Principles of crystallography and crystal chemistry. Physical, chemical, and crystallographic properties of minerals.
 Hours4.0 Credit, 2.0 Lecture, 4.0 Lab
 PrerequisitesMATH 112; Chem 105 or 111 or concurrent enrollment.
 ProgramsContaining GEOL 351
Course Outcomes


Demonstrate understanding of the fundamental ideas that govern the arrangement of atoms into a crystalline structure (chemical bonding, atomic size, coordination number, polymerization of polyhedra, bond strength and bond valence, stability, etc.)

Symmetry of Crystals

Demonstrate a basic understanding of atomic level symmetry. Enumerate and describe the crystal systems in terms of both symmetry and unit-cell metrics, recognize symmetry elements in well-formed natural crystals, and determine crystal classes of such crystals.

Instrumental Methods

Describe the applications and limitations of important instrumental/analytical methods used in mineralogy.

Mineral Identification

Identify specimens of the 60-70 most common minerals at least 70% of the time.


Demonstrate an understanding of the mechanisms and implications of various mineralogical phenomena, including solid solution, exsolution, polymorphism, atomic ordering, polytypism, color, and twinning.


Discuss the interrelationships among crystallography, composition, and the physical properties of minerals.


Demonstrate the ability to apply principles learned to minerals not specifically encountered in the course.

Computer Software

Use computer software for reduction of mineralogical data and be able to discuss its limitations.

Scientific Inquiry and Writing

Demonstrate the ability to work in teams to collect and analyze mineralogical data and incorporate it into an original, high quality research paper on an assigned subject of mineralogical significance.