Department of Geology
Chairperson and Associate
Associate Professor McCurry
Assistant Professors Hughes,
Affiliate Associate Professor Akersten
Supervisory Research Geologist Welhan
The M.S. degree is offered to those students who have degrees in geology who have demonstrated the potential for research and a professional career. Classified (degree-seeking, fully accepted) admission to the program is decided by the graduate faculty of the Geology Department in accordance with standards set by the Graduate School.
A complete graduate application for classified status in the ISU Geology Department consists of:
a. GRE aptitude scores (35% on math or verbal is required for classified students)
b. A letter of intent and statement of goals in Graduate School c. An ISU Graduate School application form and official copies of transcripts
d. Three letters of recommendation
Applicant must hold the degree of Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in geology or the equivalent as determined by the department. The student's course of study will be determined by consultation and possibly an entrance examination. Students will normally be required to complete as deficiencies any courses required for the B.S. in geology at ISU which they have not already taken. Continued enrollment in the program is contingent upon maintaining a 3.0 grade point average and upon making satisfactory progress toward the degree. Students who do not meet the minimum requirements or with incomplete applications can be admitted on a conditional or unclassified basis. Conditional status can be changed to classified after one or two semesters if performance is satisfactory. Unclassified status is used for students with large numbers of deficiencies or with very low undergraduate GPAs. Unclassified students may petition for classified status when their performance warrants.
An M.S. student must complete at least 30 credits of geology-related courses, of which at least 17 credits (including six thesis credits) must be at the 600 level, and 13 credits may be at 500 or 600 level. Up to eight credits of 500 or 600 level courses in one or more related fields may be included. In addition, two approved courses from outside the geology department or a foreign language reading exam and a final, comprehensive oral examination are required. All graduate students are required to take GEOL 591, Seminar, and GEOL 601, Advanced Physical Geology. Normally these courses are taken in the first fall semester. Graduate students are required to present at least one geology colloquium before taking their orals.
Master of Natural Science in Geology
The Master of Natural Science degree in Geology is designed primarily for teachers and prospective teachers who wish to broaden their understanding of geologic processes, the nature of natural resources, and the effect of humans on their environment. This is a non-thesis program of study with an emphasis on subject matter that will enhance the ability of the teacher to give students an interesting, up-to-date class in earth science or geology. Those interested in the program should possess or be working toward a standard teaching certificate. Requirements include completion of a prescribed program of study of 30 credits approved by a departmental committee selected by the student in consultation with the student's major professor and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and satisfactory performance on final written and oral examinations. See Master of Natural Science for details of M.N.S. degree. Cooperative ISU-Boise State University Master's Degree in Geology Graduate students admitted to the ISU M.S. program in geology may, subject to the approval of their thesis committee, transfer up to 12 credits of graduate credit from BSU. The thesis committee consists of three or more people: an ISU geology faculty member, a graduate faculty representative from ISU, a geology and geophysics faculty member from BSU (must be member of ISU graduate faculty), and perhaps an additional geology graduate faculty as desired by the student.
Thesis research can be conducted under auspices of faculty at BSU or ISU, but registration must be for ISU GEOL 650 (Thesis) totaling six credits. Students can register for GEOL 650 only after a thesis prospectus has been approved. Students must spend at least one semester at ISU. Students may apply credits of GEOL 648 (Research Problems-ISU credit), taught by BSU faculty, to their degree. These are ISU credits, not BSU transfer credits. The total credits required are the same as for a normal ISU geology M.S. degree (at least 17 at 600 level; at most 13 at 500 level.) The requirement of two approved courses from outside the field of geology can be met at either ISU or BSU. Presentation of at least one geology colloquium at ISU is required. Cooperative ISU-Boise State University Master's Degree in Applied
Graduate students admitted to the Boise State University M.S. program in applied geophysics may, subject to the approval of their thesis committee, transfer up to l2 credits of graduate credit from ISU. For details of this cooperative program, the student should consult the BSU graduate bulletin and the BSU Department of Geology and Geophysics.
Cooperative University of Idaho-Boise State University-ISU Master's Degree in
Access to the University of Idaho M.S. program in hydrology is provided to ISU and BSU graduate students via the offering of University of Idaho hydrology classes at Boise State University. Students interested in the University of Idaho hydrology degree should consult the U. of I. graduate bulletin and the U. of I. Department of Geology.
