||This paper is concerned with the specification of failure criterion for stratified rocks. A particular formation considered here is a laminate consisting of interchanging layers of sandstone and claystone. First, a homogenization procedure is employed in which the conditions at failure are identified based on properties of constituent materials. Later, a simpler approach is pursued in which a macroscopic criterion is derived by incorporating the notion of a microstructure/fabric tensor. It is demonstrated that both methodologies yield very similar results in compression as well as tension regimes.