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Major/Minor Requirements

Applicable for the 2019-2020 academic year.


GEOLOGY COURSES -- All majors must pass courses listed in categories A through F below with a grade of C–/S or above:

A. Entry-level (1 unit):

GY130 Introductory Geology or GY140 Physical Geology

B. 200-level (2 units):

GY211 Earth as a Chemical System and

GY212 Investigating Earth as a Physical System

C. 300-level (6 units):

  • GY305 Stratigraphy and Sedimentation
  • GY320 Surface Processes and Geomorphology
  • GY335 Geochemistry of the Rock Cycle
  • GY310 Igneous Petrology or GY313 Metamorphic Petrology
  • GY308 Introductory Geophysics
  • GY315 Structural Geology

D. Elective in Geology (1 unit): Courses must be at the 200 or 300 level; GY207 and GY307 excluded. GY 400 or 445 may count toward this requirement if another class is used to satisfy the Capstone Requirement (E). EV211, EV311, or EV431 may be used to fulfill this requirement.

E. Capstone (1 unit): One of: GY400, GY445 Regional Studies, or GY405 (senior project or senior thesis) [Note: a single course may not be used to satisfy both D and E.]


Other Required Courses:

All majors must also pass the following with a grade of C–/S or above:

  • PC 141– Introductory Physics I or PC 241 – Introductory Classical Physics I
  • CH 107 – General Chemistry I
  • MA 117 or BY 220 or EV228 – Probability and Statistics
  • MA 126 – Calculus I


Geology majors, and especially those intending to go on to graduate school in geology, are strongly urged to take additional courses in geology, environmental science, mathematics and computer science, chemistry, physics, and biology; to take GY400 Senior Seminar in Geology, and to attend a summer geology field camp offered by a university.

AP credit may not be counted towards the supporting science requirement. Students with AP credit or who have tested out of any of the above courses in PC, CH, or MA must take the next higher course in the department's sequence.