Jul 17, 2024  
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog 
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog

Earth and Environmental Science, BA

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The Earth and Environmental Science BA is designed to provide students with a firm foundation in the geological sciences. A diversity of elective courses allow students interested in related fields to build a supplementary minor. It provides a clear path to graduation and is ideal for students pursuing careers in earth science education, state agencies, environmental geology, and hydrogeology.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Understanding of environmental processes, resource management, and the interconnectedness of Earth systems, empowering students to contribute to sustainable practices and solutions in geoscience and beyond.
  2. Acquire proficiency in the Earth Science terminology, concepts, and theories, facilitating effective communication and comprehension within the Earth and Environmental Sciences related fields.
  3. Develop the ability to gather environmental data through both laboratory and field observations, and to analyze and interpret these data logically in order to form meaningful conclusions.
  4. Cultivate the skills to compare, contrast, and appreciate diverse perspectives within the realm of Earth and Environmental Sciences, including historical and contemporary controversies.
  5. Gain a comprehensive understanding, as well as the broader context of California, considering the interplay between local and large-scale environmental processes.
  6. Understand the interconnectedness of Earth’s systems, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, and how human activities impact these systems.

Degree Requirements

See the “Degree Requirements ” in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

General Education Requirements (48 units)

See the “General Education ” requirements in the University Catalog for information on General Education requirements. Some major requirements may double count for GE requirements.

Required Major Core Courses

Major Electives

Choose 33 additional units of Earth Science-related courses in consultation with a major advisor. See list of suggested courses on the following page. Major Elective courses must be approved by a major advisor. At least 20 units must be 200-level or above, and at least 15 units must be Geology courses.


Total units in major electives: 33

Total units in supporting courses: 10-14

Total units in the major core: 61-65*

Suggested Major Elective Courses

Studio Art

Secondary Education Teaching Preparation

Geology and Earth Science students must demonstrate competence in the natural sciences by passing the subject matter examination required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). One part of the examination will test breadth of knowledge in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and geology. Another part of the examination will test depth of knowledge in a particular area, such as geology. The BS in Geology or the BA in Earth Science degrees are recommended to prepare for the part of the examination that tests depth of knowledge in geology. For recommended course selection to help prepare for the part of the examination that tests breadth of scientific knowledge, please see the Teaching Credential section of the SSU catalog. GEOL 107, Introduction to Earth Science, is specifically designed for students who are preparing to take the CCTC single-subject exam. For more information, please contact the Department of Geology, (707) 664-2334.

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