Geology Major

The disciplinary geology major provides an understanding of earth processes and the evolution of life forms on Earth.

  1. Eight and one-half departmental units:
    1. Geology 100 or 110, 105, 200, 215, and 385 (.5).
    2. Four units from Geology 205, 210, 220, 230, 235, 240, 245, and 325.
  2. Supporting courses (3 units):
    1. Mathematics 110 or 115.
    2. Physics 101 or 102.
    3. One chemistry course from 117, 220, 230, 240, or 250.
  3. Thesis.
  4. Strongly recommended:
    1. Proficiency in a spoken foreign language.
    2. Summer internship or field-intensive program incorporating aspects of geology.
  5. In preparation for graduate study and professional work in geology, and in consultation with the major advisor, students should elect additional courses in geology and mathematics. In addition, and depending on interests, students should elect additional courses in biology, chemistry, computer science, and physics.
  6. Writing/communication requirement: The department of geology strives to develop the communication skills of our students. We recognize that complete understanding of any discipline requires the ability to express that understanding in both oral and written form. Geology is a highly visual science; consequently, we also train students to design effective illustrations and figures to convey complex information.
    1. Our majors learn the skills necessary to compose oral presentations, which are typically accompanied by high-quality slides or computer-generated illustrations; in addition, they learn to write papers using conventions appropriate to geologic inquiry. Many students employ these skills to communicate research findings at professional conferences in the form of oral or poster presentations.

    2. All 200- and 300-level courses include assignments fashioned to help students communicate professionally through oral presentations and written reports. Such skills are cultivated to a significant degree in our W courses:
      • 230: Sedimentology
      • 235: Geomorphology
      • 325: Tectonics
    3. Our thesis requirement is designed to develop disciplinary expertise in communication. The following course supports the thesis requirement and is designated W: Geology 385-Thesis Research.
  7. Students majoring in geology may choose to receive the Bachelor of Science degree rather than the Bachelor of Arts degree by completing a minimum of 4 units in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and/or physics.


Requirement Type


Units Needed to Achieve


Primary Section


This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read our Web Privacy Policy for more information.

Got it! ×