Geology is the study of the earth and of life and the natural processes occurring on the earth through time. Students learn about the causes of earth processes such as earthquakes, volcanoes, the formation of mountains, the effect of erosion and deposition, and the formation of rocks and minerals and their uses. Coursework combined with observations on field trips provide Cal State East Bay students with an understanding of natural processes and the human impact on the environment.
The undergraduate degree programs consist of required courses plus electives designed to meet the needs of students with objectives including employment at the Bachelor’s degree level, preparation for a secondary school teaching credential, and graduate study in Geology. The Geology, B.S. program is the primary professional degree program in Geology offered by the department, and serves as preparation for employment in the field, usually in a technical capacity. The Geology, B.A. program offers the student a greater degree of flexibility and may be more appropriate for those who do not necessarily plan to become professional geologists or pursue graduate study. (Note: Transfer from the Geology, B.A. to the Geology, B.S. program or vice versa can be accomplished.) Students wishing to do independent geological work professionally should plan on graduate study; see the Geology, M.S. program in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Graduate).
Student Learning Outcomes
Students graduating with a Geology, B.S. or Geology, B.A. from Cal State East Bay will be able to:
- identify and classify geologic materials, including minerals, rocks, and fossils, and know their material and/or biological properties or characteristics.
- collect, organize, and analyze qualitative and quantitative data from both field and laboratory investigations such as lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic correlations, geologic maps, geophysical surveys, cross-sections, soil tests, and geochemical and groundwater quality analyses.
- synthesize, interpret and critically analyze geologic datasets (2D and 3D) and reports using discipline-specific methods, techniques, and equipment.
- critically analyze geological and environmental issues through the evaluation of scientific literature, and present their positions clearly and persuasively in written and oral form.
- understand geologic time, evolution, Earth’s place in the Universe, and global-scale processes such as plate tectonics, earth systems interactions, and climate change.
- Engineering Geologist
- Environmental Geologist
- Park Ranger
- Soils Engineer
The undergraduate Geology programs emphasize field and laboratory training. Many opportunities for field and laboratory research exist throughout northern California and elsewhere.
The Cummings Earth Science Club, a student-run organization, sponsors a variety of activities including guest speakers, field trips, employment workshops, and student-faculty gatherings. The club is an important part of department life, providing students with opportunities to make professional contacts, to explore graduate school and professional options, and to enjoy the company of others with similar interests. For more information, contact the faculty advisor or the current club president at (510) 885-3486.
Students completing the Geology major may apply four (4) units of mathematics and eight (8) units of chemistry (or physics) to the Natural Sciences and Mathematics requirement (Area B) in their General Education Requirements. (See the General Education Evaluator and Class Schedule for more information.)