Dr. David S. Loebbaka, Chair
222 EPS Building
(901) 881-7432


Tahira Arshed, Michael A. Gibson, Harry P. Houff, David S. Loebbaka, William T. McCutchen, Gloria Mansfield, M. Sultan Parvez, Jefferson S. Rogers, Robert P. Self, Robert M. Simpson, Helmut C. Wenz

The Department of Geology, Geography, and Physics is a multi-disciplinary unit that offers a Geoscience major within the Bachelor of Science degree. The major provides concentrations in Geology, Geography, or Travel and Tourism. Minors are available in physics as well as geology, geography, and travel/tourism. Students can study with highly qualified faculty who provide individualized educational opportunities to achieve the greatest personal potential.

The mission of the Geology, Geography, and Physics Department is as follows:

        1. to provide students with a basic understanding and appreciation of science and how it affects their lives;

        2. to train competent professional geoscientists to serve the region, state and nation;

        3. to provide a strong science background for pre-professional students;

        4. to provide students with an awareness of physical and cultural diversity;

        5. to advance the geosciences and physics through research;

        6. to provide public service in our fields of expertise.


Instructional facilities of the department include: three fully-equipped geology laboratories, introductory and advanced physics laboratories, cartographic facilities, meteorological equipment, personal computers with digitizing capabilities, and a student reading room for individual study. The department is a repository for U.S. Geological Survey maps and maintains large collections of topographic maps, aerial photographs, rocks, minerals, fossils, and visual aids. These collections are an integral part of the instructional program. The department is included in the Tennessee Earthquake Network. Field trips to areas of geological and geographical interest form an integral part of the programs.


The geology scholarship is available to both incoming freshmen and returning students. Applications can be made through the department or through Student Financial Assistance.


The GeoClub and the Travel and Tourism Club, which consist of geosciences majors and other interested students, sponsor field trips, speakers and social events of interest to geoscience students.


The five-year Cooperative Education Program in Geology, Geography, and Travel and Tourism leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science with a major in Geoscience (either a Geology, Geography, or Travel and Tourism Concentration) offers the participant an opportunity to obtain valuable professional experience while preparing for permanent employment or for admission to graduate school. In addition, the participant gains a source of income to help finance college expenses. After successful completion of the freshman year, qualified students admitted to the program alternate semesters at the University with semesters of work in geoscience-related areas and spend the fifth year in residence at the University. Applications for admission should be made during Fall Semester of the freshman year. Further information may be obtained by writing to the Department of Geology, Geography, and Physics.



B.S. Curriculum. A geoscience major must satisfy the requirements of one of the following concentrations. A minor is required for the Concentrations in Geography and in Travel and Tourism; a minor is optional for the Geology Concentration. The choice of a minor should be made in consultation with an advisor in the concentration.

Geography Concentration - The Geography concentration is designed to provide students with a comprehensive training in geographic regions, processes, and techniques. In addition to the basic characteristics of the world’s regions, student learn about the dynamic processes shaping the earth’s natural and cultural environments. Geography majors develop basic skills in research, cartography, remote sensing, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Potential career fields include: economic development, industrial site selection, transportation systems management and design, land management, publishing, education, cartography, service in state and local government, foreign service, and many other professional areas reflecting the increasing uses for geographic analysis throughout the society. Students interested in attending graduate school will also be well-prepared for continued study and research.

Geography 151 and 152 are prerequisites to the concentration which consists of Geography 201; 202; 351 or 352; 380, 381, or 393; 461, 462, or 472; 360 or 471; 481 and 9 additional hours of upper division geography courses. A minor is required.

Travel and Tourism Concentration - Travel and Tourism is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries and is the third largest retail business in the United States. Familiarity with the discipline equips one to pursue a career in a number of related fields. Potential employment venues include the U.S. State Department, U.S. government travel service offices, state and local tourism and economic development commissions, travel information counseling firms, airlines, private and group travel agencies, group travel guide services, and hotel/resort marketing firms.

Geography 151-152 are prerequisites to the concentration which consists of Geography 201, 202, 351, 352, 451, 452, 471, and 481 and 6 additional upper division hours from current geography courses. A minor is required.

Geology Concentration - Geology is the study of the materials and processes which shape the Earth’s past, present and future. There are many subfields such as oil and gas exploration, environmental geology, paleontology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, and geophysics. Geology assumes an increasingly important role in our quest for energy and mineral resources and in our growing concern for the environment. Geologists are typically employed by:

        1. private industry such as energy, mining and construction companies;

        2. federal government in such agencies as the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land   Management, Bureau of Mines, NASA, and the Environmental Protection Agency;

        3. state and local governments in state geological surveys, regulatory bodies and   regional planning commissions;

        4. private consulting firms;

        5. academia.

Geology 111 and Geology 113 are prerequisites to the concentration which consists of Geology 318, 331, 337, 351, 371, 411, 412, 462 and 463 and sufficient geology electives to total at least 37 hours of upper division Geology. A minor is optional.

B.A. or B.S. Curriculum. Minors.

Geography 151 and 152 are prerequisites to a geography minor which consists of the following: Geography 201 or 202, and 9 credit hours of upper division geography courses. Geography 351, 352, and 451 cannot be used toward a geography minor. Travel and Tourism majors cannot minor in geography.

Geography 151 and 152 are prerequisites to a Travel and Tourism minor which consists of the following 12 hours of upper division courses: Geography 351, 352, 451, and 452. A Geoscience-geography major cannot minor in Travel and Tourism.

Geology 111 and 113 are prerequisites to a geology minor which consists of fifteen hours of upper division geology.

The minor in Physics provides a strong support program for degrees in mathematics, engineering, geology, chemistry, medicine or any of the pre-professional areas. The program of study can be designed to provide background in physics principles that best fits the student’s primary degree area or interests.

Physics 220-221-222 are prerequisites to a physics minor, which consists of 15 hours of upper division physics electives; or Physics 211-212, 201-202, and 331-332 are prerequisites to a minor with 12 hours of upper division electives in physics (in courses other than the 331-332 prerequisite).