Undergraduate Geology Program

We offer three undergraduate degrees in geology: the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and a special Bachelor of Arts for pre-service high school teachers. Our program emphasizes fundamental skills, computer applications, field work, and report writing.  Our graduates are highly regarded by employers and graduate schools; we take pride in the fact that all our students are able to pursue their future employment or educational goals after graduating.  Many students decide to major in geology as Sac State undergrads, but many others are also transfer students from around California and beyond.  Whatever your background, we offer an opportunity to build the foundation for a rewarding career.

Our new Earth Science degree focuses on those subjects that a high school earth science teacher must know. Under the new standards, Earth Science teachers must be proficient in meteorology, oceanography and astronomy, subjects not traditionally included in a geology major.  This degree is designed to prepare students for the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) in Earth and Planetary Science.  It is also appropriate preparation for a career as an interpretive park ranger, a science writer, or an environmental lawyer. The Earth Science major is not intended as preparation for a career as a geoscientist.

Quality Teaching :

Our primary commitment is to providing the best geological education available anywhere.  Classes are small and are taught by experienced faculty members who are committed to student success.  Effective faculty-student interaction is one of the strengths of our department, and students report that our faculty are friendly, approachable, and skilled teachers.

Field Training :

Diverse geological features and rocks of highly varied ages and types are easily accessible from Sacramento.  The Sutter Buttes Volcano lies to the north, the Gold Country and Sierra Nevada to the east, and the Coast Ranges and San Andreas fault to the west.  Our emphasis on field geology literally keeps students in touch with the subject and provides unparalleled opportunities for learning geological problem-solving and application of the scientific method.  Nearly every course in the major has a substantial field component.  In addition, we offer a dedicated field mapping course that integrates classroom skills with field work.  Students in the B.S. degree program also attend a summer field camp.  Faculty research provide many opportunities for students to hone their field skills in many different areas.

Professor looking at Results

Hydrogeology and the CSUS Well Field (the nation's largest!) :

CSUS Geology has the nation's largest on-campus wellfield, with eighteen monitoring wells and two extraction wells within easy walking distance of the classroom.

Engineering Geology :

A special Bachelor of Science degree in engineering geology is offered in cooperation with the Department of Civil Engineering in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at CSUS.  Our students also enjoy a close relationship with the Sacramento Chapter of the Association of Engineering Geologists, providing excellent networking and professional opportunities.

Marine Geology :

Students interested in marine geology take courses at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories on Monterey Bay.  A program including marine geology can be set up with a geology major.

Technical Writing and Computer Skills :

Effective writing and computer skills are essential to the success of professional geologists.  The CSUS Geology program offers students many opportunities to develop your writing skills with laboratory reports, field reports, and other writing exercises.  Computers are used in most courses to analyze data, process images, construct maps, and model geologic processes.

Undergraduate Research :

Geology faculty regularly involve students in their research.  Students who meet the GPA requirement may do an honors thesis, carrying out their own research project under faculty supervision.  Some students choose to assist faculty in research, for academic credit or for pay.  Check out the undergraduate research page for more information.