Senior Exit Exams

Students taking senior exams.

The GES Department at Appalachian has administered a comprehensive senior examination to BA and BS in Geology degree students for more than 30 years.

  • These exams assure the department that students have retained an acceptable content base. For students, the senior exams serve as a comprehensive review of their geology coursework in preparation for graduate school or their first job. Students take five 45 minute examinations on each upper level geology course required for their degree and concentration.  All students must take exams for GLY2250 and GLY2745, with three additional exams of the student's choice.  Students cannot take exams for classes they have not yet completed (Lauri Miller will let you know which exams you are eligible to take).  
  • The senior examination is administered in the early portion of the semester in which the student is completing geology course requirements. The examination for each course is developed and graded by the faculty member who taught the course, and they will provide a study sheet to students to facilitate preparation for the exams. Each exam is graded independently.
  • Students who are unsuccessful on any portion or all of the examination may retake the appropriate portion(s) up to two additional times before graduation.  If you cannot pass your senior exams, you will not be able to graduate from Appalachian with a with a Geology degree.  While uncommon, there are indeed students who have not graduated because they cannot pass their senior exams.
  • In lieu of course-based senior exams, students receiving their B.S. in Geology with an Earth/Environmental Science Secondary Education concentration must take (and pass) the Praxis II subject area exam: Earth/Space Science (0571) portion in order to graduate with a Geology degree.
  • Students in the BS Environmental Sciences degree concentrations are not required to take senior exams at this time.


Additional, detailed information can be found in individual degree track links on the website.