Additional Information for Majors

Education Abroad Program

You may be interested in participating in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) during your junior or senior year. Be sure to check early on with the department advisor to see how the time away will affect your progress toward the degree and which courses taken abroad could apply towards the major. Informational brochures are available in the department office and the EAP office, located in room 205, Classroom Unit Building. Check out their website for more information.

Independent Studies

Independent studies courses with faculty (EART 195, 196B, 198 and 199) are designed to provide opportunities for advanced work on subjects or problems for which the student has obtained a grounding in regular courses taken previously for the major. These may include research with lab or field components culminating in a written report or senior thesis, training in teaching skills in conjunction with an Earth sciences course offering, internships with local companies and governmental agencies, or participation in a field project.

Majors may use no more than one course (EART 198 or 199) toward the upper-division elective requirements. EART 195, Senior Thesis or EART 196B, Teaching in the Earth Sciences may not count toward major course requirements. To be designated as lab- or field-intensive, special approval must be obtained from the supervising instructor and the department's Faculty Undergraduate Advisor. Credit for independent studies courses gets approved through completion of a petition (see the Staff Undergraduate Adviser's office in Undergraduate Affairs). Once your faculty sponsor has approved your plan and signed the form, the Staff Undergraduate Adviser will assign you the class number needed for enrollment.

All details regarding the completion of the course, such as how many hours of work will be required each week and what type of final paper or report must be turned in, are worked out between you and your faculty sponsor. Arrangements for Senior Thesis work should be discussed with your faculty sponsor well in advance, ideally during your junior year or very early in your senior year.

Internship Program

This program provides year-round opportunities with local companies and agencies to advanced students seeking work placements related to Earth and planetary sciences topics. The internship involves both work at the internship site and development of the academic context of the work through either company/agency or campus resources. The student enrolls in EART 198 (Earth Sciences Internship) after his/her placement is arranged via the department's Internship Director. The final paper for the internship develops each student's skills in the writing and revising of professional reports. You may receive 2 or 5 credits of academic work during one quarter, and internships may also provide a salary. Students may receive credit for internships completed during the summer or any quarter of the academic year.

Application forms are available the the PBSci Undergraduate Affairs office and at announced meetings prior to the beginning of each quarter.

Keeping in Contact

Mail folders have been set up in EMS A234 to help us keep in contact with you, so we encourage you to check them occasionally. You must maintain your main box at your college, as this is cannot be used as your mailing address.

Be sure to set up your free email account with ITS, since important notices pertaining to all undergraduate majors and minors may be relayed electronically from department faculty and staff. Please notify us when you change your email address or use mail servers other than ITS.

We maintain bulletin boards both next to the department office (EMS A234) and in the D-wing of the building (near the teaching labs) where all sorts of information is posted (e.g., scholarship, graduate school, employment and internship opportunities, notices from the Registrar's Office, department seminar series and related campus events).

There are a variety of department-sponsored events for you to socialize with your peers, graduate students, faculty and staff, so watch for posted signs and mail. Each spring quarter we have a departmental picnic for everyone to celebrate the end of the academic year, and a special ceremony/reception for our graduating seniors and their families. During each quarter we have a weekly informal "Tea Hour" (usually on Mondays, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.) where everyone can get together for tea and cookies in the first floor open space in the southwest corner of the building.


E&PS conducts two weekly seminar series: the Whole Earth Seminar (Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. in NatSci Annex 101) and the IGPP (Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics) Seminar (Fridays, 3:30 p.m. in E&MS B210 or B214). Scientists from other institutions and organizations such as the U.S. Geological Survey or NASA-Ames Research Center come to give talks on their current research. Speakers are advised that the audience include faculty, graduate students and undergraduate majors. We encourage you to attend these talks to learn about the latest research and to interact informally with non-UCSC professionals. A schedule is always posted at the department office.

See Also