Geology, Minor College of Letters & Science

The minor in Geology offers students a chance to emphasize in one of four areas: General Geology, Engineering Geology, Geochemistry, or Paleobiology.

Students majoring in Geology may elect to complete a minor in Geophysics, Environmental Geology, or Oceanography. They may not complete a minor in Geology.

Students majoring in Marine & Coastal Science may elect to complete a minor in Geology, Geophysics, or Environmental Geology. They may not complete a minor in Oceanography. 

The minor is sponsored by the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences.


Visit the staff major advisor for help navigating minor requirements, policies, prerequisites, and course offerings. Visit the faculty major advisors for additional advice on courses, careers, and graduate school. Faculty Advisors: Same as Geology Major Faculty Advisors; except Paleobiology emphasis: R. Motani.

Work with your major advisor and college advisors to fit a minor into your overall academic plan. 

Declare your minor using the OASIS Minor Declaration form, due the quarter before graduation. 

Choose one of four emphases:19-24
Total Units19-24

General Geology Emphasis

GEL 001The Earth3-4
or GEL 050 Physical Geology
GEL 050LPhysical Geology Laboratory2
GEL 101Structural Geology3
GEL 107Earth History: Paleobiology3
GEL 108Earth History: Paleoclimates3
GEL 109Earth History: Sediments & Strata3
GEL/ESP 116NOceanography3
or GEL 134 Environmental Geology & Land Use Planning
Total Units20-21

Engineering Geology Emphasis

GEL 050
Physical Geology
and Physical Geology Laboratory
ECI 171
Soil Mechanics
and Soil Mechanics Laboratory
Choose three:9-14
Environmental Geology & Land Use Planning
Geophysical Field Methods
Geophysics of the Solid Earth
Fluid Mechanics Fundamentals
Groundwater Hydrology
Hydrogeology & Contaminant Transport
Soils in Land Use & the Environment
Soil Genesis, Morphology, & Classification
Total Units19-24

Geochemistry Emphasis

GEL 060Earth Materials: Introduction4
GEL 146Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry & Cosmochemistry3
or GEL 148 Stable Isotopes & Geochemical Tracers
CHE 110APhysical Chemistry: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics4
CHE 110BPhysical Chemistry: Properties of Atoms & Molecules 14
Choose two electives: 6-9
Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics, Equilibria & Kinetics
Earth History: Paleoclimates
Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry & Cosmochemistry
Stable Isotopes & Geochemical Tracers
Aqueous Geochemistry
Environmental Soil Chemistry
Total Units21-24

Chemistry majors may substitute one of the elective courses for Chemistry CHE 110B.

Paleobiology Emphasis

GEL 107Earth History: Paleobiology3
GEL 107LEarth History: Paleobiology Laboratory2
GEL 108Earth History: Paleoclimates3
GEL 141Evolutionary History of Vertebrates3
or GEL 144 Historical Ecology
Choose at least 9 addtional units:9
Primate Evolution
Human Evolution
Introduction to Evolution
Introduction to Ecology
Population & Quantitative Genetics
Phylogenetic Analysis of Vertebrate Structure
Biology of Invertebrates
Biology of Invertebrates Laboratory
Evolution of Ecological Systems
Earth History: Sediments & Strata
Biological Oceanography
Total Units20