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Undergraduate Majors

Any undergraduate student admitted to the University may declare a major in Earth Sciences in Geophysics, Geological Sciences, Energy Resources Engineering, or the interdisciplinary Earth Systems program.

Earth Systems

The Earth Systems Program is an interdisciplinary environmental studies major. Students learn about and independently investigate complex environmental problems caused by human activities in interaction with natural changes in the Earth System. Earth Systems majors become skilled in those areas of science, economics, and policy needed to tackle the globe's most pressing environmental problems, becoming part of a generation of scientists, professionals, and citizens who approach and solve problems in a systematic, interdisciplinary way.

Degrees awarded: BS; coterminal BS and MS; coterminal BS and MA

Energy Resources Engineering

The program leading to the BS degree provides a foundation for careers in many facets of the energy industry. The curriculum includes basic science and engineering courses that provide sufficient depth for a wide spectrum of career options. One of the goals of the program is to provide experience integrating the skills developed in individual courses to address a significant design problem. In ENERGY 180, taken in the senior year, student teams design facilities for a real petroleum reservoir to meet specific management objectives.

Degrees awarded: BS; coterminal BS and MS

Geological Sciences

The GS undergraduate major provides students with a solid background in Earth sciences and exposes students to the tremendous diversity of subdisciplines within Earth sciences. Majors can focus their studies on Earth's history and the evolution of life; the oceans and atmosphere; the processes that shape the Earth's mountains, continents, and landscape; the chemistry and physics of earth materials and their interactions with each other and with water; sources of water, economic minerals, metals, and fuel, and/or earth surface processes at present and in the future. The GS undergraduate program prepares students for graduate studies in Earth and environmental sciences, as well as careers in environmental engineering, environmental consulting, land use planning, law, public service, teaching, and other professions in which an understanding of the Earth and a background in science are important.

Degrees awarded: BS; coterminal BS and MS


The goal of the undergraduate program in Geophysics is to provide a solid background in the essentials of math, physics, and geology, together with knowledge in geophysics pertinent to resource exploration, global geodynamics, and environmental problems. Students are prepared for either an immediate professional career in the resources and environmental industries or future graduate study.

Degrees awarded: BS; coterminal BS and MS; Geophysics concentration for students majoring in Physics

For additional information, please contact Sara Cina, Undergraduate Program Director, at (650) 724-8899 or