The Humboldt Geology Program offers broad and rigorous programs in geoscience that emphasizes geological reasoning and field studies. Our location on California's North Coast provides an unparalleled laboratory to study tectonics, earthquakes, landsliding, shifting rivers, and rapid erosion. We also take advantage of our position on an active subduction zone by studying the southern Cascade volcanoes.


We offer TWO undergraduate geology degree programs (see below) and a minor in Geology

We also offer a MS degree in Environmental Systems with an emphasis in geology.

Master of Science in Environmental Systems, Geology

Bachelors Degrees in Geology

We offer two degree pathways for our geology students, a Bachelors of Science in Geology (BS Geology) and a Bachelor of Arts in Geoscience (BA Geoscience). 

There are a couple key differences between the BS Geology degree and the BA Geoscience degree. The BS Geology degree is more spcialized than the BA Geoscience degree and requires two semesters of Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics as well as completion of our Summer Geology Field Camp course. The BA Geoscience degree is more broad and flexible than the BS Geology degree. In addition to completing a rigorous sequence of geology courses, BA Geoscience students have the opportunity to complete 12 units of advisor-approved classes in another discipline (e.g., Geospatial Analysis, Oceanography, Soils, Chemistry, etc.). The BS Geology degree is designed for students interested in studying geology and pursuing a professional career within the geological sciences (e.g., Professional Geologist and/or Hydrogeologist). The BA Geoscience degree is designed for students interested in geology in the context of a more broadly based liberal arts education. Below are the sequence of courses we encourage students pursuing the BS Geology degree and BA Geoscience degree to take:    


Minor Degree in Geology

Geology Minor Requirements


Geology Department Student Learning Outcomes:

1. Graduates will be able to effectively communicate geological concepts and interpretations in oral and written form to scientific and general audiences (e.g., Professional meeting, department colloquium, public meeting, poster, thesis, term paper, article, field guide)

2. Graduates will be able to apply the scientific method in their research (e.g., class projects, thesis)

3. Graduates will be able to apply and/or integrate aspects of math and/or other related fields (e.g., Chemistry, Physics, GIS) to solve geological questions

4. Graduates will be able to read, critically evaluate, and formulate interpretations based on geological literature, spatial data (e.g., geologic maps, air photos), and laboratory methods

5. Graduates will be able to apply geology to professional fields (e.g., engineering geology, hydrogeology) and its broader impacts on society (e.g., natural resources, climate change, hazards)

6. Graduates will be able to collect, describe, integrate, and interpret data (e.g., data from outcrop, hand sample, thin section, geochemical, geomorphological)

7. Graduates will be able to describe, classify, and interpret common Earth materials including their composition and origin (e.g., describing and identifying rocks and minerals)

8. Graduates will be able to describe the processes operating at and beneath the Earth’s surface, how those processes create the Earth’s landscape, and how humans affect and are affected by the processes. (e.g., geophysical and geochemical properties of the Earth's interior; their genesis and role in tectonics, earthquakes, and magmatism)

9. Graduates will be able to read, interpret, and construct graphical and spatial representation data (e.g., geologic maps)

10. Graduates will be able to apply concepts of time scales and length scales to different geological processes (e.g., gelogic mapping, stratigraphy)

11. Graduates will be able to effectively and respectfully work as a member of a team

12. Graduates will be able to engage in behaviors consistent with high ethical standards and environmental stewardship