Undergraduate students can pursue one of the following five options: geobiology, geochemistry, geology, geophysics, or planetary science. Students also have access to a variety of elective courses that allow them to develop and explore special interests in a broad array of scientific and engineering fields.
GPS Undergraduate Program
The GPS undergraduate program is designed to provide its students with a thorough training in the geological and planetary sciences and, whenever possible, to integrate these studies with the core curriculum courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology that all students take during their first years at Caltech.
Active involvement in research, particularly during the summer, is encouraged for all of GPS's undergraduate students. For geologists, that research will include an emphasis on fieldwork, which the division believes provides the kind of firsthand experience with geological phenomena that cannot be fully gained in a classroom or laboratory.
Learning Outcomes in the GPS Division
The expectation for undergraduate students in the earth and planetary sciences in the GPS Division is that they will:
have a basic understanding of the relevant scientific principles and observations,
have the basic skills in geology, physics, chemistry, or biology to address problems in this science,
be able to communicate this scientific knowledge to scientists and the public, and
have had experience in doing research.
Undergraduate students can pursue one of the following five options (an option is Caltech's version of a major): geobiology, geochemistry, geology, geophysics, or planetary science. Students also have access to a variety of elective courses that allow them to develop and explore special interests in a broad array of scientific and engineering fields.
If you have a facility for the basic sciences and a compelling curiosity about the earth and other planets—and especially if you enjoy grappling with complex problems involving many variables—you're likely to find your niche in GPS. To apply for admission, visit undergraduate admissions.
Institutional Learning Outcomes
The Institute aims for these educational outcomes:
Graduates can analyze, synthesize, and communicate ideas.
Graduates demonstrate integrity, personal and professional responsibility, and respect for others.
Bachelor of Science graduates can identify, analyze, and solve challenging problems within and across science and engineering disciplines.
Bachelor of Science graduates can apply their analytic skills to other areas of knowledge and understand issues important in our society.
Master of Science graduates can apply advanced knowledge in a specialized area in preparation for their professional careers.
Doctor of Philosophy graduates can independently identify, analyze, and solve fundamental research problems with breadth and depth.
Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes
The Caltech Core Curriculum provides:
Substantive experience in problem solving, collaboration, and communication.
Students will be able to: a. Manage increasing academic challenges while developing resilience and confidence. b. Develop and satisfy their intellectual curiosity. c. Collaborate effectively and ethically, recognizing diverse models of academic collaboration. d. Communicate to a range of audiences through a variety of media.
A broad and rigorous foundation in the sciences. Students will be able to: a. Demonstrate understanding of foundational concepts from the sciences. b. Use disciplinary thinking, analytical skills, and a range of methods in the sciences. c. Apply their knowledge and skills to diverse problems within and across disciplines.
Significant study in the humanities and social sciences. Students will be able to: a. Explore and expand upon learning in fields beyond intended areas of specialization. b. Appreciate and understand the contributions of the humanities, social sciences, and arts to human endeavors. c. Engage in informed analysis of cultural, political, and economic issues.