Minor in Geobiology

  Geobiology Geohazards

The minor in geobiology is designed to allow students majoring in biology to incorporate interdisciplinary courses in earth sciences into their program or to allow students majoring in geology to incorporate interdisciplinary courses in biology into their program. This field represents the intersection of what have been traditional disciplines and is valuable for understanding evolution, environmental contaminant behavior, and ocean sciences. Students with majors offered by biological or Earth or geological sciences will be able to complete this minor with 16 to 24 units of course work beyond their major requirements. Other students may need to complete up to 48 units of course work beyond their major requirements.

For example, students majoring in biological sciences might take an introductory GEOL course; GEOL 315L; GEOL 433L or BISC 483; and two additional upper-division elective courses from the list below. Students majoring in earth or geological sciences must take BISC 120L and BISC 220L; GEOL 433L or BISC 483; and three additional elective courses. Courses selected must include at least 16 units unique to the minor and at least 16 units in a department outside the major.

Required courses

Units

BISC 120Lx General Biology: Organismal Biology and Evolution 4
BISC 220L General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology 4
CHEM 105aLbL General Chemistry 4-4
GEOL 315L Minerals and Earth Systems 4

Elective courses

Units

One introductory GEOL course (4 units):  
GEOL 105L Planet Earth 4
GEOL 107Lx Oceanography 4
GEOL 108L Crises of a Planet 4
GEOL 125L Earth History: A Planet and Its Evolution 4
GEOL 130L The Nature of Scientific Inquiry 4
GEOL 150L Climate Change 4
GEOL 240Lx Earthquakes 4
BISC 483* Geobiology and Astrobiology, or  
GEOL 433L Paleontology and Evolution in Deep Time 4
Three upper-division BISC courses** 12
Two courses from the following (8 units):  
BISC 474L* Ecosystem Function and Earth Sciences 4
BISC 483* Geobiology and Astrobiology 4
GEOL 320L Surficial Processes and Stratigraphic Systems 4
GEOL 412 Oceans, Climate and the Environment 4
GEOL 433L Paleontology and Evolution in Deep Time 4
GEOL 450L Geosystems 4
GEOL 460L Geochemistry and Hydrogeology 4
GEOL 470 Environmental Hydrogeology 4

*Indicates BISC course that is also cross-listed under GEOL
**Must carry credit for a biology major

  • Zumberge Hall of Science (ZHS)
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0740
  • Phone: (213) 740-6106
  • Email: earthsci@usc.edu