About the Geology Program
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 histories.
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.
Degrees and Certificates
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.
Additional graduation requirements for an Associate degree from Santa Monica College are listed in the Academics section of the course catalog as well as online at www.smc.edu/articulation.
Potential Career Options
Click on any job title to learn more.
|Job Title||Typical Education||Median Wage|
|Environmental Engineers||Master's Degree||$101,504|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists||Bachelor's Degree||$71,873|
|Gem & Diamond Workers||Bachelor's Degree||$31,372|
|GIS Technicians||Bachelor's Degree||$76,594|
|Geological Sample Test Technicians||Bachelor's Degree||$37,100|
|Geoscientists, except Hydrologists and Geographers||Bachelor's Degree||$72,460|
|Geophysical Data Technicians||Bachelor's Degree||$37,100|
|Geothermal Production Managers||Bachelor's Degree||$108,103|
|Mining & Geological Engineers, including Mining Safety Engineers||Bachelor's Degree||$74,029|
|Natural Sciences Managers||Bachelor's Degree||$90,251|
|Petroleum Engineers||Bachelor's Degree||$123,831|
|Soil & Water Conservationists||Bachelor's Degree||$69,797|
|Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, & Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary||Doctoral Degree||$82,451|
Additional career options: Geochemist, Geophysicist, Planetary Geologist, and Paleontologist.
(This list is by no means comprehensive.)