Undergraduate Degree Programs and Requirements
- Geophysics B.S.
- Earth and Environmental Science B.A.
- Honors in Geology or Geophysics
- Geology B.S.
- Engineering Geology B.S.
- Earth and Environmental Science Minor
- Geochemistry Minor
- Geology Minor
- Geophysics and Planetary Physics Minor
Planning Your UCLA Degree
Contact us through message center for more information or help planning your EPSS degree at: https://epss.ucla.edu/undergraduate/message-center/
With only a few exceptions, all UCLA undergraduate degrees are designed to be completed with 180 units taken across 12 quarters of enrollment. By planning for four years you can assume:
- Standard financial obligations
- Single or, with planning, a double major and minor options
- Extensive curricular and co-curricular enrichment activities
- Minimal need for AP/summer sessions/community college credits required
During each quarter of enrollment, students will have to take more courses than the majority of the other students in their classes. There are no unique privileges to students pursuing a three-year path. However, some high-achieving UCLA students do successfully complete all of their graduation requirements in three years. By planning for three years you can assume:
- Significantly reduced financial obligations
- Single major unchanged from first year
- Strategically selected curricular and co-curricular enrichment activities
- Extensive AP/summer sessions/community college credit is often required
Please refer to UCLA Undergraduate Education for more information related to majors that provide for both three and four year degrees.
For more information about each Major's and Minor's prerequisites and requirements please visit the UCLA Registar's Office Website.
Please refer to UCLA Undergraduate Admissions for dates and related links.
Geology is designed for students who are interested in studying Earth systems. This major provides a fundamental background and solid understanding of physical, chemical, and biological processes that shape the earth. Coursework includes petrology and mineralogy, sedimentology, structural geology and tectonophysics, seismology, isotope geochemistry, geomorphology, and the Earth's interior.
Engineering Geology is an interdisciplinary field that uses the principles of geologic processes to solve engineering and environmental problems. We provide courseworks to evaluate possible geologic hazards and Earth structures (e.g., landslides, earthquake damage, structural geology, groundwater) and prepare for registered engineering professionals with geotechnical, geologic, and petroleum specialties.
Geophysics uses physical principles and quantitative methods to explore and understand the structures and dynamics of the Earth or other planets. This major provides a solid background of basic math, physics, and geology and advanced coursework specialized in geophysics. The classes include principles of geophysics, earthquake physics, seismology, fault mechanics, and seismic exploration with state-of-art quantitative tools.
The Earth and Environmental Sciences major is for students interested in interactions between the solid Earth, oceans, atmosphere, the biosphere, and human environments. This broad-based major is well suited for students considering careers in K through 12 education, especially in the Earth, physical, or life sciences. It can also prepare students for careers in environmental science, law, government, business, journalism, public health, medicine, or dentistry. Students who wish to prepare for careers as professional geologists, geochemists, or geophysicists and/or graduate studies in Earth or space sciences should consider one of the B.S. degree programs in Geology, Engineering Geology, or Geophysics.
The honors program in geology or geophysics is designed for exceptional students with strong academic records who wish to pursue advanced research and study with faculty guidance, through the completion of at least two terms of Honors Research (EPS SCI 198). Note that there are additional requirements for admission to the honors program. Guided research opportunities for students are also available for students outside of the honors program, through EPS SCI 199: Directed Research or Senior Project in Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, and these are strongly encouraged for students considering research careers.
The Earth and Environmental Science minor is for students who wish to gain a broad introduction to the study of the Earth, oceans, and atmosphere, as well as their relationships to human environments. Knowledge and skills gained in this minor are likely to be useful for students considering careers in K through 12 education in the Earth, physical, or life sciences, as well as for students who plan careers in business, dentistry, environmental sciences, government, journalism, law, medicine, or public health.
Geochemistry is the branch of Earth science that focuses on the chemical composition and atomic structure of rocks, minerals, fossils, meteorites, the oceans, and our atmosphere. Geochemistry is used to determine the ages of rocks and events in Earth history, and to understand ancient climates and environmental hazards. This minor enables students to learn how to interpret the textures and chemical compositions of rocks and minerals, about experiments to understand their formation, and about using mathematical tools to simulate changes in the chemical compositions of natural materials.
Geology is the study of the Earth, its rocks, surface, and interior, and its origins and history. Geologists study Earth by collecting data in the field and examining rocks and rock structures in the laboratory. The Geology minor provides an introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological processes that shape the Earth, including plate tectonics and biological evolution.
In Geophysics and Planetary Physics, field data and physical principles are combined to understand diverse processes from ocean circulation and earthquakes to the formation of planets and the flow of particles and electromagnetic fields in space. This minor is for students who are interested in applications of physics to problems in the Earth and planetary sciences.