Undergraduate Course Listing

Undergraduate Courses

Graduate Courses

This is a listing of the courses offered at the undergraduate level by the SJSU geology department. The included links take you to the official course catalog description on the SJSU website.

General Education classes are typically offered each semester.  Major classes are typically offered annually or biennially. Click here for a schedule of upcoming classes by semester.




  • GEOL 001: General Geology
       
    4 Units
    *Satisfies Area B1 and B3 of Core GE*
        Examination of geological processes and components, including volcanoes, earthquakes, lithification, water bodies, plate tectonics, and their societal importance.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/field trips.    
  • GEOL 002: Geology for Engineers
        3 Units
        Learning and applying knowledge of geological processes to civil engineering works, decision making, and evaluating the suitability of areas for urban infrastructure based upon geologic evidence and reasoning.                                                                                Prerequisite: Enrolled as Civil Engineer  
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/field trips.                                                                           
  • GEOL 003: Planet Earth
        3 Units
        *Satisfies Area B1 of Core GE*
        Origins and processes of Earth's interconnected physical and chemical systems, including aspects of astronomy, geology, meteorology, and oceanography. Students will learn of the impacts of these systems on humans, and of humans on the systems.                 Format: Lecture 3 hours.   
  • GEOL 004L: Planet Earth Laboratory
     
       1 Unit
        *Satisfies Area B3 of Core GE*
        Hands-on investigations, measurements, and analysis of Earth's materials, processes, and hazards. Supplements general lecture courses in Geology 3. 
        Format: Lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 005: Human Development and the Natural World                                                        3 Units
        *Satisfies Area E of Core GE*
        Introductory course examining the role of the natural world on the physiological, social, and psychological development of human beings within the context of the environmental, social, and academic community system. 
        Format: Lecture/Activity 3 hours.
  • GEOL 006: Geology of California
        3 Units
        *Satisfies Area B1 of Core GE*
        California's geology, illustrating physical processes, landscapes, geologic history, and resources. Additional emphasis is given to California's seismic, volcanic, landslide and flooding hazards, and their impact on society.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/field trips.
  • GEOL 007: Earth, Time, and Life
        4 Units 
        *Satisfies Area B1 and B3 of Core GE*
        Earth's geosphere: processes that act on it and materials that comprise it; how rocks and fossils are used to interpret the history of Earth's geosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and life forms.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 008: The Age of Dinosaurs                                                                                      3 Units 
        *Satisfies Area B2 of Core GE*
        Scientific overview of the Mesozoic Era, or "Age of Dinosaurs." The course will focus on the evolution of dinosaurs and other contemporaneous life forms. Focus will also be given to the mass extinction events that mark the beginning and end of the Mesozoic. 
        Format: Lecture 3 hours.
  • GEOL 009: Earth Disasters
        4 Units 
        *Satisfies Area B1 and B3 of Core GE*
        Exploration of natural disasters related to earth processes, including earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, tsunamis, flooding, climate change, and their impacts on society
        Format: Lecture 2 hours
  • GEOL 028: Geology Outdoors
        1 Unit
        Hands-on introduction to geology in a variety of field settings. Develop your observational skills at several of California's spectacular geologic attractions. Includes one-day field trips, a multi-day field trip, and short written reports.
        Prerequisite: Completion of or co-enrollment in GEOL 1, GEOL 4L, and GEOL 7.
  • GEOL 103: Earth Systems and the Environment -  For pre-college teachers
        3 Units
        *Satisfies Area R of SJSU Studies ("Advanced GE")*
        Fundamental earth/space science concepts; emphasis on active learning and guided inquiry. Recommended for students preparing for multiple subject credential.
        Prerequisite: PHYS 001 or CHEM 030A, Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites to all SJSU studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended.  
        Note: Departmental consent required.
  • GEOL 105: General Oceanography
        3 Units
        *Satisfies Area R of SJSU Studies ("Advanced GE")*
        Scientific examination of the impact of oceans on global society, and human impacts on the oceans via classroom discussions, computer exercises, and field trips.
        Prerequisite: Completion of core GE, satisfaction of Writing Skills Test and upper division standing. Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites to all SJSU studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended.                                                                                        Note: Departmental consent required.  
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/field trips.
  • GEOL 107: Prehistoric Life
        3 Units
       *Satisfies Area R of SJSU Studies ("Advanced GE")*
        Integrated interdisciplinary examination of the fossil record, including information from the fields of paleontology, genetics, and cosmology that aids in the understanding of organic evolution and periodic mass extinctions.
        Prerequisite: Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites to all SJSU studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended.                                                                                        Note: Departmental consent required.                                                                            Format: Lecture 3 hours.
  • GEOL 111: Geology and the Environment
     
