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Program: B.S., Geology


Program Description

This option provides the necessary preparation in mathematics and physics to succeed in geoscience applications that require strong backgrounds in these associated disciplines. This option well prepares students for technical careers in geophysics or for advanced studies in graduate school. The B.S. Honors Program is available for this option.

Program Requirements

A. Tier 1 (4 units)

Any 100-level GEOL course and any 100-level GEOL lab (3/1)

B. Tier Math and Science (40 units)

CHEM 101/L General Chemistry I and Lab (4/1)
COMP 110/L Introduction to Algorithms and Programming and Lab (3/1)
MATH 150A Calculus I (5)
MATH 150B Calculus II (5)
MATH 250 Calculus III (3)
MATH 280 Applied Differential Equations (3)
PHYS 225/PHYS 220AL Physics I and Mechanics Lab (4/1)
PHYS 226/PHYS 220BL Physics II and Electricity and Magnetism Lab (4/1)
PHYS 227/PHYS 227L Physics III and Lab (4/1)

C. Tier 2 (16 units)

GEOL 303 Communicating Geoscience (2)
GEOL 306/L Earth Materials and Lab (3/1)
GEOL 309/L Earth Tectonics and Structure and Lab (3/1)
GEOL 313 Introduction to Field Methods (2)
GEOL 314/L Earth Systems and Lab (3/1)

D. Tier 3 (10 to 12 units)

GEOL 464/L Applied Geophysics and Lab (3/1)

Two additional upper division GEOL courses related to Geophysics or upper division courses in MATH or PHYS with approval of academic advisor. GEOL 300 and 301 cannot be use for major credit. (6-8 units)

Students in the Honors Program must take GEOL 497 (1) and GEOL 498 (3) and one additional upper division GEOL course, including required lab if applicable, exclusive of GEOL 300 and 301.

E. Tier 4 (3 units)

GEOL 490 Senior Capstone (3)

F. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog. Basic Skills Mathematics and the entire section of Natural Sciences are met by required courses in the major.

Total Units in the Major/Option: 73-75

General Education Units: 36

Additional Units: 9-11

Total Units Required for the B.S. Degree: 120

More information

For more information about this program, please contact


Department of Geological Sciences
Chair: Kathleen Marsaglia
Live Oak Hall (LO) 1202
(818) 677-3541

Student Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate majors will receive instruction of sufficient breadth, depth and currency to prepare them for successful appointment to entry-level professional work or graduate school. At the time of graduation, they will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate conceptual understanding of different earth materials and systems and the processes that shape them throughout their history.
  2. Identify geologic problems, use scientific problem solving to aid in their solution, and reflect on the findings, both independently and in collaboration with others.
  3. Demonstrate skills in standard data-collection and data-analysis methods in both lab and field settings.
  4. Communicate geoscience discoveries to scientific and public audiences with precision, clarity and conviction.