Apr 15, 2024  
2017-2018 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2017-2018 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geology, B.A.

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Geology (B.A./B.S.) 180 units

Program Description

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 B.S. program in Geology 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 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 B.A. to the 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 graduate section of this catalog.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a B.S. or B.A. in Geology from Cal State East Bay will be able to:

  1. identify and classify geologic materials, including minerals, rocks, and fossils, and know their material and/or biological properties or characteristics.
  2. 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.
  3. synthesize, interpret and critically analyze geologic datasets (2D and 3D) and reports using discipline-specific methods, techniques, and equipment.
  4. critically analyze geological and environmental issues through the evaluation of scientific literature, and present their positions clearly and persuasively in written and oral form.
  5. understand geologic time, evolution, Earth’s place in the Universe, and global-scale processes such as plate tectonics, earth systems interactions, and climate change.

Career Opportunities

  • Engineering Geologist
  • Environmental Geologist
  • Geochemist
  • Geologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Hydrologist
  • Mineralogist
  • Paleontologist
  • Park Ranger
  • Petrologist
  • Seismologist
  • Soils Engineer
  • Stratigrapher
  • Oceanographer


The undergraduate Geology programs emphasize field and laboratory training. Many opportunities for field and laboratory research exist throughout northern California and elsewhere.
The Earth and Environmental Sciences 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.)

Major Requirements (B.A.) 72-75 units, (B.S.) 105-111 units

Please consult an advisor in your major department for clarification and interpretation of your major requirements. Both the B.A. and B.S. degrees require a total of 180 units.

  • The B.A. core major consists of 72-75 units;
  • The B.S. core major consists of 105-111 units;
  • GE/USHG/UWS consists of 84 units (some courses may double-count units - see your advisor).
  • Free Electives (if any) will make up the remainder units to reach 180 minimum total units (see your advisor). 


Students must have completed the prerequisites listed in the course descriptions for any course they use to satisfy the following requirements. Note: Prerequisite units may not be included in total program units.

Common-Core Requirements (34 units)

Lower Division Core

The following lower division courses are part of the common core for both the B.A. and B.S. degrees. Two courses (9 units) required.

Upper Division Core

The following upper division courses are part of the common core for the B.A. and B.S. degrees.  Six courses (25 units) required:

Geology (B.A.)

.The following courses are required for the Geology B.A. degree:

Electives (17 units)

Choose any additional geology courses (17 units) at the 3000 and 4000 level. At least two courses must be at the 4000 level (no more than 4 units of GEOL 4900  may be applied).

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Undergraduate Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University requirements for graduation which are described throughout this catalog. These include the General Education-Breadth requirements; the second composition (ENGL 1002 ) requirement; the cultural groups/women requirement; the performing arts/activities requirement; the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement; the University Writing Skills Requirement; and the residence, unit, and grade point average requirements.

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