Geotechnical Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers a minor program in Geotechnical Engineering. Geotechnical Engineering is traditionally an interdisciplinary field, drawing on elements of geology, geophysics, and the mechanics of fluids and solids. This breadth can be obtained by combining an undergraduate major in physical and mathematical sciences with a minor in Geotechnical Engineering. This minor is suitable for students interested in either professional practice or in graduate studies within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Berkeley, and elsewhere.

There is no major program in Geotechnical Engineering.

Declaring the Minor

To be considered for admission to the minor, students should:

  • Have earned an overall grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0.
  • Have completed the lower division prerequisite courses with a GPA of 3.0 (for further information regarding the prerequisites, see the Minor Requirements tab on this page).
  • Be able to complete the minor without delaying graduation.

Upon admission to the minor, students should:

  • Complete a minimum of five courses, of which no more than one can be counted toward the requirements of the major(s).
  • Earn a minimum grade-point average of 2.0 in the upper division courses used for the minor.

After completion of the prerequisite courses, students need to complete and submit to the Civil and Environmental Academic Affairs Office (750 Davis Hall) a Minor Program Application form.

Upon completion of the minor requirements, the student must complete and submit to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department’s Office of Academic Affairs the Confirmation of Completion form during the first 2 weeks of the term in which the minor will be completed.

Other Majors and Minors Offered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Civil Engineering (Major only)
Environmental Engineering (Minor only)
Structural Engineering (Minor only)

Visit Department Website

Minor Requirements

Minor programs are areas of concentration requiring fewer courses than an undergraduate major. These programs are optional, but can provide depth and breadth to a UC Berkeley education. The College of Engineering does not offer additional time to complete a minor, but it is usually possible to finish within the allotted time with careful course planning. Students are encouraged to meet with their ESS adviser to discuss the feasibility of completing a minor program.

All the engineering departments offer minors. Students may also consider pursuing a minor in another school or college.

General Guidelines

  1. ​All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process.

  2. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be taken for graded credit.

  3. A minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the prerequisite courses is required for acceptance into the minor program.

  4. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.

  5. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student’s major and minor programs.

  6. Completion of the minor program cannot delay a student’s graduation.

Lower Division Prerequisites

Complete one Math sequence
and Calculus
Analytic Geometry and Calculus
and Analytic Geometry and Calculus
Complete one Physics course:
PHYSICS 7APhysics for Scientists and Engineers4
PHYSICS 8AIntroductory Physics4
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry3
CIV ENG C30Introduction to Solid Mechanics3

Upper Division Requirements

CIV ENG 175Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering3
Select three courses from the following:
CIV ENG 100Elementary Fluid Mechanics4
CIV ENG 132Applied Structural Mechanics3
CIV ENG 170AInfrastructure Sensing and Modeling3
CIV ENG 171Rock Mechanics3
CIV ENG 173Groundwater and Seepage3
CIV ENG 174Engineering Geomatics3
CIV ENG 176Environmental Geotechnics3
CIV ENG C178Applied Geophysics3
CIV ENG 179Geosystems Engineering Design3

UC and Campus Requirements

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by satisfying the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). The UC Entry Level Writing Requirement website provides information on how to satisfy the requirement.

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions (AH&I) requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Campus Requirement

American Cultures

The American Cultures requirement is a Berkeley campus requirement, one that all undergraduate students at Berkeley need to pass in order to graduate. You satisfy the requirement by passing, with a grade not lower than C- or P, an American Cultures course. You may take an American Cultures course any time during your undergraduate career at Berkeley. The requirement was instituted in 1991 to introduce students to the diverse cultures of the United States through a comparative framework. Courses are offered in more than fifty departments in many different disciplines at both the lower and upper division level.




Contact Information

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

760 Davis Hall

Phone: 510-642-3261

Fax: 510-643-5264

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Joan Walker, PhD

763 Davis Hall

Faculty Minor Advisor

Nicolas Sitar, PhD

449 Davis Hall

Minor Advisor

Erin Leigh Inama

750 Davis Hall

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