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Physical Geology




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Course level: Undergraduate

This course will introduce the key concepts of geology by examining the Earth and the processes that take place within it. Topics will include historical geology, rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, igneous activity, mass wasting, weathering, and erosion systems.



What you'll learn

Course skills and outcomes

Introduction to Geology, Earth Materials, and Geologic Time

  • Identify minerals and rocks.
  • Explain the rock cycle.
  • Recognize the role of fossils to geologic time.

Earth’s Internal Processes – the Engine Within

  • Describe the Earth’s interior.
  • Describe the theory of plate tectonics.
  • Analyze the relationship of plate tectonics to earthquakes, volcanoes, metamorphism, and mountain building.

Surficial Processes; Sculpting the Earth’s Surface

  • Examine the hydrologic cycle.
  • Analyze the interaction of the hydrologic cycle with earth materials.
  • Distinguish among the weathering and mass wasting processes in sculpturing the Earth’s surface.
  • Recognize how glaciers, deserts, and wind play a role in sculpturing the Earth’s surface.

Oceans, Atmosphere, and Climate Change

  • Explain the dynamics of the ocean.
  • Determine the relationship of plate tectonics to the features on the ocean floor.
  • Explain the dynamics of the atmosphere.
  • Describe the effects of climate change on the environment.

Earth’s Resources

  • Examine Earth’s resources.
  • Analyze the effects of using Earth’s resources.


Why take courses at University of Phoenix

Accreditation that matters

We’ve been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( for more than 40 years.

Real-world instructors

Learn from instructors who bring an average of 25 years of working experience to the classroom.

Affordable and potentially reimbursable

Our tuition and fees are competitive and fixed. Also, check to see if your employer will cover you for this course.

Next Steps

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

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Transfer Credits

Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer

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