Undergraduate Requirements: Geology Option

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  1. Ge 11 ab, Ge/Ay 11 c or Ge 11 d1, and any writing class that satisfies the Institute scientific writing requirement2.
  2. Ma 2 and one choice from: Ma 3, Ge/ESE 118, or Ge/Ay 117.
  3. Ph 2 a or Ph 12 a plus an additional quarter of sophomore-level physics (Ph 2 b, 2 c, 12 b, or 12 c).
  4. Either ACM 95 ab or the combination of a full-year chemistry sequence (Ch 41 abc or Ch 21 abc).
  5. Ge 106, 114 ab, 115 ab, 120 ab3.
  6. Ge 111 ab or Ge 11 d. 
  7. Ge 112 or Ge 125.
  8. Elective courses in Ge or cross-listed with Ge to bring the total option units up to 210.

1No class may be used to simultaneously satisfy more than one of these requirements.

2 For example, E 11, En/Wr 84.

3 If Ge120 b is not offered, a suitable 3-5 week field camp may be substituted.

Typical Course Schedule

Units per Term





Second Year

Ma 2 & 3Sophomore Mathematics99 
Ph 2 a & cSophomore Physics9 9
Ge 11 abcIntroduction to Earth and Planetary Science999
Ge 106Introduction to Structural Geology 9 
Ge 120 aField Geology Intro. 1  6
 HSS electives999

Total units:





Ge 120bField Geology Camp  18

Third Year

ACM 95 abIntro. Methods of Applied Math 1212
Ge 112Sedimentology and Stratigraphy12  
Ge 114 abMineralogy12  
Ge 115 aPetrology and Petrography 9 
Ge 111 abApplied Geophysics 69
 HSS electives999

Total units:




Fourth Year

 Geology Electives999
Ge 115 bPetrology and Petrography 9 
 HSS electives999
 Scientific Writing  3

Total units:




1 Ge 120 ab is taught in alternate years.  Some cohorts of students will take this course in their third year and the summer following.

For students beginning their junior year, it is possible to complete the requirements for the geology option within two years, but there are benefits from starting with Ge 11 abc in the sophomore year.

Passing grades must be earned in a total of 486 units, including courses listed above. Any student whose grade-point average in science and mathematics courses is less than 1.9 at the end of an academic year may be refused permission to register in the geological and planetary science options.

For more information

For more information, contact geology option representative Mike Lamb.