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Program: B.S., Geology


Program Description

This option provides the most flexibility, preparing students for a full range of technical careers in geoscience and for advanced studies in graduate school. It can be specialized toward different branches of geosciences by the appropriate choices of elective courses. 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 (18-20 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 Introduction to Field Methods (2)
GEOL 314/L Earth Systems and Lab (3/1)

D. Tier 3 (24-28 units)

GEOL 307/L Petrology and Lab (3/1)
GEOL 310/L Advanced Structural Geology and Lab (3/1)
GEOL 341/L Sedimentology and Stratigraphy and Lab (3/1)

Four additional upper division GEOL courses, exclusive of GEOL 300 and 301, including required lab if applicable (12-16 units).

Students in the Honors Program must take GEOL 497 (1) and GEOL 498 (3) and three additional upper division GEOL courses exclusive of GEOL 300 and 301, including required labs if applicable (9-12 units).

E. Tier 4 (7 units)

GEOL 430A/B Summer Field Geology (2-2)
GEOL 490 Senior Capstone (3)

F. General Education (36 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: 69-75

General Education Units: 36

Additional Units: 9-15

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.