Graduate Course Listing


Undergraduate Courses

Graduate Courses

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

Graduate courses are typically offered biennially.

Please see our Provisional Schedule (PDF) for a list of future Geology classes or our Class Schedule for a master list of upcoming classes (updated each semester).

Please visit the for further information.


  • GEOL 213: Advanced Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
        4 Units
        Igneous and metamorphic processes and the evolution of the lithosphere. Application of field, petrographic and chemical data to models of petrogenesis. Laboratory emphasizes microscope studies and computer modeling.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 121 (or equivalent).
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours; field trips.
  • GEOL 214: Sedimentary Petrology and Petrography
        4 Units
        Petrographic study of sedimentary rocks with application of petrographic information to reconstructions of source terranes, depositional conditions and diagenesis. Discussion of nature and origin of carbonate and terrigenous components is emphasized.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 124 and GEOL 213 or instructor consent.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours.
  • GEOL 222: Advanced Sedimentary Geology
        4 Units
        Analysis of sedimentary facies, patterns of facies architecture and major controls on evolution of sedimentary basins.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 123 and GEOL 127.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours; field trips.
  • GEOL 231: Advanced Structural Geology
        4 Units
        Analysis of deformed rocks with emphasis on deformation mechanisms, small-scale structures, shear zones, faults and folds. Techniques of strain analysis and analyzing structure on maps are emphasized in the laboratory.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 125.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours
  • GEOL 234: Advanced Geomorphology
        4 units
        Analysis of the role of geomorphology in affecting large-scale processes such as mountain uplift and the global climate. Topics include erosion, chemical weathering, and rock strength. Analysis of large data sets, ArcGIS, and modeling using Matlab emphasized in the laboratory.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 134 or instructor consent.  
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours; field trips.
  • GEOL 237: Advanced GIS/GPS Mapping
        3 Units
       Advanced methods of ArcGIS mapping and analysis using published digital datasets and/or student-generated Differential GPS files. Topics vary, depending on student interest, but are generally limited to natural sciences.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 137 or instructor consent. 
        Format: Lecture 4 hours/lab 3 hours
  • GEOL 238: Advanced Hydrogeology
        4 Units
        Numerical methods in groundwater modeling, vadose zone monitoring and transport and geochemistry of natural and contaminated waters.
        Prerequisite: GEOL 138 or instructor consent.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours; field trips.
  • GEOL 242: Advanced Paleontology
        4 Units
        The lecture portion of this course will be conducted as a seminar; students will read and discuss classic and important newer papers on macroevolutionary theory and paleobiology. In the lab portion of this course, students will use fossil samples to develop and test scientific hypotheses that will be part of a semester-long project.
        Prerequisites: Suitable background in geology or evolutionary biology.
        Format: Lecture 4 hours/lab 3 hours
  • GEOL 255: Advanced Geology
        4 Units
        Selected topics in geology. Topics change with each offering.
        Prerequisite: Suitable background in geology.
        Format: Lecture 3 hours/lab 3 hours
  • GEOL 285: Seminar
        2 Units
        Fundamental problems in geology. Topics change with each offering. May be repeated when content changes.
        Prerequisite: Instructor consent.
        Format: Discussion 2 hours.
  • GEOL 298: Research
        1-4 Units
        Advanced individual study in geology.
  • GEOL 299: Master's Thesis
        1-4 Units
        Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy for the master's degree.