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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

CHANGES TO THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
IN GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES IN THE
SCHOOL OF GEOSCIENCES CHAPTER OF
THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 2008-2010


Dean Eric Barron of the Jackson School of Geosciences has filed with the secretary of the Faculty Council the following changes to the Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences in the School of Geosciences chapter in the Undergraduate Catalog, 2008-2010. The faculty of the school approved the changes on September 13, 2007, and the dean approved the proposed change on September 21, 2007. The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of general interest to more than one college or school.

The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review recommended approval of the change on October 10, 2007, and forwarded the proposed changes to the Office of the General Faculty. The Faculty Council has the authority to approve this legislation on behalf of the General Faculty. The authority to grant final approval on this legislation resides with the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.

If no objection is filed with the Office of the General Faculty by the date specified below, the legislation will be held to have been approved by the Faculty Council. If an objection is filed within the prescribed period, the legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council at its next meeting. The objection, with reasons, must be signed by a member of the Faculty Council.

To be counted, a protest must be received in the Office of the General Faculty by noon on October 29, 2007.


Greninger Signature
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council


This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council Web site on October 15, 2007. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.


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CHANGES TO THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
IN GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES IN THE
SCHOOL OF GEOSCIENCES CHAPTER OF
THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 2008-2010


NAME OF DEGREE PROGRAM(S): BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES
EXPLAIN CHANGE(S) TO DEGREE PROGRAM:

We have added a signature course to all BS degree options. Also for all plans we eliminated Geo 312K as a possible substitute for Geo 303 or 401.

All options except UTeach (now option V): Removed 3 semester hour course in foreign language, reducing required foreign language hours from 13 to 10. Made the BS General Geology option (I) more flexible and increased the specialization (and strengthened) the Geophysics (II) and Hydrogeology (III) options; added a new Environmental Science and Sustainability option (IV) to meet student demand.

General Geology (option I): Removed requirement for Geo 422K, 346C and 468K and six semester hours of Biology, added three semester hours of upper division geology and 3 semester hours of a technical elective.

Geophysics (option II): Added two new required upper division courses in subdiscipline (Potential Fields Geophysics and Mathematical Methods in Geophysics; proposed additions to course inventory). Increased field research course options to include GEO 376L, 348K, and approved off-campus geophysics field courses in addition to GEO 660 and 679G. Replaced CS 303E with a new required course (Introduction to Geoscience Computation; proposed addition to course inventory). Removed 3 semester hours of technical elective.

Hydrogeology (option III): Removed the requirement for Geo 346C and added a requirement for Geo 376S and three additional upper division hydrogeology or related courses (Geo 376E, 377P, 325K and other approved courses). Reduced technical elective hours from 9 to 6 hours. Dropped environmental geology from option title.

Environmental Science and Sustainability (option IV): We added a new BS degree option to allow for specialization in this area. The basic required courses generally follow the other degree options in terms of math (Mathematics 408C and 408D, or 408K, 408L, and 408M.), chemistry (Chemistry 301, 302, and 204), physics (Physics 301, 101L, 316, and 116L.), and the basic geology courses (401 or 303, 404C or 405, 416K, 416M, 420K, 422K, 428, 346C., 660 or 376L). Additional requirements are a GIS course (GEO 327G or GRG 360G or CE394K), and a concentration in biology (Biology 311C, 311D, 325, 373, 373L). Also required are a minimum of three semester hours from a list of approved courses in Sustainability and Policy (GEO302P, 341, BIO 359, 375, 478F, LAW 241, 341P), and a minimum of three semester hours from a list of approved courses in Water and Climate (GEO 371C, 376E, 476M, 376S, 377P, GRG 366K). The option requires six hours of upper division elective courses and additional coursework to make a total of 126 semester hours. Sixty semester hours of coursework must be completed in residence at The University of Texas. At least thirty-six of these hours must be upper-division. At least eighteen of these upper-division hours must be in geological sciences. At least twelve of the thirty-six upper-division hours must be outside geological sciences.

