About Us

Students take a break - Photo by Hue Ly

What does it mean to be a Geoscientist?

As Geoscientists, we’re curious about the natural world and how all of its different components fit together. In our teaching and our research, we investigate the fundamental processes that shape our environment, from the bottom of the ocean to the tops of mountains, from Earth’s origin 4.5 billion years ago to today. This exploration of Earth’s history, processes, and past life is critical for addressing present day societal challenges such as climate change and the conservation of our natural resources.

About the BS Geology and BS Earth System Science

At SJSU, our students learn how to make careful scientific observations and formulate their own interpretations. Our wide array of courses promote curiosity and enable insight into the complex interactions that create our environment. We focus on developing students’ written and oral communication skills and field-based research proficiency, while enhancing their computational abilities.

In addition to coursework, many of our students are involved in large-scale research projects, both in the field and in our laboratories. These types of projects include deciphering the geologic history of mountain ranges and volcanoes, conserving soil and water resources, estimating earthquake risks on nearby faults, and reconstructing the paleontological record of extinctions. Students can also take classes at SJSU's Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

Here in Silicon Valley, our graduates are hired by geotechnical and environmental consulting firms, government agencies, local tech companies, and Bay Area School Districts. More than a third of our graduates continue to advanced degree programs. PhD programs of recent graduates include Stanford University, University of Arizona, MIT, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Berkeley, University of Southern California, and University of Wisconsin.

Learn more about why you should major in the Geosciences.

About the MS degree

The MS degree in Geology is widely acknowledged as one of the top degrees at the Masters level at SJSU. Indeed, MS theses from our department have won more university awards than any other department on campus. MS students, working in close collaboration with a faculty adviser, take charge of their own research project, from start to finish. This hands-on experience prepares students for professional scientific positions with industrial concerns, governmental services, educational institutions, and Ph.D. programs.

To get started on your path to an MS degree with us, please visit our Graduate page.

About the department

Faculty in the Department of Geology conduct research in a broad variety of fields including active tectonics, hydrogeology, volcanology, paleontology, and geomorphology. Our approaches to answering scientific questions blend fieldwork, laboratory work, GIS analysis, and computer modeling.

Check out some of the exciting research happening in our department or learn about specific faculty interests through our Faculty Directory