Program: Geology, B.S.

Geophysics Option

Program Description

The Geophysics 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)

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 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, GEOL 301, GEOL 324, GEOL 327 and GEOL 344 cannot be used for major credit. (6-8 units)

Students in the Honors Program must:

  1. Take GEOL 498 as one of the four upper division GEOL electives and earn a “B” or better in the course.
  2. Complete all requirements for the B.S. option
  3. Maintain a GPA of 3.25 in the upper division Geology major.
  4. Have approval of the undergraduate thesis proposal by a faculty advisor.
  5. Present the thesis to peers and geology faculty.

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, including 3 units of coursework meeting the Ethnic Studies (ES) graduation requirement.

12 units are satisfied by the following courses in the major: CHEM 101 satisfies B1 Physical Science; CHEM 101L satisfies B3 Science Laboratory Activity; MATH 150A satisfies Basic Skills B4 Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning; GEOL 314 satisfies B5 Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning; and COMP 110/L satisfies E Lifelong Learning.

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: Richard V. Heermance
Live Oak Hall (LO) 1202
(818) 677-3541

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Bachelor of Science in Geology 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.