Department of Geological Sciences
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Program of Study: Major Options

The Earth and Planetary Sciences use diverse and interdisciplinary approaches to study complex physical, chemical, and biological processes occurring on and within the earth and other planets. The undergraduate program combines a fundamental background in mathematics, physics, and chemistry with courses applying these techniques to geological problems. Undergraduates are encouraged to select individual programs reflecting their scientific interests and career goals, whether graduate study in the earth sciences, professional employment, or advanced study in areas such as management or law.

Undergraduates are involved in the full spectrum of departmental activities beyond class work: research, seminars, field trips, and social functions. The resulting educational environment offers unusual opportunities for motivated and interested students.

Major in Earth and Planetary Sciences

The major offers two tracks. Track 1 is designed to provide a structured overview of the discipline. Track 2 is designed to accommodate individual interests among students seeking a more quantitative course of study. Requirements for each track are listed below.

Chemistry, mathematics, and physics prerequisites for 200-and 300-level courses should be taken at the earliest opportunity.

Track 1

Department courses (9 units)

8 core courses

  • Three 200-level courses: 201, 202, 203
  • Five 300-level courses: 300,310, 320, 330, 340

1 research course

  • 1 quarter of 398 or 399

Related Courses:
(Units depend on chemistry or mathematics sequences taken)

  • Chem 101, 102, and 103 or 171 and 172
  • Math 220 and 224 or 212, 213, and 214 and 230
  • Physics 135-1, -2, and -3
  • Two additional courses at the 200 level or higher--in math, science, or social science, one of which may be EARTH 326

Track 2

Department courses (8 units)

7 core courses

  • Three 200-level courses: 201, 202 (350 may be substituted for 202), 203
  • Four 300-level courses chosen in consultation with an advisor.
1 research course
  • 1 quarter of 398 or 399

Related Courses:
(Units depend on chemistry or mathematics sequences taken)

  • Chem 101, 102, and 103 or 171 and 172
  • Math 220 and 224 or 212, 213, and 214; 230, 234, and 240 or 285-1, 2, 3 or 290-1, 2, 3; and 250; 281-1, 2, 3 substitutes for all these requirements
  • Physics 135-1, -2, and -3

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