Subject Matter Program (Geosciences)

Units required for the Subject Matter Program: 70

Program Description

The subject matter program provides the minimum preparation for geology majors interested in pursuing the single subject teaching credential in the sciences with a concentration in the geosciences. This program meets the standards for academic preparation set by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and qualifies students to teach all four of the natural sciences and the geosciences at the high school level.


  • Credential candidates who complete this subject matter program in the sciences will have gained the confidence and ability to do science. They will understand that science is not just a collection of facts to be memorized but a creative and dynamic process which when applied can lead to understanding and appreciation of the natural world. This attitude will be reflected in their classrooms and will make them good models for pre-college students.
  • Science majors who intend to pursue a teaching credential should see a faculty advisor or the department chair in the department of their academic major. It is recommended that they do so early as it is critical that their science coursework be carefully planned and coordinated with the professional teacher preparation program. In addition, students are encouraged to become involved with education related activities like grading, assisting in labs, tutoring K-12 students, visiting schools, and actually teaching; all experiences that can be arranged through your advisor and the Center for Mathematics and Science Education.

Minimum Grade Requirement

A grade of at least a "C-" and an overall GPA of 2.7 in all courses in the Science Subject Matter Program are required for admission to the Teacher Education Program.

It is recommended that all coursework for the Subject Matter Program be completed before starting the Teacher Education Program. At least 15 units of the coursework or equivalent work experience must be current, i.e., completed within the past six years.

It is also possible to obtain admission to the Professional Education Program by passing a series of subject-matter examinations specified by the CTC in lieu of this Science Subject Matter Program. For information about this option contact the Teacher Preparation Program Office, Eureka Hall 216, (916) 278-6403).

Notes: Due to policy changes from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the federal No Child Left Behind mandate, the Science Subject Matter program was under review at the time of this catalog printing and is subject to revision. As a result, it is important to consult a credential advisor for current details.

Attendance at 16 colloquia, verified by faculty signature, is required.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Core Courses (35 Units)
ASTR 4BIntroduction to Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology3
BIO 10Basic Biological Concepts3
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I5
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry II5
GEOL 10Physical Geology3
GEOL 10LPhysical Geology Lab1
GEOL 12Historical Geology3
Select one of the following:4
Calculus I for the Social and Life Sciences
Pre-Calculus Mathematics
Calculus I
PHYS 5AGeneral Physics: Mechanics, Heat, Sound4
PHYS 5BGeneral Physics: Light, Electricity and Magnetism, Modern Physics4
Upper Division Courses (33 Units)
GEOL 100Mineralogy4
GEOL 102Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology4
GEOL 103Sedimentology/Stratigraphy4
GEOL 105Paleontology4
GEOL 110AStructural Geology and Tectonics4
GEOL 111AField Geology2
GEOL 111BField Techniques2
GEOL 112Geophysics For Geologists3
Select one of the following electives:3
Geology of California
Geology and the Environment
Select 3 units from an applied geology elective3
Total Units68