr. Gwen Macpherson, 112A Lindley Hall, 864-2742, glmac@ku.edu

Chair, Undergraduate Studies Committee: Dr. George Tsoflias, 302 Lindley Hall, 864-4584, tsoflias@ku.edu

Department of Geology Student Affairs Manager (DG-SAM):  Yolanda Langdon, 120 Lindley Hall, 864-4975, yolanda@ku.edu

Research Experience Program (REP), a Summary

For details, please see http://ugresearch.ku.edu/student/rep/overview.  This program officially recognizes undergraduates who have, in the Department of Geology, undertaken independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. 

There are two aspects of the certification process for the REP. 

The first component is satisfied by a student earning a grade of C or better in any three of a long list of geology courses.

The second component is the independent research.  For this part, a student works with a Department of Geology faculty member to complete a project (usually while enrolled in GEOL 391, 3 credit hours of which counts as a senior elective).  The project is then presented in some kind of public forum, of which there are many possibilities:  international, national, regional or local conference; departmental seminar; formal presentation open to the public as in a honors-thesis defense; formal written senior thesis, etc.

Application for the certification is online.  A student pursuing certification should notify the Department REP Coordinator†† to verify that the second component is adequate.  The research project is directed entirely by the faculty supervisor.

††  Departmental REP Coordinator:  Dr. Gwen Macpherson, 112A Lindley Hall, 864-2742, glmac@ku.edu


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