Field Camp: Step by step

Geologic field camp is a rite of passage in which most geology majors on planet Earth participate. Actual field programs are expensive to run, however, and are typically only hosted by larger geosciences departments. Smaller programs, like ours, require students to take field camp elsewhere and transfer the credits back. The up-side is that our students enjoy a wide range of choice.

To satisfy the field camp requirement, follow these steps:

  • Identify a field camp program. You may apply to any program appearing on Geology's list of field camps used by Maryland geology majors without departmental permission.
  • That list is not exhaustive. If you find another field camp that you would like to attend, ask the Geology Undergraduate Director for permission to enroll in it and provide us with its web address. Reasons that we might DENY permission include:
    • The program awards fewer than six academic credits.
    • The program encompasses fewer than five full weeks in the field.
    • The program does not offer instruction in a wide range of field skills, including outcrop mapping. (This can happen if the program focuses on a specific area such as geophysics or hydrogeology.)
    • The program does not visit a wide range of geologic settings. (For example a program convening entirely in Hawaii is likely to underemphasize sedimentology and metamorphic terranes.)
    We recommend that students apply to field programs in pairs of small groups, so that there will be at least one familiar face.
  • Apply to the camp. You must typically pay a deposit upon application. Note: Although most programs have applications deadlines in February, indications from recent years are that field camps fill up well before then. You should plan to make your applications before the end of the fall semester prior to your field camp.
  • Obtain the dean's permission to register off-campus: The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences does not allow credit for courses taken off-campus to be applied to major requirements unless prior permission has been granted. Because satisfying the GEOL490 requirement absolutely requires studying off campus, CMNS routinely grants permission, but that permission must still be sought in advance. Fill out the on-line CMNS "Permission to Enroll in Another Institution" form. If the CMNS dean's office denies this request, notify the Geology Undergraduate Director immediately.
  • Attend the camp: Pay tuition to the sponsoring institution, attend the camp, and earn an A.
  • Arrange for your credit to be transferred to Maryland: Instructions can be found at our Transferring field camp credits link.
  • The process is complete only when transfer credit for GEOL490 appears on your transcript.