Geology is the scientific study of Earth’s internal and external processes.  Some areas of study include plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, minerals and rocks, paleontology and evolution, landslides and surficial weathering and erosion, groundwater and river systems, glaciers, coastal processes and changes to coastal geologic landscapes, and impacts of climate change on Earth.  This is a small list of the intriguing subjects studied in geology.  

Geology is a subject that incorporates the disciplines of mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics and engineering to name a few. If you wonder about how the Earth works, why the earth looks as it does, or why some areas are more susceptible to earthquakes and volcanoes then geology may be for you.

View Transfer Options, Degrees & Certificates

Geology covers a broad range of ideas that can greatly enhance you carrier options.  There are a large range of careers available to students with degrees in geology.  Local, state and federal government positions for example positions on state and regional water boards or the Army Corp of Engineers, petroleum and mining geologists, geophysicists and seismologists, and private positions with geotechnical engineering or environmental companies like Jacobs Engineering, URS or AECOM. Teaching positions at universities, colleges, and high schools.  Research and science writing, and many more. 

Program Length

While the length of time depends on your chosen interest area (hydrogeology, engineering geology, etc.) programs are generally arranged so that students can finish degrees within 2-4 years depending on the degree sought by the student.

Transfer Options

The student in this program is well prepared to transfer to geology programs around the world.  Examples are: The University of California System, the California State University system, nearly any State University system, and many private colleges.

Program Specific Support

IVC Learning Center tutoring programs are available in the Business Science Technology & Innovation Center (BSTIC).

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Your success is our priority! Whether you are just starting, in the middle of, or completing your time at IVC, we have a team of people in your corner to help keep you on-track to reach your goals at IVC and beyond! 

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Transfer Options, Degrees and/or Certificates

Sample Academic Plans

  • This is only a sample academic plan. Some UC majors may have additional required or recommended courses for transfer. Please see a counselor to create a customized My Academic Plan (MAP) that will best meet your specific academic goals.
Semester 1
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC Area/MajorUnits
WR 1College Writing 11A4
MATH 3A*Analytic Geometry and Calculus I2A & Major5
GEOL 1Physical Geology5A and Major4
Arts or Humanities or Social and Behavioral ScienceArts or Humanities or Social and Behavioral Sciences GE Course3A or 3B or 43
Semester 2
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC Area/MajorUnits
WR 2College Writing Critical Thinking 1B4
MATH 3BAnalytic Geometry and Calculus II2A & Major5
BIOLOGY - TBD**Various Biology Course or Courses3-4
Summer
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC Area/MajorUnits
MATH 4A Analytic Geometry and Calculus III2A & Major5
Semester 3
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC Area/MajorUnits
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I5A and Major5
PHYS 4AGeneral Physics5A and Major4
GEOL 2Historical Geology5A and Major3
GE or MAJORGE or Geology Major CourseVarious3-4
Semester 4
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC Area/MajorUnits
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry II5A and Major5
PHYS 4B and/or 4CGeneral Physics5A and Major4-8
GE or MAJORGE or Geology Major CourseVarious3-4
  1. This sample academic plan assumes that student is eligible for Math 3A in the first semester.
  2. Different UC campuses may require or recommend different biology course/s for Geology or Geology related majors.
Semester 1
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
WR 1College Writing 1A24
MATH 3A*Analytic Geometry and Calculus IB4 & Major5
GEOL 1Physical GeologyB1/B3 & Major4
Learning & Self DevLifelong Learning and Self Development GE CourseE3
Semester 2
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
Critical ThinkingCritical Thinking GE CourseA33-4
MATH 3BAnalytic Geometry and Calculus IIMajor5
GEOL 2Historical GeologyMajor4
COMM 1Communication FundamentalsA13
Summer
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
Social ScienceSocial Science GE CourseD3
ArtsArts GE Course C13
Semester 3
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry IB1/B3 & Major5
HumanitiesHumantiies GE CourseC23
HIST 20 or HIST 21American History CourseD3
Life ScienceLife Science GE CourseB23
Semester 4
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE AREA/MajorUnits
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry IIB1/B3 & Major5
GEOG MajorGeology Major Course from List BMajor3
PS 1American GovernmentD3
Arts/HumanitiesArts or Humanities GE CourseC1 or C23
  1. This sample academic plan assumes that student is eligible for Math 3A in the first semester.
  • This is only a sample academic plan. Please see a counselor and check IVC's catalog to create a customized My Academic Plan (MAP) that will best meet your specific academic goals.
Semester 1
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAS GE Area/MajorUnits
WR 1College Writing 11A4
MATH 3A*Analytic Geometry and Calculus I1C & Major5
GEOL 1Physical Geology2 & Major3
ElectiveDegree Applicable Elective (Courses 1-299)3
Semester 2
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAS GE Area/MajorUnits
Communication/ThinkingCommunication/Analytical Thinking GE Course1B3-4
MATH 3BAnalytic Geometry and Calculus IIMajor5
PHYS 2A or 4APhysics CourseMajor4
GEOL 23Natural Disasters3
Summer
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAS GE Area/MajorUnits
GEOL 60, 65, 66, 169 or 181Various Geology Field Studies Class (Offered Fall, Spring and Summer)Major1
Semester 3
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAS GE Area/MajorUnits
GEOL 2Historical Geology2 & Major4
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry IMajor5
PHYS 2B or 4BPhysics CourseMajor4
GEOL 3Geology of California3
Semester 4
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAS GE Area/MajorUnits
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry IIMajor5
Social SciencesSocial Sciences GE Course33
Arts/HumanitiesArts or Humanities GE Course43
ElectiveDegree Applicable Elective (Courses 1-299)2-3
  1. This sample academic plan assumes that student is eligible for Math 3A in the first semester.
  • Note: This sample academic plan does not account for the Ethnic Studies requirement for the AS degree.