Geology Graduate Courses
g306 Environmental Geology 3 credits. Humans and the environment, industrial exploitation of fossil fuels, energy sources, soils, water and other materials, environmental health, pollution, waste disposal, hazards, disasters, land use. Lectures, student papers, student research. PREREQ: Geology junior or permission. g351 Geological Illustration and Photography 2 credits. Self-paced laboratory course in preparation of geologic diagrams, color and black-and-white photography. Students must have their own cameras and buy their own darkroom and drafting supplies. Grading is S/U. PREREQ: GEOL 106 or 109. g358 Geology of North America 3 credits. Regional stratigraphy and tectonics of North America emphasizing National Parks and the Intermountain West. Graduate students will do extensive additional reading in current literature. PREREQ: GEOL 106 or 109.
g370 Crystallography and X-ray 3 credits. X-ray diffraction analysis: study of crystallography, goniometry, powder method.
Introduction to crystal structure analysis. PREREQ: CHEM 122. Cross listed as PHYS g370 and CHEM g370. g402 Geomorphology 4 credits. Origin and evolution of surface features of the earth; emphasis on processes. PREREQ; GEOL 421 or permission of instructor.
g405 Volcanology 3 credits. Aspects of physical and chemical volcanology: types of volcanoes; interpretation of volcanic
deposits; properties of magma; generation, rise, and storage of magma; volcanic hazards and prediction. PREREQ: GEOL 411. g411 Petrology 4 credits. Introductory study of the principal rock associations, their nature and models of origin. Microscopic methods will be emphasized in the laboratory. PREREQ: GEOL 311. g415 Quaternary Geology 4 credits. Use and interpretation of landforms, sediments, and fossil life in the reconstruction of Quaternary events, environment, and climates. PREREQ: Permission of the instructor.
g417 General Soils 3 credits. Formation, morphology, and distribution of soils, including developments in soil classification. PREREQ: GEOL 106 or 109 or 115, or permission of the instructor.
g420 Principles of Geochemistry 3 credits. Chemistry of the earth; a discussion of factors controlling abundance, distribution, and migration of chemical elements within the earth. PREREQ: GEOL 211 and CHEM 122 or 217.
g430 Principles of Hydrogeology 3 credits. An introduction to
groundwater geology. Topics will include groundwater occurrence,
movement and recovery, water quality and pollution, principles of
well construction and computer modeling of groundwater flow.
PREREQ: Permission of instructor.
g431 Invertebrate Paleontology 4 credits. Principles of biology and geology applied to the study of fossil invertebrates; consideration is given to morphology, classification, evolution, paleoecology, and the stratigraphic significance of fossils. PREREQ: Permission of the instructor.
g435 Vertebrate Paleontology 4 credits. Phylogenetic history of the vertebrates outlined in the light of morphology, classification, evolution, paleoecology, and the significance of fossils. Field trips. Cross-listed as BIOS 435. PREREQ: GEOL 431 or BIOS 314 or equivalent.
g440 Ore Deposits 3 credits. Nature, mode of occurrence, and origin of ores with each type related to a given rock association and as the product of a particular environment. PREREQ: GEOL 411 and 421.
g442 Economic Mineralogy Lab 2 credits. Identification and study of economic minerals and commodities by macroscopic physical properties, X-ray diffraction and fluorescence and transmission and reflectance optical mineralogy. PREREQ: GEOL 211, concurrent enrollment in GEOL 440 is recommended.
g450 Field Geology 6 credits. Six-week summer field camp in application of standard geologic field instruments and geologic concepts to a series of field problems. PREREQ: GEOL 421 and 452. g456 Geology of Southeast Idaho 2 credits. A study of the geology of S.E. Idaho, particularly its structural and stratigraphic character as they relate to thrust belt development and superposition of late extensional tectonics. g461 Applied Geophysics 4 credits. Geophysical properties of soils and rock masses; application of gravity, magnetics, electrical and seismic methods to solve geologic problems. PREREQ: GEOL 421, MATH 120 or 122, or permission of instructor.
g465 Petroleum Geology 3 credits. The organization, function, and methods of petroleum companies; generation, migration, and entrapment of petroleum; world-wide production and reserves; local potential; careers in the petroleum industry. Field trips. PREREQ: GEOL 112 (421 and/or 452 recommended).
g491 Seminar 1 credit. Discussion of current geologic literature and geologic problems. May be repeated until 3 credits are earned. PREREQ: Permission of the staff. 597 Professional Education Development Topics. Variable credit. May be repeated. A course for practicing professionals aimed at the development and improvement of skills. May not be applied to graduate degrees. May be graded S/U.
