Geology and Earth Science

In the Geology Department, our mission is to ignite curiosity about the physical world.

We believe that the study of Earth is vital to engaging with the interconnectedness of our environment and the human-environment relationship. Taking a geology class can be a transformative experience. As you explore the Earth's geological marvels, you'll gain skills that will change the way you experience the world around you, including natural hazards assessment, mineral and rock identification, landscape interpretation, and what it means to be an Earth scientist. Our field trips and hands-on labs enrich your learning journey and cultivate skills that extend beyond the classroom.

We equip students with a broad skill set and knowledge base that's valuable in industries such as environmental consulting, resource management, and geotechnical engineering. Our department not only prepares students for diverse career paths but also empowers future teachers to inspire the next generation. Through culturally-relevant courses, we elevate the stories of the many indigenous, Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, women, undocumented, and people with disabilities who have contributed to our understanding of our amazing planet. We seek to highlight examples of responsible use of Earth's precious resources and creative problem-solving for a sustainable future. Through inclusive education and community engagement, we strive to create a more equitable and sustainable future for all.

Whether you're pursuing a Geology major, finishing your general education requirements, or looking for a fun science class, we're here to help guide you toward a deeper connection with the Earth and your own humanity. Give geology a try and embark on your own journey of discovery, insight, and connection!

For Majors

Students interested in the Geology A.S.-T degree will find Geology and Earth Sciences are offered as majors at UC and CSU, as well as most other 4-year universities. Talk to your academic counselor, or meet with the Department Chair to learn more!

What should I take first? Students can take either GEOL-10 (Physical Geology) in the fall or GEOL-20 (Historical Geology) in the spring as their first course. Neither course has prerequisites. Students may also start with one of our 1-credit field courses (Big Sur in the fall, Pinnacles in the spring).

  • GROW: What can you do with a geoscience degree? Career opportunities include seismology, volcanology, hydrology, paleontology, oceanography, research, management, environmental policy, education, outreach science communication, and energy. Students find employment in government (such as with the USGS or EPA), geology and engineering companies, schools, museums, and non-profit organizations.

  • Occupational Outlook from the BLS (including pay and how to become a geoscientist).