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Geosciences: Geophysics Emphasis

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Geosciences: Geophysics Emphasis

Bachelor of Science

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Geosciences is the study of the Earth, including its formation and chemical, physical and biological aspects. These studies form the basis for improved approaches to issues in natural resources, geohazards, and environmental impacts. Geoscientists also study how the lithosphere interacts with the hydrosphere and atmosphere. The department's renowned Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research uses tree-rings to study climatic, ecological, environmental and archaeological problems. Majors study tectonics, geophysics, geochemistry, geochronology and thermodynamics, seismology, paleobiology, economic geology and quaternary studies, which examines the more recent history of the Earth. Students may concentrate on geology or geophysics. A teaching major is also offered, leading to certification to teach earth sciences in Arizona public schools.

Major Details

College: College of Science
Admissions Requirements:

No Additional Requirements

Math Required:


    This strand involves skill and facility with calculus. The S-strand begins at one of two calculus options - MATH 124 (Calculus I with Applications) or MATH 125 (Calculus I). Students who successfully complete the S-strand may continue on to MATH 129 (Calculus II), MATH 223 (Vector Calculus), or beyond. Those who choose but are not ready to begin the S-strand will be required to take preparatory work.
Second Language Required:

2 Semesters

  • Scoring the equivalent of second-semester skill level on an entrance or placement examination administered by The University of Arizona.
  • Completion with a C or better of a second semester course at the post-secondary level.
  • An AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate) or CLEP (College Level Entrance Program) language score determined by the individual language department.
  • In the College of Engineering by a method determined within the College; however, all students in the college must also take a language placement examination on entrance to the University.
2 Semesters
Fees: No
Pre-Major: No
Available at:
  • Main Campus

Four-Year Plan

Archived plans are available on Degree Search 2011-2017 for many degree plans. These are sample plans. Please work with your academic advisor for more specific and up-to-date requirements.

Select a year:

UA Course Requirements Units
1st Semester
GEOS 251 Physical Geology 4
MATH 122A 1
MATH 122B 4
ENGL 101 First Year Composition 3
CHEM 151 General Chemistry I 4
Second Semester Second Language 4
2nd Semester
MATH 129 Calculus II 3
CHEM 152 General Chemistry II 4
ENGL 102 First Year Composition 3
Tier I General Education 3
Tier I General Education 3
3rd Semester
GEOS 302 Principles of Stratigraphy and Sedimentation 4
MATH 223 Vector Calculus 4
PHYS 141 Introductory Mechanics 4
Computer Science 3
4th Semester
GEOS 304 Structural Geology 4
GEOS 322 Geophysics 3
MATH 254 Intro to Ordinary Differential Equations 3
PHYS 241 Intro Electricity Magnetism 4
Tier I General Education 3
5th Semester
GEOS 306 Mineralogy 3
PHYS 142 Introductory Optics and Thermodynamics 3
MATH 322 Math Analysis 3
Tier I General Education 3
Tier II General Education 3
6th Semester
GEOS 356 Petrology 4
Additional PHYS class 3
Tier II General Education 3
Tier II General Education 3
6th Semester Summer
GEOS 414 Geology Field Camp 6
7th Semester
GEOS 434A Exploration Seismology 3
GEOS 448 Geophysical Exploration 3
GEOP Advisor-approved 3
GEOP Advisor-approved 3
8th Semester
GEOS 432 Seismology 3
GEOS 419 Physics of the Earth 3
GEOS 416 Field Studies in Geophysics 3
GEOP Advisor-approved 3

AZ Transfer Pathways

This page is designed for in-state transfer students who plan to attend the University of Arizona. The information presented lists the most accurate course equivalencies and may not include all possible requirements. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to use this site for reference only and not for self-advising.

Transfer students should work with their community colleges and UA advisors to develop an individualized plan for transfer, and visit

  • All posted Pathways (except for Bachelor of Applied Science Pathways) fulfill an AGEC and most also fulfill an Associate Degree
  • Following a Pathway does not guarantee admission to the UA nor admission to a college/major/program at the UA
  • Use Pathways in consultation with advisors from your community college and the UA
  • Pathways are subject to change at any time

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