Resources for Current Students

Faculty Advising

It is recommended that all students meet with a faculty advisor. Faculty advisors are experts in your field; they possess in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and opportunities in the field. They can provide mentoring, recommend courses for your major, help you refine your education goals, advise you on graduate school and career possibilities, and discuss research opportunities. Students are encouraged to attend office hours or contact a faculty member to set up an advising session. Be sure to prepare beforehand by reading up on the faculty members research focus as outlined on their Earth & Planetary Sciences Faculty web page.

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.


E&PS conducts two weekly seminar series: the Whole Earth Seminar (Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m. in NatSci Annex 101) and the IGPP (Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics) Seminar (Fridays, 12:00 p.m. in E&MS A340). 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