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.

Field Notes

We offer three undergraduate degree programs:

Bachelor of Arts in Geology 

for people interested in a traditional foundation in geology with an emphasis on field work and who plan to seek work as professional geologists and/or enter graduate school in the geosciences.

Bachelor of Science in Geology 

for people interested in all of the above plus the opportunity to complete an independent research project.

Bachelor of Arts in Geosciences 

for people who are interested in careers or pursuing graduate work in environmental science, hazard/resource management and planning, teaching, and environmental policy.

We also offer a minor degree in Geology

Minor in Geology 

for people who don’t have time for a complete geology program but are interested in additional breadth in geology. 

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

Master of Science in Environmental Systems, Geology

Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Science in Geology

Course requirements for the Bachelor of Science are identical to the Bachelor of Arts in Geology with the addition of an original independent research project (Senior Thesis) required for the B.S. degree.

Click on the flow chart to view a PDF version of the BS/BA Geology course plan.

Geology BS Four Year Plan (Map)

Geology BA Four Year Plan (Map)


Bachelor of Arts in Geosciences

Click on the flow chart to view a PDF version of the BA Geology - Geosciences Option course plan.

Geology Geosciences Option BA Four Year Plan (Map)

Minor Degree in Geology

Geology Minor Requirements

Five-year Course Plan

The Table below shows the core courses that we hope to offer over the next five years.  Please note that some adjustments may occur depending on budget constraints and faculty availability.  Additional Specialization Courses may be offered depending on demand and resources.

Geology Department Five-year Course Plan

The Geology course rotation table and those of other departments are available here:

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