       3 Units
       *Satisfies Area R of SJSU Studies ("Advanced GE")*
        The effect of Earth processes on humans and their structures. Environmental problems related to earthquakes, landslides, minerals, energy, water, and urban growth.
        Prerequisite: Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites to all SJSU studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended.                                                                                       Note: Departmental consent required. 
       Format: Lecture 3 hours/field trips
  • GEOL 112: Hazards and Risks of Earthquakes and Volcanoes
        3 Units
        *Satisfies Area R of SJSU Studies ("Advanced GE")*
        How, where, and why earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur and the analysis of hazards posed by them. Emphasis placed on incurring risks by humankind due to these hazards. Students will gain insight on minimizing risk via the economic, social, and political problems associated with earthquakes.
        Prerequisite: Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites to all SJSU studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended. Note: Departmental consent required. 
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/field trips.
  • GEOL 120: Fundamentals of Mineralogy
        3 Units
        Laboratory course designed to give students basic skills for identifying minerals and basic understanding of geologic processes that form minerals. Emphasis is on hand specimen and microscope identification.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 001 and GEOL 007.
        Format: Lecture 2 hours / Lab 3 hours
  • GEOL 122: Petrology
        4 Units
        Identification of minerals and rocks in hand sample and under the microscope. Processes of formation, description, and classification of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 120; completion of or co-enrollment in CHEM 1A.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 124: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
        3 Units
        Study of the origin and description of sediment and sedimentary rocks. Further emphasis is on the study of the formation, sequence, and correlation of stratified rocks.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 001 and GEOL 007.
        Format; Lecture 2 hours/lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 125: Structural Geology
        4 Units
        Recognition, interpretation, and representation of structures of the Earth's crust. Analysis of basic principles of rock deformation.
        Prerequisite: MATH 019, GEOL 001, GEOL 007, and GEOL 028.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab and field 3 hours.
  • GEOL 127: Tectonics
        3 Units
        Description of large-scale features of the Earth's crust and upper mantle and the processes which formed them. Emphasis on plate tectonics and its implications for the evolution of North America.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 122, GEOL 124, GEOL 125, and a 100W course.
  • GEOL 129A: Introductory Field Geology
        2 Units
        Introductory level field methods, field mapping, and interpretation of geologic and tectonic history. Students stay at camp sites that vary from year to year. 
        Prerequisite: GEOL 120, GEOL 122, GEOL 124, GEOL 125, or permission of the instructor
  • GEOL 129B: Advanced Field Geology
        4 Units
        Geologic field mapping and interpretation of geologic and tectonic history. Students stay at camp sites that vary from year to year.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 122, GEOL 124, GEOL 125, or permission of the instructor
  • GEOL 129C: Intermediate Field Geology
        2 Units
        Intermediate level field methods, field mapping and interpretation of geologic and tectonic history. Students stay at camp sites that vary from year to year. 
        Prerequisite: GEOL 120, GEOL 122, GEOL 124, GEOL 125, or permission of the instructor
  • GEOL 130: Marine Geology
        3 Units
        Introduction to the geology of continental margins and ocean basins. Discussions focus on crustal structures and the effect of plate tectonics and oceanographic processes on modern marine sedimentation.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 001 and GEOL 007.
        Format: Lecture 2 hours/lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 134: Geomorphology
        4 Units
        Earth's surficial processes and landforms; effects of tectonics, climate, geology, and further landscape evolution. Landform interpretation using maps, surface water hydrology,and other applications.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 001 GEOL 007, or instructor consent; 1 year of college calculus and physics recommended.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 135: Geochemistry
