Do you enjoy science and its applications to the world around you?
Do you have an interest in environmental problems and a desire to help solve them?
Would you enjoy working outdoors as well as in a laboratory environment?
Do you want a different Pre-Med/Pre-Dent Major?
Would you like the challenge and prestige of being part of one of the top-ranked geoscience departments in the country?
Would you like the opportunity to be involved in top-notch research?
UCLA students with a general interest in science are encouraged to enroll in an undergraduate program in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences. Our students are trained in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences, and their application to understanding the earth, the solar system, space, and the evolution and origin of life. Because of the wide diversity of subject areas in the Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, we offer the bachelor of science degree with five different specializations: Geology, Engineering Geology, Paleobiology, Applied Geophysics, and Geophysics and Space Physics. We also offer a bachelor of arts degree in Earth Sciences.
The majority of our students expect to make their careers in the earth or space sciences; however, some are considering careers in business, law, teaching or the health sciences. Medical and dental schools do accept applicants with degrees in the earth sciences, and some schools favor those applicants with a broad background in the physical sciences. If you are interested in pursuing one of these challenging goals, a major in Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences is an interesting alternative to the more conventional majors for pre-professional students.
If you have questions or want to learn more about our Undergraduate programs, please contact the Student Affairs Office
Geology is the science of a changing Earth. Geologists try to understand the Earth's origin and evolution by investigating the arrangement, properties, and behavior of rocks exposed at the surface or in mines and drill holes.
Geologists can be classified by their specialties:
Geologists knowledgeable in more than one of the specialties listed above can use various disciplines to solve complex geological problems.
Geophysicists apply principles and techniques of physics to the quantitative description of Earth, the other planets, and the interplanetary medium. A geophysicist must acquire skills in physics and mathematics as well as learn the geological processes on Earth and its environment in space. This knowledge is combined to reduce complex phenomena in the real world to mathematical or physical models that further our understanding of Earth's physical characteristics and behavior.
Studies of Earth fall into four main categories: its origin, evolution, composition, and structure. Basic to these is the origin and evolution of the Solar System, including the astronomical environment, the materials of the planets, and their behavior since formation. Models of Earth's interior use fluid dynamics, knowledge of the material properties, and high-pressure physics to explore the planet's evolution. Seismology provides direct information on Earth structure, which is used in conjunction with gravity, heat flow, electricity, and magnetism. Of great practical importance is the outer 10 km of the Earth, where natural resources can be tapped; given the expense of drilling and mining, geophysical surveys are essential before digging for resources
Subdivisions of geophysics are:
We are a relatively small, closely knit department with many opportuinities for personal interactions with faculty and other students. While students can become lost or remain unnoticed in other departments, Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences students gain a sense of belonging and personal recognition. There are many activities that have social aspects: