The Geology department at Pasadena City College was founded in 1927 by Edwin Van Amringe and has a long history of excellence. PCC’s geology courses cover a broad spectrum, from basic physical and historical geology to classes that focus on study of geologically important areas throughout the western United States. The 2-year program boasts 4 full-time faculty members and provides ample opportunity for field studies.

All Geology classes at PCC carry transfer credit towards bachelors’ degrees in areas such as Geology, Geophysics, Engineering Geology, Paleobiology, and Space Physics. PCC graduates have gone on to become research scientists, professors, and professional geologists in a variety of fields.

The department welcomes all students interested in geology and earth sciences whether they are pursuing a geologic career, meeting general education requirements or broadening their education for personal enrichment.

The Geology faculty are well-qualified professionals who are personally interested in the success of their students. All classes are taught by faculty, not student assistants. The program has modern equipment and facilities that are easily accessible to students.


Recommended Pre-Requisites for Geology

  • ENG 1A eligible (New students must pass the English placement test  or have completed ENGL 100 or ESL 33B with a grade C or better)
  • Chem 1A Ready: Completion of Math 131 or its equivalent, and Chem 22 or equivalent skills as demonstrated through placement based on the chemistry assessment process.)

Transfer Information

Are you finishing up your geology coursework at PCC and thinking, now what? Luckily, there are a wide variety of transfer options for you. Here are just a few of the many options to further your education in biology. One tip when planning to transfer is to make sure to check very carefully the deadlines for admission as they are often all different!

    • ASSIST is the official online student-transfer information system that shows how course credits earned at one public California college or university can be applied when transferred to another. Read More
  • Transfer Admissions Guarantee
    • The Transfer Guaranteed Admission (TAG) is a commitment that selected colleges and universities make to PCC students who meet basic transfer requirements. Students who complete an agreed upon sequence of classes in general education and a selected major with a stated minimum GPA can apply to the four-year institution within a prescribed time-frame and be “guaranteed admission.” Read More.
  • California State University, Sacramento (CSUS)
    • CSUS offers B.A. and B.S. degrees in Geology and a B.A. degree in Earth Science and a Master of Science degree in Geology, with student opportunities in applied hydrogeology, aqueous geochemistry, engineering geology, geophysics, groundwater modeling, igneous petrology, mineralogy, sedimentology & stratigraphy, structure & tectonics, surficial processes, and volcanology. Read More
  • California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)
    • The Department of Geological Sciences at CSULB is a student-centered program. It provides undergraduate majors with substantial laboratory and field-based instruction and opportunities to participate in research, and graduate students investigate a considerable range and variety of research topics for their M.S. theses. Read More
  • California State University, Northridge (CSUN)
    • The Department of Geological Sciences at CSUN offers Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in Geology, Environmental Geology, and Secondary Teaching and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Geology.  These options provide ample theoretical and practical opportunities essential for further studies and for professional careers in engineering and environmental industries, petroleum, governmental agencies and teaching careers. Read More
  • California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA)
    • CSULA’s geology department offers rigorous academic and much needed technical training in urban and environmental issues. Through their department of Geosciences and Environment, students have the opportunity to earn a B.S. degree and an M.S. degree  in geology. Read More
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
    • UCLA students with a general interest in science are encouraged to enroll in an undergraduate program in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences. Students are trained in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences, and their application to understanding the earth, the solar system, space, and the evolution and origin of life. UCLA offers the bachelor of science degree with five different specializations: Geology, Engineering Geology, Paleobiology, Applied Geophysics, and Geophysics and Space Physics. Read More
  • University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
    • The Geology major at UCSD is designed to allow students flexibility in tailoring the curriculum to their interests. Compared to the Earth Sciences/Geochemistry and Earth Sciences/Geophysics tracks, it requires more earth science and fewer non-earth science courses. Read More

Geology Field Trip Courses

Field trip courses are an integral part of the PCC geology program. The following is a sampling of field trip destinations and topics emphasized for the last few years:

  • Northern Colorado Plateau (Mesozoic-Cenozoic stratigraphy)
  • Central Rockies (Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho)
  • Santa Cruz Island (evolution of California coastal geology)
  • Owens Valley (volcanic and glacial geomorphology)
  • Klamath Mountains (plate boundary study)
  • Northern Transverse Ranges (from subduction to transform boundary)
  • Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River by backpack (Sierra Nevada Batholith)
  • Rainbow Basin (introduction to mapping)
  • White-Inyo Mountains (introduction to mapping)
  • Southern Orange County and San Diego (coastal oceanography)
  • San Andreas Fault from Palmdale to Wrightwood (overview of fault history)
  • Palos Verdes Peninsula (Cenozoic evolution and beach processes)
  • San Gabriel Mountains (an overview of the history of the range)
  • Geology of the Pasadena area (geologic features in an urban setting)
  • Death Valley (basin and range structure and stratigraphy)
  • Costa Rica (volcanoes, rainforests, and active plate margins)
  • Baja California (biology and geology)
  • Project Pele (study of geology and ecology of Hawaiian Islands)
  • Mojave Desert (stratigraphy and volcanic features of the region)
  • Mt. Wilson Observatory (stargazing overnight)
  • Carrizo Plain (study of the San Andreas and related geomorphology)

The Dana Club

Established in 1937, the Dana Club is the oldest club on the Pasadena City College campus. This student organization sponsors guest lectures, arranges informal field trips, and engages in several fund-raising activities to support Geology scholarships and special projects. The club accepts donations of rock and mineral specimens to prepare as study material or sell at the PCC flea market. In conjunction with the biology club, the Dana Club established and maintains a rock and cactus garden on the college campus.

Traditionally the Dana Club has sponsored many field trips to areas of geological interest in the western U.S. Recent trips have included the Nopah Range of eastern California, Santa Cruz Island, the Long Valley Caldera, and Catalina.

The Dana Club also has a long-standing tradition of assisting the Mineralogical Society of Southern California in hosting an annual gem and mineral show. Now known as the California Show, it is held each year in November at the Pomona Fairplex.

Career Information

Geology can be a very interesting and rewarding career. Geologists work in a variety of settings. These include natural resource companies, environmental consulting companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and universities. Many geologists do field work at least part of the time. Others spend their time in laboratories, classrooms or offices. All geologists prepare reports, do calculations, and use computers. Employment opportunities for geologists are very good. Most geology graduates with a strong academic background and good grades have no trouble finding employment if they are willing to move to a location where work is available.

Not sure where to start or what you want to do?  Browse our Careers App with careers related to all STEM degrees — with job title, description, necessary schooling, and salary.  Go to STEM Careers now and check it out!

Contact Us

The Geology Department is on the main floor of the E- Building, next to the Shatford Library.

For information about the Geology program, contact the Natural Sciences Division at:

Telephone: 626-585-7140
Fax: 626-585-7978

Office: SV6


eSTEM Feedback

We appreciate any and all feedback about our site; praise, ideas, bug reports you name it!