        4 Units
        Application of geochemical and thermodynamic principles to solution of geologic problems. Topics include: equilibrium-disequilibrium reactions, major and trace element behavior, isotope systematics, and modern analytical methods.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 122 and CHEM 1B (or equivalent).
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 137: Intro to GPS/GIS for Geologic Applications
        4 Units
        Introduction to digital geologic mapping and analysis using Trimble GPS and ArcView GIS.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 001 and GEOL 007, or instructor consent. Computer literacy assumed.
        Format: Lecture 2 hours/lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 138: Hydrogeology
        4 Units
        Geological principles of the occurrence, accumulation, and migration of water; groundwater as a manageable resource; groundwater geochemistry and contaminant transport.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 125, or instructor consent.
        Recommend: MATH 32 and GEOL 135.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 140: Principles of Engineering Geology
        4 Units
        Qualitative and quantitative analysis of geologic factors influencing site selection, development and use; methods of data collection, interpretation, and presentations.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 125.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 142: Paleontology
        3 Units
        Study of the major groups of invertebrate fossils and their use in geological studies; principles of stratigraphy, including seismic stratigraphy.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 001 and GEOL 007.
        Format: Lecture 2 hours/lab and field trips 3 hours.
  • GEOL 143: Active Tectonics
        4 Units
        This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of Active Tectonics. The aim of the course is to provide students with a comprehensive and quantitative understanding of the tectonic and surficial processes that shape the Earth's surface. Prerequisites: Geol 1, 7, and 28. Geol 137 recommended. 
        FormatLecture 4 hours/Lab 3 hours
  • GEOL 147: Introduction to Applied Geophysics
        3 Units
        Introduction to modern geophysical techniques with emphasis and environmental applications. Field techniques and case histories.
        Prerequisite: PHYS 2A and PHYS 2B (or equivalent); and a 100W course.
        Format: Lecture 2 hours/lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 168A: Global Climate Change I
        6 Units
        *Satisfies Areas R, S, and V of SJSU Studies*
        Scientific and social scientific approaches to the process and effects of global climate change: Climate changes in the Earth's past, interactions between climate and life, anthropogenic climate change, socioeconomic contexts of environmental effects, cultural influences on climate change mitigation strategies.
        Prerequisite: Completion of core GE, satisfaction of Writing Skills Test and upper division standing. For students who begin continuous enrollment at a CCC or a CSU in Fall 2005 or later, completion of, or corequisite in a 100W course is required.
  • GEOL 168B: Global Climate Change II
      
     3 Units
        *Satisfies Areas R, S, and V of SJSU Studies*
        Scientific and social scientific approaches to the process and effects of global climate change: Climate changes in the Earth's past, interactions between climate and life, anthropogenic climate change, socioeconomic contexts of environmental effects, cultural influences on climate change mitigation strategies.
        Prerequisites: COMM/ENVS/GEOL/HUM/METR 168A, with a grade of "C" or better ("C-" not accepted); Completion of core GE, satisfaction of Writing Skills Test and upper division standing. For students who begin continuous enrollment at a CCC or a CSU in Fall 2005 or later, completion of, or corequisite a 100W course is required.
  • GEOL 174: Hazardous Materials
        3 Units
        Review of current methods and procedures for management of hazardous materials and hazardous wastes; analysis of contaminated systems and remedial actions.
        Prerequisite: PHYS 51, PHYS 52, or PHYS 71 and CHEM 1A, or instructor consent.
  • GEOL 184: Directed Reading
        1-3 Units
        Reading of books, journals and papers chosen to fill gaps in training. Evaluation through weekly reports and conference.