Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Geophysics (Or Geology Majors) at UCs

katc15katc15 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
I am looking to clarify a few things about my chosen major. There are few public schools in California that offer Geophysics for undergrad and from what I gather they are UC schools with maybe USC as the exception. That being said my options were fairly limited when I applied to universities in the fall as a community college transfer student. I ended up applying to UC Davis, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Diego, and UCLA. I noticed that out of these, only UCLA and Riverside use "Geophysics" as the official degree name. The rest have "Earth Science" or "Geology with an Emphasis on Geophysics" tacked on. UC Davis seems to only have a Geophysics minor in Earth Sciences department or the option to go for an Applied Physics degree with an emphasis on Geophysics. I guess my main concern is with UC Davis since I live in the Sacramento area and would prefer to stay here to finish my degree. Does anyone have any knowledge about what the differences in these titles imply? Is an Applied Physics degree essentially the same thing? I'm just confused because it is offered by the Physics department instead of the Geology department.

Also, as of now I've only received an acceptance letter from UC Riverside but in the event that I do get into all of the schools listed above, which would you recommend the most?

Lastly, I've read that it is a good idea to have some programming skills for this degree. However, I was wondering if it would be a good idea to minor in computer science or get some type of certificate of completion for a couple of programming languages. Would that give me some kind of "edge"?

Thanks in advance!

Replies to: Geophysics (Or Geology Majors) at UCs

  • loribelleloribelle Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    edited November 29
    @katc15 A UC degree in many majors often focuses on getting you immediately to grad school. I would recommend you look at University of Nevada Reno...they have a full school of earth science for all types of geo majors (geophysics, geological engineering, mining, hydrogeology, etc). Less expensive than UC’s and strong faculty tied to the industry. Lots of field work and opportunities to learn the softwares. Go to their website for more descriptions of the difference majors in the discipline. They have an excellent hire rate out of their 4 year program and if you decide to go back for your masters (typical), lots of opportunity to work there and have the tuition covered. There are also scholarships in the department and from local associations and corporations.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,550 Super Moderator
    More important than the name of the actual major is the courses, and the quality thereof, that you take. IN other words, it's possible that the "earth science" major at UCSD is functionally the same as the "geophysics" major at UC-Riverside, with similar coursework and expectations. When making your decision, take a look at the course catalogs for each school and make sure the curriculum lines up with what you want to learn.

    The same advice applies to choosing between schools with a geophysics major and schools with an applied physics major with an emphasis on geophysics. It's totally possible that the curriculum for a geophysics major looks nearly identical to an applied physics major with an emphasis on geophysics, or a minor in geophysics.

Sign In or Register to comment.