601 Advanced Physical Geology 2 credits. An advanced level course in physical geology required for all first year graduate students. A review of the principles of physical geology, and an overview of current hypotheses and research in the field. 602 Advanced Geomorphology 3 credits. Seminar in the treatment of theoretical concepts in classical and modern geomorphology. 613 Ore Microscopy 2 credits. Study of the reflected light optical properties of the opaque ore minerals, sample preparation, mineral identification schemes and mineral paragenesis. PREREQ: GEOL 411; PRE- or CO-REQ: GEOL 440. 615 X-ray Diffraction Analysis 3 credits. The theory and use of x-ray diffraction methods for the analysis of crystalline materials and crystal structure determinations. PREREQ: GEOL, CHEM, or PHYS 370 or equivalent.
617 Experimental Petrology 4 credits. Utility of thermodynamic calculations, phase diagrams, petrogenetic studies of igneous and metamorphic rocks, pertinent rocks in thin section. 621 Advanced Structural Geology 3 credits. Current aspects of structural geology or tectonics. May focus on regional structures, tectonic theories, orogenic mechanisms, global tectonic model(s), or topics of special interest in structural geology.
623 Tectonics and Sedimentation 3 credits. Sedimentary basin analysis and mechanisms of subsidence. Extensional, compressional and strike-slip tectonics as related to depositional systems, facies architecture, and provenance.
625 Quantitative Geochemistry Laboratory 3 credits. Practical application of theory involving use and operation of instrumental techniques.
630 Advanced Hydrogeology 3 credits. Advanced topics in hydrogeology, including precipitation and stream flow, soil moisture, principles and modeling of groundwater flow, migration of wastes in both saturated and unsaturated zones, design and impact of production wells, water chemistry. PREREQ: GEOL g430 or equivalent.
631 Sedimentology 3 credits. Provenance, dispersal, and environments of deposition; emphasis on various aspects of surface equilibria.
632 Advanced Paleontology 3 credits. Theoretical and applied aspects of paleontology; origin of life, evolution and genetics, ecology and paleoecology, taxonomic theory. 641 Advanced Petrology 3 credits. Selected topics in igneous and/or metamorphic petrology, regional and/or global aspects of current interest, including relationship to major advances in other areas of solid earth sciences.
646 Sedimentary Petrology 4 credits. The mineralogy and petrology of terrigenous, carbonate and volcaniclastic rocks will be covered in lecture and laboratory. Field trips emphasize orientation of students to local geology and possible thesis topics. Microscope petrography is emphasized in lab. 648 Research Problems 1-6 credits. Independent research on non-thesis subject matter, subject to approval of the staff before results receive credit. Course may be repeated until 10 credits are earned.
650 Thesis 1-6 credits. Ordinarily a field problem with supporting laboratory work undertaken by the student with approval of the geology graduate faculty, and after a thesis prospectus has been accepted.
Department of History
Chairperson and Professor Swanson
Professors Hatzenbuehler, Marley (Emeritus), Owens, Ruckman Associate Professors A. Christelow,
S. Christelow, Hale
Assistant Professor Boag
History Graduate Courses
(No graduate degrees are offered)
g311 Colonial and Revolutionary America 3 credits. U.S. 1607-1783. The European discovery of North America; the founding of the English colonies and their political, economic, and social development; and the origin and development of an American national spirit culminating in the Revolutionary War. g313 Early National America 3 credits. U.S. 1783-1840. The problems of the early nation and the establishment of the constitutional system; the domestic and foreign policy dilemmas of the Early Republic; and the meanings of Jacksonian Democracy, g315 Civil War and Reconstruction 3 credits. U.S. 1840-1877. The origins of the war between the states and the legacy of the war and Reconstruction for North and South. g317 Industrialization and Reform in America 3 credits. U.S. 1877-1914. The emergence of a modern, industrialized society and its many problems; agricultural and labor protest and the challenge of new ideas in the social, economic and intellectual realms.
g319 Twentieth Century America 3 credits. U.S. 1917 to present. The major political, social, and economic developments; the twenties; the Great Depression; the New Deal; and post World War II America.
