Geological sciences is the study of the earth, its past, present, and future. Geoscientists apply basic physical, chemical, and biological principles to understand how the earth was formed, how it evolved, and how it may change in the future. In addition to understanding the origin and evolution of our planet, geologists seek to discover, use, and manage earth’s resources in clean and environmentally responsible ways, and manage our water resources in a renewable way. The challenges will grow as geoscientists address major societal issues including dwindling energy resources, climate change, environmental pollution, and natural disasters from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and coastal subsidence.

Students who are curious about the planet on which we live, challenged by environmental problems facing humankind, and intrigued by a subject which combines both the arts and applied science, should consider the geological sciences as a major. Job prospects are good. Employment of geoscientists is projected to grow by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many openings are expected in consulting firms and the oil and gas industry. Job opportunities should be excellent for geoscientists who graduate with a master’s degree. Most new jobs will be in management, scientific, and geotechnical consulting services. Many government agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the California Department of Conservation, and regional planning offices hire geoscientists.

The department offers two undergraduate degree options:

  • The Bachelor of Science degree is designed for students who intend to become professional geologists and/or those who plan to attend graduate school in geosciences. The program    includes courses normally expected of graduate school applicants and prepares students for the examination for professional geologic registration licensing.
  • The Bachelor of Arts degree is designed for students who seek a degree in the geological sciences as a foundation for careers in a variety of areas. This option leverages the strongly interdisciplinary socially relevant aspects of the science. The B.A. program includes a broad spectrum of courses, and focuses both on information about the earth and on how society makes decisions that affect the earth system. The Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Arts and Sciences meets the requirements of the California Community College Associate in Science (AS-T) in Geology for Transfer degree students completing the Transfer Model Curriculum (TMC).
Degree Programs offered by the Department

– Doctor of Philosophy degree in geophysics.
– Master of Science degree in geological sciences.
– Major in geological sciences with the B.S. degree in applied arts and sciences.
Emphasis in general geology.
Emphasis in engineering geology.
Emphasis in environmental geosciences.
Emphasis in geophysics.
Emphasis in hydrogeology.
Emphasis in paleontology.
– Major in geological sciences with the B.A. degree in applied arts and sciences.
– Minor in geological sciences.
– Minor in oceanography.

We are a Impacted Program

The geological sciences major and emphases are impacted programs. To be admitted to the geological sciences major or an emphasis, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Complete preparation for the major;
  2. Complete a minimum of 60 transferable semester units;
  3. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

To complete the major, students must fulfill the degree requirements for the major described in the catalog in effect at the time they are accepted into the premajor at SDSU (assuming continuous enrollment).

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Major Academic Plans (MAPs)

Visit for the recommended courses needed to fulfill your major requirements. The MAPs Web site was created to help students navigate the course requirements for their majors and to identify which General Education course will also fulfill a major preparation course requirement.

 The General Catalog