Majors & Transferring

CCSF Earth Science Majors

Our primary goal for these majors is to provide guidance to transfer students as to how to most successfully transfer and complete a degree in their field of interest in 4 years. If in the process of following these guidelines, a student also wishes to receive an Associate's of Science (A.S.) degree, then the declared major ensures that the student has developed a foundation on which to build in the workforce or future studies. These majors have been approved by City College and the State Chancellor's Office.

Transfer Resources

Transferring for Undergraduate degrees in the Bay Area

Transferring for Undergraduate degrees in the Bay Area
(B.A. or B.S.)


General Advice: To successfully transfer to an Earth Science program at a 4-year college, you will need to complete certain prerequisites, especially if you plan to graduate 2 years after entry to the 4-year college. TO BE ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT YOU ARE TAKING THE CORRECT CLASSES, you should research the programs you plan to transfer to and see what their freshmen and junior majors are required to take. Be sure to look at all the math, physics, chemistry, and biology requirements. These are the classes that you most want to take at City College. Unfortunately, most of your "fun" Earth Science classes should wait until you transfer.

B.S. vs B.A.
Some programs offer Bachelors of Sciences (B.S.) -- others Bachelors of Arts (B.A.). To find out exactly what each requires, you should check with school to which you are transferring. Generally speaking, the B.A. requires less math and physics than the B.S.

 

Transferring for Graduate degrees in the Bay Area

(M.S./M.A./Ph.D.)

General Advice: A Masters Degree gives you a shorter exposure to the academic world than a PhD does, but still lets you learn about your future career options, while building your resume at the same time.

To get accepted to a graduate program, you usually have to have a strong background in math & science (less math for biological programs). I recommend that you contact the department of interest (do some on-line research ahead of time – so you don’t waste their time) or, even better, directly contact a faculty member whose research you find interesting. Request more information on their department, application requirements, opportunities to view the department, etc.

 

Earth Science programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and West Coast

Tips on getting admitted to the 4-year college of your choice

On a recent Earth Sciences Club fieldtrip to the U.C. Berkeley Department of Earth and Planetary
Sciences, students and faculty from CCSF learned a few pointers from students, professors and
the undergraduate secretary on how to increase your chances of being admitted to the college of
your choice. Here are a few highlights:

  1. Opportunities exist: The physical sciences programs at U.C. Berkeley and many other 4-year colleges are under-enrolled. Minorities, women and other traditionally underserved populations are also under-represented. Everyone is encouraged to apply.
  2. Take foundation level classes now: Transfer students are at an advantage if they have already completed foundation level classes because they avoid having to enroll in these large classes at the 4-year college. Student-to-faculty ratios at City College are much lower here, giving you better access to resources and support during these critical foundation level courses.
  3. Build relationships now: Many opportunities exist that will help you meet and build relationships with faculty and students at the college of your choice. Building relationships with faculty is vital for getting into graduate programs and can help you refine you choice of program for your undergraduate program as well as give you some “talking points” for when you write your statement (see below).
    1. Check out the department’s website and look into what type of research faculty are conducting. Contact faculty you are interested in meeting and perhaps arrange to meet with them or sit in on of their classes.
    2. U.C. Berkeley allows students to enroll concurrently at U.C. while they are still enrolled at City College. San Francisco State may allow the same. Look into it if the college of your choice is nearby.
    3. Attend seminars offered by the department. Check out their website for more information. This is a great way to meet students and faculty. Example for U.C. Berkeley: http://eps.berkeley.edu/development/seminars/seminars.php
    4. Contact the undergraduate Earth Science clubs to find out about their activities, such as the Geological Association at Berkeley (GAB). http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~geologic/gab.html
    5. Attend open houses on campus where you can meet students and faculty and get information on what the program has to offer. Example: for U.C. Berkeley, go to Cal Day on the 3rd Saturday of April. Departments will be having open houses.
    6. Make connections with partner organizations such as the California Academy of Science, the U.C. Space Science program and Lawrence Berkeley Labs.
  4. Don’t sell yourself short: If you already have a bachelor’s degree and are thinking of a graduate degree, you can apply to the M.S./M.A programs or apply to PhD programs. While U.C. Berkeley EPS does offer a 5th year Master of Arts degree to its undergraduate students, it does not accept incoming Masters candidates.
  5. Write a good statement: Many colleges, including U.C. Berkeley, focus a lot of attention on the statements its applicants write. More specifically, you need to answer the question “Why this specific college and department? If you have already built a relationship with the program through the suggestions above, you’ll be in a good position to answer that question concretely and convincingly.
  6. Gather experience: Work as a lab aide in the Earth Science classes or a tutor. Volunteer or become an intern over the summer or weekends at local labs or museums. The more experience you get, the stronger your understanding of Earth Science, the greater your confidence, and the better your interview, application, and future experience once you actually arrive at graduate school.

The Earth sciences program here at CCSF is here to support you in making the transition
to a 4-year college of your choice. If you have any questions or want more information,
please don’t hesitate to contact us!