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The Geology Program

IVC offers an Associate in Arts (AA) degree in geology and provides the appropriate background for students who wish to proceed to a four-year university to complete a bachelor's degree in any of the diverse Earth sciences. Students can use the AA degree in geology to find employment as a technician, although most students continue at a university to obtain a bachelor's degree in geology or geophysics. For students who wish to transfer to the UC or CSU system, the curriculum at IVC includes courses that can be applied toward a BA or BS degree with a major in geology, geophysics, or oceanography. Classes are offered in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings during regular and summer sessions.

A Potential Major if You
  • Like to work outside
  • Enjoy nature
  • Are interested in natural resources
  • Enjoy making and reading maps
  • Wish to reduce risk from hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides
  • Want a career with good employment potential
Employment Outlook

Those who complete a bachelor's or advanced degree in Earth science, geology, geophysics, or oceanography are likely to find employment in any of many specialty fields of endeavor.
Most geologists and geophysicists work in finding and producing energy resources and minerals, including petroleum, gas, metallic minerals, and non-metallic minerals. Many geologists find employment with governmental agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey; the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; state agencies, including state and regional water quality control boards; and local governments. Others work with consulting firms, solving problems associated with mitigating hazards and addressing problems associated with pollution. Research opportunities abound in government agencies and universities in many fields of expertise. At the time they graduate, most geologists find multiple employment opportunities working in developing energy resources or minimizing natural hazards for society. The employment outlook is excellent for graduates in the Earth sciences.

Job Opportunities

Career positions and occupations vary widely in the Earth sciences. These are but a few of the potential positions that would offer good career potential:

  • Engineering geologist
  • Environmental geologist
  • Exploration geologist with an oil company
  • Exploration geologist with a minerals company
  • Production geologist
  • Marine geologist
  • Park naturalist
  • Research geologist
  • Paleontologist
  • State Geological Survey geologist
  • County geologist
  • City geologist
  • Science teacher
  • Professor


Lianna Zhao, MD
Dean, Physical Sciences and Technologies

T: 949-451-5561
O: LSB 202