Earth and Physical Sciences Building

GEL Orientation for New Students

Welcome new Aggies! Here you will find information for preparing to register for Fall classes. Please read it carefully, and feel free to contact your major advisor with any questions. 

The first step to orienting yourself to UC Davis is to complete Aggie 101 online. Once you have done that, use this page to learn the basics about your major. You will get a chance to review this information in a virtual one-on-one appointment with your major advisor before you register for Fall classes. In addition, you will learn more about your major requirements and opportunities during Aggie Orientation in September, and through events early in Fall Quarter.


Welcome to UC Davis Geology!

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences is thrilled to have you join our community. You have a lot of great resources for success to take advantage of as a Geology major. Some of these include:

  • Getting involved – there are three Geology-related clubs you can join, as well as many other ways to get involved in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. These clubs give students an opportunity to meet other Geology students, be mentored by older students and graduate students, develop professional skills, and have fun!
  • Do undergraduate research – students have unique opportunies to get highly involved in research in this collaborative, creative department. 
  • Take part in internships – many of our students work in nearby Sacramento, gaining skills for the workplace. The CalTeach/MAST program connects future teachers with classroom experience. 
  • Study abroad – gain global experience while working on major or general education coursework.
  • Prepare for careers or graduate school
  • Scholarships – including merit-based or need-based scholarships, and support for research projects and fieldwork. 
  • Engage with faculty and advisors to support you and your individual goals

Preparing for Fall Quarter course registration
First-Year students | Transfer Students


First-Year students | Preparing for Fall Quarter course registration

The Geology major starts with basic science preparatory courses for the first two years: Math, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, and Geology. It is recommended to start with Math and Chemistry.

  • Math
    • Major requirement: MAT 16A or 17A or 21A. MAT 17A is recommended. 
    • Remember to take the Math Placement Exam during the open testing window online.
    • If you have not yet placed into one of these classes, speak with your major advisor about which math class is most appropriate for you.
    • If you have AP or IB credit for a calculus class, it’s still recommended that you start at the “A” level. 
  • Chemistry
    • Major requirement: CHE 2A. 
    • Remember to take the Chemistry Placement Exam during the open testing window online.
    • If you have not yet placed into CHE 2A, speak with your major advisor about which chemistry preparation option is most appropriate for you.
      • WLD 41C: Fall class. Then you would take CHE 2A in Winter. 
      • ALEKS program: Summer online chemistry preparation. If choosing this option, go ahead and register for Fall’s CHE 2A now. You will retake the Chemistry Placement test in September after completing ALEKS online
    • If you have AP or IB credit for a Chemistry class, it’s still recommended that you start at the “A” level. 

Recommended first-quarter schedule:

Reminders:

  • Don’t take courses you already have AP, IB, or transfer credit for (unless marked as “duplicate credit allowed”)
  • If you can only get into 1 or even no major classes, that’s fine. Everything will count for something useful towards graduation at this point. 
  • Only take lower division courses for now (#1-99)
  • Create backup schedules on Schedule Builder for a smoother registration process. 

Planning your Geology Major: 4-year GEL Sample Academic Plans
First Quarter Recommendation Worksheet_GEL FY (pdf)


Transfer students | Preparing for Fall Quarter course registration

 1. Check your transfer coursework on assist.org. Once it is received and processed by UC Davis, it will also show up on OASIS, along with the equivalent UC Davis course.

  • If you have non-California Community College credit, contact equivalent departments at UC Davis to get courses articulated. Your major advisor can help you with this process. 
  • Do not take any classes at UC Davis that you already have transfer credit for.

2. Determine what preparatory science coursework you have left to complete. Those classes are the priority for Fall. Take 2-3 major classes and fill in with non-major classes. 

3. If you are done with preparatory science coursework, follow the sample academic plan for transfer students on the Planning your Geology Major webpage.

  • If you’re interested in field work next summer, make sure you prioritize GEL 60, GEL 109, and GEL 109L

4. Final course schedules should have 2-4 major classes, then fill in with non-major classes for a total of 12-15 units. Filler options:

 Reminders:

  • Create backup schedules on Schedule Builder for a smoother registration process. 

Planning your Geology Major: 2-year Sample Academic Plans


Ready to talk to a major advisor? 

Once you have read the information above, feel free to start planning your Fall Quarter schedule on Schedule Builder. Visit the advising page to make an appointment with your major advisor to talk about your specific plan. Click “schedule an appointment” and be sure to indicate “New Student Orientation” as the reason. 

Aggie Orientation

Watch for information from the UC Davis Orientation program regarding the mandatory in-person Orientation between move-in and the start of Fall Quarter. Some major-related activities include:

  • Drop-in advising for quick questions or schedule adjustments. Don’t worry – You’ll have a chance to learn more in-depth information about your major before Winter registration
  • Geology Major Advising: Tuesday, September 29th from 3pm-5pm in 1309 Earth and Physical Sciences Building - meet other new students and prepare for starting your Geology major at UC Davis!