Wheaton in the Black Hills Academic Programs

Christ at the Core General Education Courses

Students can complete their Scientific Practice (SP) and Scientific Issues and Perspectives (SIP) Christ at the Core courses in the Black Hills with two courses in eight weeks of study. The SIP course is also often an Advanced Integrative Seminar (AIS). The mountain geology of the Black Hills give students an extraordinary opportunity to study dynamic earth processes, rocks, minerals and fossils. Clear, dark night skies reveal near and deep space objects, as seen through high-power telescopes. The weather is varied and perfect for studying meteorology. The national forests and parks of the Black Hills, as well as municipal Rapid City, provide venues for the study of environmental issues and man’s role and responsibility in the stewardship of natural resources. All courses include many day trips off-campus and some overnight camping trips to remote locations. We operate under special use permit on the Black Hills National Forest.

Offered General Education Courses include:

  • GEOL 201:  Exploring the Dynamic Earth  (4 cr. hours/SP)
  • GEOL 206:  Geology of the National Parks  (4 cr. hours/SP)
  • PHYS 305:  Dakota Skies: Astronomy and Atmospheric Science  (4 cr. hours/SP)
  • CORE 325:  Nature, Environment, and Society  (4 cr. hours/SIP, AIS, DUS)

See the schedule for Gen Ed courses being offered next summer.

Biology and Environmental Science Major Courses

Required courses in the Biology and Environmental Science majors are offered each summer in the Black Hills. Up to eight credit hours of study can be completed in one summer. Fauna and flora from west and mid-west fill the many different ecological settings of the Black Hills. Students choose among courses offered in animal and plant biology and general ecology. All courses include many day trips and some overnight camping trips to study the diversity of life in the region. The BIOL 329 course includes a week-long excursion across Wyoming and Montana to the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

Biology courses include:

  • BIOL 242:  Diversity of Life: An Introduction to Zoology and Botany  (4 cr. hours)
  • BIOL 329:  Processes of Life: Ecology and Evolution  (4 cr. hours)  

Geology Major Courses

Geology majors complete the required six-credit Field Geology course in the Black Hills as well as an additional two-credit elective course. These concurrent courses include travel to geological sites of interest in the Black Hills and in Wyoming and Montana, including the Big Horn Mountains, the Beartooth Mountains, and Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Offered alternate years. Geology courses include:

  • GEOL 345:  Sedimentary Geology  (2 cr. hours)
  • GEOL 412:  Field Geology  (6 cr. hours)

Sustainability Summer

The keystone requirement to complete the Certificate in Environmental Sustainability and the Aequitas Sustainability Cohort, students take two concurrent courses over the full summer (8 weeks). Students will study the fundamentals of environmental sustainability while planning and implementing a sustainability project on the Wheaton College Science Station campus. 

  • ENVR 332:  Principles of Environmental Sustainability  (4 cr. hours)
  • ENVR 333:  Environmental Sustainability Practicum  (4 cr. hours)

The Sustainability Summer courses are offered on alternate years. For more information on the Certificate, please visit our website here.