Do you have the coursework
to qualify for the ASBOG exam?
Richard E. Wright*
Section 4.4(b)(2) of the Engineer, Land Surveyor, and Geologist Registration Law sets forth the educational requirements that an applicant must meet in order to be admitted to the examinations for licensure as a professional geologist, which is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG). Under Section 4.4(b)(2), an applicant must have:
|"... graduated from an accredited institution of higher learning with a major in geology, geophysics, geochemistry, or engineering geology with a minimum of thirty semester or forty-five quarter hours or an equivalent amount of geological education from institutions which do not grant semester or quarter hours in geological science courses leading to a major in geology, of which at least twenty-four semester hours or an equivalent amount are in third or fourth year or graduate courses."|
Section 4.4(b)(2) is not specific about what courses in the geological sciences need to be completed in order to adequately prepare an applicant for the ASBOG examination, which, in significant part, assesses the examinee's proficiency in fundamental areas of geologic knowledge. In determining the sufficiency of the applicant's education, the Board considers the following fundamental courses (which total approximately 50 semester credit hours) appropriate to the requirements of Section 4.4(b)(2).
List of Fundamental Courses
|Historical Geology||Paleontology||Engineering Geology|
|Mineralogy||Structural Geology ‡||Hydrogeology|
|Petrology||Field Geology ‡||Soil Mechanics|
‡Required courses for admittance to the ASBOG examination.
Competency in the practical application of geology requires three-dimensional conceptualization skills and field techniques, which must be learned in order for geologic features to be recognized and quantified in the field. The Board, therefore, requires that each applicant for the ASBOG examination demonstrate education in both Structural Geology and Field Geology. These two courses are considered essential to qualify an applicant to sit for the fundamentals of the geology portion of the ASBOG examination.
Applicants should be aware that over the last decade many colleges and universities have modified their curricula and invented new names for the above-listed courses. It is an applicant's responsibility to submit with his application documentation from the college or university registrar regarding the content of such "new-name" courses in the geological sciences. The Board will review the documentation in determining whether the applicant has acquired the minimum education required for admittance to the ASBOG examination.
*This article was included in the Fall 2002 Newsletter of the State Registration Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists.