The essential scientific and mathematical prerequisites for a course using this textbook are an introductory physical geology course, a calculus course that includes differential and integral calculus in several variables, and a physics course that includes mechanics and heat.
Elementary concepts of vector analysis, matrix theory, linear algebra, ordinary and partial differential equations, and computer programming with MatLab are used throughout this textbook, but are introduced is such a way that a formal course in these subjects, while helpful, should not be considered a pre-requisite.
For some students this textbook will be used for a first course in structural geology. Other students will arrive in graduate school having had a first course in structural geology that did not address the subject using differential geometry or a complete continuum mechanics. For these students this textbook will provide the tools and concepts necessary to practice modern structural geology.