About Geology

Geology is a broad-based science covering a vast range of physical phenomena in both space and time.  This major affords a strong foundation in the processes that shape the earth giving a solid understanding of the physical sciences with a quantitative emphasis.

The Geology track is versatile: it provides an excellent background for graduate work, and satisfies the minimum academic requirement for registration as a geologist in the State of California.  Through lectures, labs and field trips, you will gain both a theoretical and a practical perspective. In the required four-week advanced fieldwork (completed in summer),  you will spend the entire time in the field, making observations, mapping, and interpreting a technical report that describes your findings in relation to published literature on the area.

Trained geologists can address a wide range of concerns, including energy supply, mineral resources, and environmental protection.  Many geologists work in private industry.  petroleum companies, mining and quarrying companies, engineering consulting and construction firms are among the potential employers—as well as all levels of government, colleges and universities, non-profit research institutions, and museums. Our undergraduates are actively recruited by top graduate schools. Our majors are employable with Bachelor, Masters and PhD degrees.


Geology Major Requirements

Earth and Planetary Science Majors: Course Offerings Schedule

AP/IB Exam Scores & A-Level Course Equivalencies for EPS Majors

Spring 2024 EPS Enrollment FAQs

Course Substitutions

If you want to take a course for your major that is not listed under the major requirements, please follow the process below for a course substitution:

  1. Approval from the faculty advisor, Prof. Nick Swanson-Hysell from the Course Approval Form or an email approval
  2.  Upload the signed Course Approval Form or a PDF of the email approving the course substitution in the EPS Course Substitution Form
  3. The undergraduate major advisor will process your course substitution in your Academic Progress Report (APR)

Your Geology Faculty Advisor

For more information about specific course and unit requirements please refer to the Geology Major Requirements or Prof. Nick Swanson-Hysell at, Room 393 McCone.

Spring 2024 Office Hours: Fall semester OH are on Thursdays from 11:00am-12:30pm in McCone 393. Or, you can email Prof. Swanson-Hysell to schedule an appointment.

The Geology minor is also offered in EPS. For more information on how to declare the minor, please see here.

For EPS undergraduate student services inquiries, please visit the Student Services Advising page.