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Undergraduate Requirements: Geobiology Option

Under the geobiology option a student can be associated with either biology or GPS. This association formally will only affect which course the students elect to satisfy the Institute-wide oral presentation requirement; all other geobiology option requirements are independent of GPS or biology affiliation. In practice, however, we expect a student's affiliation with one division or another will significantly shape their choice of elective courses.

  1. Ge 11 abc, Ge/Ay 11 c, Ge 109, and a science writing course.1
  2. Ma 2 and one choice from: Ma 3, Bi/CNS/NB 195, 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. Ch 41 abc and Bi/Ch 110.
  5. Bi 8-10, 117, 122.
  6. Two of ESE/Bi 166, ESE/Bi 168, or Ge/ESE 170.
  7. Ge 112.
  8. 9 units of geobiology electives from the following list: Bi 123, Bi 180, Ch 4 a, Ch 15, Ge 120 ab, Ch 7, Ch 8, Ge/ESE 143, or Ge 124 ab.
  9. 27 units of geobiology electives in geology, biology, chemistry, and/or environmental engineering to be chosen in consultation with adviser, most likely from the list on 8 (above) or from the following list: Ge 11 d, 40, 41 abc, 106, 114, 115 ab, 116, 120 ab, 121 ab, 124 ab, 140 ab, Ge/ESE 149, Ge/Bi 244, 246, BMB/Bi/Ch 170, Bi 22, 24, 90 abc, Bi/Ge 105, Bi/Ch 111,113, Bi 115, 123, Bi/CNS 150, Bi 152, Bi/CNS 158, Bi 180,182,188,190,204, Bi/CNS 216, ESE/Bi 168, ESE/Ch 175,176, ESE 101-103, ESE/Ge/Ch 171,172, Ch 4 ab, 5 ab, 7, 14, 15,21 abc, 24, 25, 102, 112, 145, 146, 154 ab, 212.

1For example, Bi 24, E 11, or En/Wr 84

Typical course schedules are given for information only; in many cases is it possible to take courses in different years or in a different order.

Typical Course Schedule Units per term
1st 2nd  3rd
Second Year
Ge 11 ab, Ge/Ay 11 c Introduction to Earth and Planetary Science 9 9 9
Scientific Writing Tutorial 3
Ge 109 Oral Presentation 3
Bi 8 Introduction to Molecular Biology 9
Bi 9 Cell Biology 9
Bi 10 Cell Biology Laboratory 6
Ph 2 a & c Sophomore Physics 9 9
Ma 2 & other Sophomore Mathematics 9 9
HSS electives 9 9 9
Total units: 36 36 48
Third Year
Ch 41 abc Organic Chemistry 9 9 9
ESE/Bi 166 Microbial Physiology 9
Ge/ESE 170 Microbial Ecology 9
Geobiology electives 9 9 9
HSS electives 9 9 9
Total units: 36 27 36
Fourth Year
Bi/Ch 110 Introduction to Biochemistry 12
Bi 117 Developmental Biology 9
Bi 122 Genetics 9
Ge 112 Sedimentology and  Stratigraphy 12
Geobiology electives 9 18
HSS electives 9 9 9
Total units: 42 27 27

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.