g320 The Renaissance 3 credits. Europe from 1300 to 1520. Special emphasis on Italy and on the outstanding cultural, political and economic achievements which made the Renaissance such an important period in the development of Western civilization.
g322 The Reformation 3 credits. Europe from 1520 to 1648. An
examination of the origins, development and impact of the great
religious controversy within western Christendom. Special
attention to the cultural aspects of the period.
g323 Old Regime and French Revolution 3 credits. A study of
traditional European institutions, society and culture from 1650
to 1789 and their transformation in the age of the French
Revolution and Napoleon, 1789-1815.
g325 Nineteenth Century Europe 3 credits. A century of social change fostered by the Industrial Revolution. Its impact on diverse social groups and their ways of life, on social habits and customs, on politics and culture.
g326 Twentieth Century Europe 3 credits. Europe in crisis: the origins and consequences of World War I; the breakdown of the Versailles settlement; the Great Depression and the rise of the fascist states: World War II and the tensions of the Cold War. g336 Idaho and the Northwest 3 credits. Background for the settlement of Idaho: territorial development and statehood; Idaho in the twentieth century and its relation to the other states in the Pacific Northwest.
g352 Islam and Nationalism in the Modern World 3 credits. A study of the interaction of Islam and national and ethnic identities in the Middle East including North Africa, from 1800 up to the present.
g356 Imperialism in the Modern World 3 credits. Western imperial expansion and indigenous resistance; long-term consequences for both developed and underdeveloped countries in selected regions of North America and the Third World. 1800 to present. g360 The Spanish Empire 3 credits. The geographic, cultural, economic, administrative and military dimensions of the encounters and conflicts among the peoples of a major global empire from its medieval beginnings to its final collapse in the Napoleonic era.
g375 Early France and the Age of Chivalry 3 credits. Tests the assumption that French culture from AD 400 to 1400 epitomized the culture of the middle ages--imperialistic, romantic, religious, feudal and chivalric.
g381-g382 Russian History 3 credits. Russia from its origins through the Great Reforms and the rise of revolutionary ideas in Czarist Russia to the revolutions of 1917 and the development of Soviet Russia.
g405 Problems in History 3 credits. A thorough consideration of historical problems, particularly from a comparative perspective. Designed to give deeper insight into problems, issues, and topics which are treated more generally in other courses. g427 U.S. Westward Expansion 3 credits. The American West; exploration, territorial acquisition, westward migration, settlement, and the interplay between national and western economic, social, and political developments. g429 U.S. Diplomatic History 3 credits. The impact of war on the American nation; the major underlying themes of U.S. diplomacy; and the outstanding persons who have formulated and implemented recent U.S. foreign policy.
g430 Environmental History 3 credits. Historical examination of the social, intellectual, cultural, ecological, and political aspects of human interaction with the North American environment from Asian migration to the present.
g439 Women in History 3 credits. Shifting images and perceptions of women and women's roles, as contrasted with the realities of women's lives with emphasis on l9th century Europe and American and the development of the movement for women's emancipation. g443 English History 3 credits. Survey of the more important British political, constitutional, economic, and cultural developments from Anglo-Saxon times to the Victorian Period. g444 Victorian England and After 3 credits. English, l837 to the present. An examination of the cultural, social, political, and economic history of the most prosperous and productive period of English history including British national and imperial decline in the twentieth century.
g446 Social and Economic History of Greece and Rome 3 credits. Investigates ways in which geography, demography and politics affected the mentalities and behaviors of social groups--women, patrons, clients and slaves--and the functioning of households, villages and cities.
g448 Medieval Social and Economic History 3 credits. Analyzes the impact of political instability, migration and environment upon European women and men from roughly AD 400 to 1400 and their economic responses.
g451 Constituting Modern Spain 3 credits. Comparative study of Spaniards' attempts to create a constitutional regime that would provide a stable political framework in the face of serious religious, national, and class divisions, 1810 to the present. PREREQ: HIST 102.
g461-g462-g463 Independent Study 1-3 credits. Selected readings in areas and periods not covered by the regular curriculum offerings. PREREQ: Permission of instructor. g491 Seminar 3 credits. Reading, discussion, and preparation of reports on selected topics. Ordinarily for seniors majoring in history and with the consent of the instructor.
597 Professional Education Development Topics. Variablecredit. May be repeated. A course for practicing professionals aimed at the development and improvement of skills. May not be applied to graduate degrees. May be graded S/U.
Department of Mathematics