Academic Programs

As a student in Geology you will be an important part of a tight knit department that prides itself on small class sizes with personalized instruction. The program has a strong focus on field geology, and students in Geology will take many multi-day field trips to locations all over the western US. These trips often include hiking, camping, and exploring our beautiful surroundings. Finally, there is ample opportunity for individual collaborative research with a faculty member.

Geology majors have proven to be successful in both pursuing careers in professional fields as well as acceptance into prestigious graduate programs around the country. Head over to the Alumni Community to check out what our past graduates are up to.

There are two Majors and two Minors available from the Geology Department. The Majors include: BS in Geology and BA in Earth and Environmental Science. The Minors include: Minor in Geology and Minor in Paleontology. Additionally, we offer a Teacher Credential program. Please explore the following links for more details on each program.

Students during Ig/Met lab

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Bachelor of Science in Geology degree are required to demonstrate:

  1. Understanding of the principles of sustainability and apply them to geological practices, emphasizing the importance of responsible stewardship of Earth's resources and environments.

  2. Understanding of geologic terms, concepts, and theories.

  3. Ability to collect geologic data through laboratory and field studies, and to formulate logical interpretations and conclusions from those data.

  4. Ability to compare, contrast, and demonstrate appreciation of competing views within geology, involving both historical and current controversies.

  5. Solid understanding of geologic conditions specific to California and the unique global geological context of California.

  6. Ability to identify common rocks and minerals found in any country located anywhere on Earth.


Students who complete the Bachelor of Arts in Earth and Environmental Sciences degree are required to demonstrate:

  1. Understanding of environmental processes, resource management, and the interconnectedness of Earth systems, empowering students to contribute to sustainable practices and solutions in geoscience and beyond.

  2. Acquire proficiency in the Earth Science terminology, concepts, and theories, facilitating effective communication and comprehension within the Earth and Environmental Sciences related fields.

  3. Develop the ability to gather environmental data through both laboratory and field observations, and to analyze and interpret these data logically in order to form meaningful conclusions.

  4. Cultivate the skills to compare, contrast, and appreciate diverse perspectives within the realm of Earth and Environmental Sciences, including historical and contemporary controversies.

  5. Gain a comprehensive understanding, as well as the broader context of California, considering the interplay between local and large-scale environmental processes.

  6. Understand the interconnectedness of Earth's systems, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, and how human activities impact these systems.


General Skills for both BS and BA:

  1. Competence in scientific inquiry.

  2. Critical thinking abilities.

  3. Written and oral communication proficiency.

  4. Quantitative reasoning skills.