Geology encompasses all studies of Earth processes and is one of the cornerstone programs
within the Earth Science Department. Students taking a geology course at SMC will
gain a scientific understanding o geologic processes that shape the Earth’s surface,
oceans, and atmosphere. They will study Earth’s origin, interior processes, plate
tectonics theory, the evolution of surface environments, the linkage between climate
and biology, and the various ways in which these processes are recorded in the rock
record. Courses focus on the application of the scientific method to natural phenomena
like the origin and evolution of life, climate change, assessment of geologic hazards,
and the formation and utilization of geologic resources.
Program Level Outcomes
Upon completion of Geology courses students will be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of the physical structure and morphology of the Earth
and operation of Earth systems through a plate tectonic paradigm.
Identify and classify Earth materials and demonstrate an understanding of their formational
All classes meet IGETC and GE transfer requirements. Courses are not sequential; there
are no prerequisites unless indicated.
Geology 1: Physical Geology w/o Lab
Geology 3: Introduction to Environmental Geology
Geology 4: Physical Geology with Lab
Geology 5: Earth History with Lab
Geology 10: Exploration of the Solar System
Geology 31: Introduction to Physical Oceanography
Geology 35 (A-Z): Field Studies in Geology
Many colleges and universities offer baccalaureate degrees in this field. Students
planning to transfer to a four-year college or university need to know which courses
completed at Santa Monica College will be accepted at the specific college/university.
Please consult a Counselor. SMC has transfer articulation agreements with the many UC and CSU campuses, as well as several private and out-of-state institutions.
Currently, there are no degrees or certificates offered in this discipline at Santa
Monica College. Most students should plan to transfer to a four-year institution to
continue their education toward a degree in this discipline. Transferring students who wish to qualify for an Associate degree before leaving
Santa Monica College should select either the General Science or Liberal Arts major.
Below is more information about those optional Associate degrees.
ASSOCIATE IN ARTS DEGREE - GENERAL SCIENCE
20 units + General Education Requirements
The objectives of this program are to prepare students for upper division study in
a field of science at a four‐year college and/or to earn an Associate degree.