Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

General Institute Requirements (GIRs)

The General Institute Requirements include a Communication Requirement that is integrated into both the HASS Requirement and the requirements of each major; see details below.

Summary of Subject Requirements Subjects
Science Requirement 6
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement; at least two of these subjects must be designated as communication-intensive (CI-H) to fulfill the Communication Requirement. 8
Restricted Electives in Science and Technology (REST) Requirement [can be satisfied by 12.001 and 18.03 in the Departmental Program] 2
Laboratory Requirement (12 units) [can be satisfied from among 12.115, 12.119, 12.307, 12.335, and 12.410[J] in the Departmental Program] 1
Total GIR Subjects Required for SB Degree 17
Physical Education Requirement
Swimming requirement, plus four physical education courses for eight points.

Departmental Program

Choose at least two subjects in the major that are designated as communication-intensive (CI-M) to fulfill the Communication Requirement.

Required SubjectsUnits
Core Material:
12.001Introduction to Geology12
12.002Introduction to Geophysics and Planetary Science12
12.003Introduction to Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics12
12.009[J]Nonlinear Dynamics: The Natural Environment12
18.03Differential Equations 112
12.TIPThesis Preparation6
12.THUUndergraduate Thesis (at least 6 units, CI-M)6
Laboratory/Field Subjects:
Select one of the following options:12-18
Option 1
Field Geology II
and Analysis of Geologic Data (CI-M)
Option 2
Field Geophysics
and Field Geophysics Analysis (CI-M)
Option 3
Weather and Climate Laboratory (CI-M)
Option 4
Experimental Atmospheric Chemistry (CI-M)
Option 5
Observational Techniques of Optical Astronomy (CI-M)
Discipline and Supporting Science Subjects
Select 60 units from either the Discipline or Supporting Science subjects; no more than 36 units can be from Supporting Science. 2, 360
Units in Major144-150
Unrestricted Electives54-72
Units in Major That Also Satisfy the GIRs(24-36)
Total Units Beyond the GIRs Required for SB Degree180

The units for any subject that counts as one of the 17 GIR subjects cannot also be counted as units required beyond the GIRs.


18.034 Differential Equations is also an acceptable option.


The program of study must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and the undergraduate committee of the department.


Students with appropriate interests may substitute two subjects in urban planning, economics, policy, or management for subjects in the Supporting Science category.

Discipline Subjects

12.006[J]Nonlinear Dynamics: Chaos12
12.007Geobiology: History of Life on Earth12
12.021Earth Science, Energy, and the Environment12
12.086Modeling Environmental Complexity12
12.102Environmental Earth Science12
12.104Geochemistry of the Earth and Planets12
12.108Structure of Earth Materials12
12.113Structural Geology12
12.114Field Geology I6
12.119Analytical Techniques for Studying Environmental and Geologic Samples12
12.120Environmental Earth Science Field Course6
12.158Molecular Biogeochemistry9
12.170Essentials of Geology12
12.201Essentials of Global Geophysics12
12.207[J]Nonlinear Dynamics: Continuum Systems12
12.213Alternate Energy Sources6
12.214Essentials of Applied Geophysics12
12.301Climate Science12
12.306Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry12
12.310An Introduction to Weather Forecasting6
12.333Atmospheric Dynamics12
12.336[J]Air Pollution12
12.338Aerosol and Cloud Microphysics and Chemistry12
12.385Science, Politics, and Environmental Policy9
12.340Global Warming Science12
12.348[J]Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy9
12.420Physics and Chemistry of the Solar System12
12.425[J]Extrasolar Planets: Physics and Detection Techniques12
12.43[J]Space Systems Engineering12
12.431[J]Space Systems Development18

Supporting Science Subjects

1.00Engineering Computation and Data Science12
Fluid Mechanics I
and Fluid Mechanics II
1.061Transport Processes in the Environment12
Environmental Chemistry I
and Environmental Chemistry II
3.012Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering15
or 5.60 Thermodynamics and Kinetics
5.03Principles of Inorganic Chemistry I12
5.12Organic Chemistry I12
5.61Physical Chemistry12
Introduction to Computer Science Programming in Python
and Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science 1
7.05General Biochemistry12
7.21Microbial Physiology12
8.03Physics III12
8.04Quantum Physics I12
8.044Statistical Physics I12
8.07Electromagnetism II12
8.09Classical Mechanics III12
8.21Physics of Energy12
12.010Computational Methods of Scientific Programming12
12.012MatLab, Statistics, Regression, Signal Processing12
Introduction to Hydrology and Water Resources
and Introduction to Hydrology Modeling
18.04Complex Variables with Applications12
18.05Introduction to Probability and Statistics12
18.06Linear Algebra12
18.100AReal Analysis 212
18.300Principles of Continuum Applied Mathematics12

The combination of 6.0001 and 6.0002 counts as a REST subject.


Alternate versions of this subject, 18.100B, 18.100P, and 18.100Q, also satisfy this requirement.