*Students may be eligible for one or more AA/AS/AA-T/AS-T degrees if they complete a GE transfer pattern, have specific courses, and have 60 transferable units. Please see a counselor for degree options and advisement.

  • AA = Associate of Arts
  • AS = Associate of Science
  • AA-T = Associate of Arts for Transfer
  • AS-T = Associate of Science for Transfer
  • COA = Certificate of Achievement
  • COP = Certificate of Proficiency

Explore Careers Related to Geology

Atmospheric and Space Scientists

Median Salary

$128,333

Job Growth

+24%

Education

  • Some College
  • 5%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 50%
  • Master's Degree
  • 30%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 15%
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Environmental Engineers

Median Salary

$110,122

Job Growth

-19%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 73%
  • Master's Degree
  • 27%
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Geodetic Surveyors

Median Salary

$103,685

Job Growth

-5%

Education

  • Certificate
  • 15%
  • Some College
  • 5%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 55%
  • Master's Degree
  • 25%
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Geological Sample Test Technicians

Median Salary

$75,992

Job Growth

-16%

Education

  • Some College
  • 10%
  • Associate's Degree
  • 10%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 52%
  • Master's Degree
  • 29%
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Geophysical Data Technicians

Median Salary

$75,992

Job Growth

-16%

Education

  • H.S. Diploma or Less
  • 14%
  • Certificate
  • 6%
  • Some College
  • 5%
  • Associate's Degree
  • 18%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 29%
  • Master's Degree
  • 28%
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Geoscientists

Median Salary

$106,046

Job Growth

-11%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 41%
  • Master's Degree
  • 44%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 16%
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Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists

Median Salary

$81,816

Job Growth

-10%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 65%
  • Master's Degree
  • 35%
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Geothermal Production Managers

Median Salary

$105,857

Job Growth

-19%

Education

  • H.S. Diploma or Less
  • 11%
  • Certificate
  • 19%
  • Some College
  • 48%
  • Associate's Degree
  • 3%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 20%
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Geothermal Technicians

Median Salary

$42,724

Job Growth

-21%

Education

  • H.S. Diploma or Less
  • 66%
  • Certificate
  • 20%
  • Some College
  • 12%
  • Associate's Degree
  • 2%
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Hydrologists

Median Salary

$101,646

Job Growth

+21%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 43%
  • Master's Degree
  • 52%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 4%
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Mining and Geological Engineers

Median Salary

$137,987

Job Growth

+54%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 96%
  • Master's Degree
  • 3%
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Natural Sciences Managers

Median Salary

$162,212

Job Growth

+13%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 50%
  • Master's Degree
  • 17%
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  • 33%
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Petroleum Engineers

Median Salary

$139,800

Job Growth

+11%

Education

  • H.S. Diploma or Less
  • 8%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 72%
  • Master's Degree
  • 21%
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Postsecondary Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Science Teachers

Median Salary

$102,837

Job Growth

+8%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 5%
  • Master's Degree
  • 50%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 45%
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Soil and Plant Scientists

Median Salary

$61,142

Job Growth

+16%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 15%
  • Master's Degree
  • 26%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 59%
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Soil and Water Conservationists

Median Salary

$55,447

Job Growth

+4%

Education

  • Certificate
  • 5%
  • Some College
  • 5%
  • Associate's Degree
  • 14%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 67%
  • Master's Degree
  • 10%
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Water Resource Specialists

Median Salary

$162,212

Job Growth

+13%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 50%
  • Master's Degree
  • 50%
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Not sure if Geology is the right fit?

That's OK!

Begin with the Exploratory Interest Area and explore Geology while still working toward your academic goals.

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Or speak to one of IVC’s Academic Counselors to learn more about all of your options.

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