Geology (BS), CSU Bakersfield

]Information for this profile was provided by CSU, Bakersfield. Information is also available on the program website. CSU Bakersfield is a university with graduate programs, primarily masters programs. Students in this program are pursuing a BS degree.

Program Design & Assessment


Geology is the study of the Earth and our neighboring planets in space, their composition, processes, and history. The degrees offered are the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Science and the Master of Science in Geology. The curriculum includes basic courses in geology and other cognate subjects and provides for independent research, field application, and Environmental Studies, when desired.

The curriculum and courses offered in Geology stress the physical framework of the environment and its relationships to organisms and to man. The college is located in an excellent geologic area with easy access to deserts, several mountain ranges, oil fields, agricultural areas, and the Pacific Coast.

Although no minor is required for the BS degree, a minor in Geology is available, consisting of 20 units, at least 10 of which must be in upper division courses that count toward the major. However, only one of the following courses may be counted toward the minor in Geology: GEOL 100 or GEOL 201.

Strengths of this program

Graduates with degrees in Geology have excellent employment opportunities both locally and elsewhere in petroleum and minerals exploration, water resources, land use, and waste disposal management. The degree program also provides a strong foundation for secondary school science teaching or graduate study in geology. Students planning on attending graduate school are advised to pursue the BS degree as the course work for this degree, particularly the cognate courses, generally represents the minimum requirements for acceptance into a graduate program, including the Master of Science program in Geology at CSUB. Visit our website at

Types of students served

Program Goals

The goals of this program are as follows:

At the completion of their geology degree programs students will have basic knowledge and understanding of the content of modern geology, will have acquired knowledge and demonstrated skills to collect and analyze Earth's minerals and rocks, and will understand the philosophical, mathematical and physical science foundations of geology. The ten detailed student learning objectives that support these broad goals can be found at

The learning goals were informed by the following resources:

How program goals are assessed

Design features that allow goals to be met

Alumni Careers

Graduation rate

Careers pursued by our alumni

Courses and Sequencing

Diagram of course sequencing and requirements

The Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Geology requires a minimum of 180 units which includes courses for the major (and minor, if selected) and courses for the other university-wide graduation requirements: General Education, American Institutions, First-Year Experience, Gender-Race-Ethnicity, Upper Division Writing, and Foreign Language.

Entry into the program

  • GEOL201 - Physical Geology
  • GEOL204 - Historical Geology

Core courses

  • GEOL303 - Mineralogy
  • GEOL306 - Petrology and Petrography
  • GEOL307 - Structural Geology
  • GEOL309 - Sedimentation and Stratigraphy
  • GEOL310 - Geochemistry or GEOL325 - Principles of Geophysics
  • GEOL480 - Research Participation
  • GEOL490 - Senior Field Seminar
  • GEOL495 - Field Course in Geology


Students are required to take 2 electives of which one or more of the courses must be at least senior level, chosen from the following list:
  • GEOL205 - Environmental Geology
  • GEOL305 - Paleobiology
  • GEOL308 - Geomorphology
  • GEOL460 - Petroleum Geology
  • GEOL475 - Hydrogeology
  • GEOL477/577 - Special Topics in Geology

Other required courses

  • CHEM211 and CHEM212
  • PHYS 201 and 202, or 221 and 222
  • MATH 201, 202/222, and 140

Other key features of this program:

The following additional courses are strongly recommended for students planning graduate studies:

  • CHEM 213
  • PHYS 223
  • BIOL 103 and 201

Supporting Materials

CSU Bakersfield Undergraduate Geology Curricula (Acrobat (PDF) 48kB Jan11 10)