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Graduate Requirements: Geobiology Option

In addition to general Institute and basic division requirements, candidates for the PhD degree in geobiology must successfully complete a minimum of 90 units at the 100 or greater level, including Ge 104 and either Bi/Ch 110 or Ge/ESE 118; and two courses from each of the following three subject menus:

  • Geology: Ge 106ab, 112, 114 ab, 124.
  • Chemistry: Ge/ESE 143, 149, Ge 140, ESE/GE/CH 171, 172, ESE/Ch 175, 176.
  • Biology: ESE/Bi 166, 168, Ge/ESE 170, Bi 117, ESE 103.

Other classes may be substituted for these menu requirements with the approval of the option representative. A student with substantial prior experience in geobiology (e.g. an M.S. degree) may use prior coursework to substitute up to 45 of these units on approval of the geobiology option representative. All students must have a basic knowledge of organic chemistry at the level of Ch 41 a. This requirement may be met by previous course work or through successful completion of this class.

Geobiology students must complete 3 units per year of Ge 109 (Oral Presentation) starting in their second year until the last year prior to obtaining the degree.

Units at Caltech nominally reflect the total hours a typical student will spend per week in the classroom, the lab and with homework. Thus, a nine unit course may involve three hours in the classroom, two hours in a laboratory and four hours doing homework each week.

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