College of Science and Engineering
Dean: Sheldon Axler

Department of Geosciences
509 Thornton Hall
415 338-2061
Fax: 415-338-7705
Chair: Oswaldo Garcia

Graduate Coordinators: Grove (Geology) and Monteverdi (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences)

Credential Adviser: Caskey


Professors—Garfield, Grove, Mustart, Pestrong, White

Associate Professors—Caskey

Assistant Professors—Dekens, Janssen, Leech, Sklar

Adjunct Faculty—Abrams, Campbell, Knox, Roopnarine, Roush, Tang

B.S. in Geology


The Department of Geosciences is a UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) Affiliate.

Advising: The Department of Geosciences requires that declared majors consult with an advisor every semester, and prospective majors should consult with an advisor as early as possible, particularly about selecting courses in the General Education program that best fit the major program. Students will also be advised about completing basic science requirements before taking upper division courses in geosciences, and about the order in which required courses should best be taken. Students interested in preparing to teach high school or middle school earth sciences and integrated science should consult the credential adviser in the Department of Geosciences because specific courses beyond the Department’s degree programs are required.


The Bachelor of Science in Geology is designed for students intending to prepare for graduate school in geology or for direct entry into a career as a professional geologist in industry or government. The Geology major provides students with a fundamental background in the physical sciences and many areas of geology necessary for an in-depth comprehension of the subject. Entry to the major presupposes prior course work comprising the high school equivalents of two years of algebra, one year of plane geometry, one-half year of trigonometry, and one year of physics and/or chemistry.

On-line course descriptions are available. Courses are 3 units unless indicated otherwise.

Basic Science and Mathematics Units
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry (3/2)  
CHEM 215/216 General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts/Laboratory (3/2)
MATH 226 Calculus I (4)
GEOL 125 or
MATH 227
Quantitative Geology (4)
Calculus II (4)
PHYS 111/112 or
PHYS 220/222
General Physics I/Laboratory (3/1)
General Physics with Calculus I/Laboratory (3/1)
PHYS 121/122 or
PHYS 240/242
General Physics II/ Laboratory (3/1)
General Physics with Calculus III/Laboratory (3/1)
Total basic science and mathematics requirements 26
Basic Geology Core
GEOL 110 Physical Geology (4)  
GEOL 115 Earth and Life through Time
GEOL 120 Introduction to Geologic Techniques (2)
GEOL 420 Mineralogy and Petrology I (4)
GEOL 430 Structural Geology (4)
GEOL 460 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4)
GEOL 695 Field Methods in Geology (2)
Total basic geology core requirements 24
Advanced Geology Core
    1. Complete at least 7 units
    2. Select at least one quantitative course**
GEOL 426 Mineralogy and Petrology II (4)  
GEOL 450 Geomorphology** (4)
GEOL 452 Costal Processes
GEOL 475 Hydrogeology** (4)
GEOL 467 Marine Geology
GEOL 480 Geochemistry** (4)
Total advanced geology core requirements 7
Capstone (complete at least 4 units from the courses below)
A field geology course from another university (4-6 units)
(see http://tornado.sfsu.edu/Geosciences/fieldgeology.html for examples)
GEOL 697 Undergraduate Research (2)
GEOL 698 Senior Research and Thesis (2)
Total capstone requirement 4
Electives (On advisement, complete at least 8 units of courses numbered 400 or higher in geology [or a closely related field], such as courses listed below or not already selected from the advanced geology core or capstone.)  
GEOL 400 Physical Geology in the Field (1)
GEOL 402 Coastal Geology in the Field (1)
OCN 405
Planetary Climate Change (4)
GEOL 410 Volcanology
GEOL 415 Computer Techniques in Geology (2)
GEOL 440 Paleontology
GEOL 454 Quaternary Climate and Soils
GEOL 462 Geology of Hydrocarbons
GEOL 470 Neotectonics
GEOL 474 Engineering Geology
GEOL 476 Groundwater Contamination
GEOL 485 Ore Deposits (4)
GEOL 590 Seminar in Geosciences (2)
GEOL 642 Watershed Assessment and Restoration (4)
GEOL 699 Special Study (1-3)
OCN 420 Physical Oceanography
METR 415 Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Ocean
Total advanced geology core requirements 8
Total for the major 69


Recommended Emphases
(Students who elect to complete an emphasis should select courses upon advisement from the advanced geology core and from electives to create a coherent emphasis. We recommend one of the examples below.)
Sedimentary and Coastal Processes
GEOL 426 Mineralogy and Petrology II (4)
GEOL 450 Geomorphology (4)
GEOL 452 Coastal Processes
GEOL 467 Marine Geology
GEOL 475 Hydrogeology (4)
GEOL 480 Geochemistry (4)
OCN 420 Physical Oceanography
Petrology and Tectonics
GEOL 410 Volcanology
GEOL 426 Mineralogy and Petrology II (4)
GEOL 470 Neotectonics
GEOL 480 Geochemistry (4)
GEOL 485 Ore Deposits (4)
Surficial and Environmental Geology
GEOL 450 Geomorphology (4)
GEOL 454 Quaternary Climate and Soils
GEOL 470 Neotectonics
GEOL 474 Engineering Geology
GEOL 475 Hydrogeology (4)
GEOL 476 Groundwater Contamination
GEOL 480 Geochemistry (4)
Climate Change
GEOL 405 Planetary Climate Change (4)
GEOL 450 Geomorphology (4)
GEOL 452 Coastal Processes
GEOL 454 Quaternary Climate and Soils
GEOL 467 Marine Geology
GEOL 480 Geochemistry (4)
Energy and Natural Resources
GEOL 426 Mineralogy and Petrology II (4)
GEOL 462 Geology of Hydrocarbons
GEOL 476 Marine Geology
GEOL 480 Geochemistry (4)
GEOL 485 Ore Deposits (4)



1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1111

Last modified Tuesday, January 27, 2009 11:51 AM