Indicate pages in the Undergraduate Catalog where changes will be made.
Pages 258-260.

GIVE A DETAILED RATIONALE FOR THE CHANGE(S):

All plans: Added a signature course to correspond to core curriculum reform recommendations for 2008-2010 catalog. Geo 312K is no longer taught.

All options: Removed 3-semester hour course in foreign language to make room for a freshman signature course.

General Geology (option I): The field of geosciences has grown significantly over the last decade and we offer many more upper division electives than in the past. We want general geology majors to be able to choose among the wide array of upper division classes offered so that they can tailor this part of the curriculum to match their interests and career goals. To do so we removed the requirement for 3 specific upper division courses (Geo 422K, 346C and 468K) and increased the total number of required upper division electives by 3


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semester hours. We dropped the 6 semester hour biology requirement because it was only required as a prerequisite for Geo 422K, which is no longer a required course. Three of those semester hours went to the additional upper division geology elective hours and 3 hours went to increasing the technical elective. Increasing the number of technical elective hours allows students to develop more strength in other sciences (including Biology).

Geophysics (option II): For this specialized degree option, we added two upper division requirements in this subdiscipline to strengthen the degree option. To do so, we decreased the technical electives by 3 semester hours and decreased the number of unrestricted upper division geology hours by 3 semester hours. We propose replacing CS 303E that focuses on JAVA application with a course designed specifically for our majors would focus on FORTRAN and MatLab applications—which are more relevant to geophysics majors.

Hydrogeology (option III): For this specialized degree option, we added two upper division requirements in this subdiscipline to strengthen the degree option. To do so, we removed the requirement of a lower level hydrogeology course (the material is covered in the other upper division courses and in more detail) and decreased the technical electives by 3 semester hours. We changed the name to reflect the area of concentration.

Environmental Sciences and Sustainability (option IV): Many members of our faculty have teaching and research expertise in environmental science and sustainability. Over the last several years our faculty perceived a desire among undergraduate students at UT to have a rigorous program of study in Environmental Science and Sustainability. This BS degree option was designed to be firmly rooted in the geological sciences but with a strong biological component and exposure to other critical areas for environmental science.

SCOPE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE(S):
Does this proposal impact other colleges/schools? If yes, then how?
Yes, we reduced the number required of foreign language semester hours from 13 to 10.

For the BS General Geology option (I) we decreased the required number of biology hours, but some students may opt to take those as a technical elective or if they elect to take Geo 422K, these are still a prerequisite for that course.

The new Environmental Science and Sustainability option (IV) requires 15 hours of biology, which will partially offset the decrease in students taking biology for the General Geology option (I).

For the Geophysics and Hydrogeology options we decreased the number of technical electives by 3 semester hours, but this is offset as we increased the technical electives by 3 semester hours for the General Geology option. The number of students in the General Geology option is approximately the same as in the Geophysics and Hydrogeology options combined; any increase or decrease in technical electives taken will be spread out over many departments and several colleges.

For our Geophysics option we are replacing CS 303E with a course designed specifically for our majors.

Has the other college(s)/school(s) been informed of the proposed change? If so, please indicate their response. Yes.

Person Communicated With: David Laude, associate dean for undergraduate education, natural sciences—not concerned by increase in number of biology courses required by the proposed addition of Environmental Science and Sustainability option; Richard Flores, associate dean for academic affairs, liberal arts—not concerned over the decrease in number of foreign language hours from 13 to 10.
Date of communication: 9/17/07

Will this proposal change the number of required hours for degree completion? If yes, please explain.
No.

Does this proposal involve changes to the core curriculum (42-hour core, signature courses, flags)? If yes, please explain.
These changes reflect the addition of a freshman signature course.

COLLEGE/SCHOOL APPROVAL PROCESS:

Department: yes Date: September 13, 2007
Dean: yes Date: September 21, 2007


Click here for a PDF version of the edited changes.