Geology Honors, Scholarships & Awards

  • Geology Major Honors at Graduation
  • Students graduating from the College of Letters & Science are eligible for Departmental Honors, depending on their GPA and whether or not they complete a Senior Thesis.

    Students who graduate with a GPA in the top percentages of their college will automatically graduate with Honors.

    Students who qualify for Honors at graduation may also be eligible for High Honors or Highest Honors, based upon the quality of their Senior Thesis (course number 194A-194B) or Senior Honors Thesis (course number 194HA-194HB). It is Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences policy that an "A-" grade on the thesis will earn the student High Honors, and an "A" grade will earn the student Highest Honors. 

    Students interested in obtaining an Honors Cord to wear at commencement may purchase them through the bookstore.

  • Graduating Senior Awards
  • Students graduating between September through June each year may be eligible for awards given specifically to graduating seniors. These prestigious awards are added as a notation to your official transcript upon graduation. Multiple awards may be given out in each category.

    • All students with a major GPA of 3.6 or more will automatically receive a "Citation for Outstanding Performance”.

    • Students with a major GPA of 3.6 or more may apply for the “Department Citation”. Faculty may also nominate students for this award. To apply, send an email to with your full name, graduation term, overall GPA, major GPA (OASIS Degree Worksheets can help calculate this), and a short paragraph describing your involvement in the Geology major. These applications are due by March 15th each year. This involvement can be defined as, but is not limited to: completing a research project, senior thesis, or internship relating to geology; leadership in a club associated with the Geology major; service as a peer advisor, mentor, or other type of support to other students; service on a committee within the department; or other involvement to the university as a whole.

  • Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences scholarships
    • Scholarships in Geology and Marine and Coastal Science (GeMS). The UC Davis Earth and Planetary Sciences department has funds from the National Science Foundation (S-STEM Program) for undergraduate scholarships of up to $8,000, potentially renewable for multiple years. Junior College and Community College students planning to apply for admission to UC Davis as Geology or Marine and Coastal Science majors (in the College of Letters & Science) are encouraged to apply.

    • Thomas W. Todd Scholarship. The Thomas W. Todd Scholarship is awarded annually to high-achieving students entering their senior year.

    • Durrell Funds. Geology majors can expect about $250 in funding to supplement the cost of Summer Field classes, from the Cordell & Helen Durrell Fund.

    • GIT Funding. Funding is available most years to current Geology majors to cover the cost of the Geologist-In-Training (GIT) exam. Applications for the GIT are usually due in early May for the October exam. You will only be able to be reimbursed after you have taken the exam, but you may request reimbursement as soon as you have applied. To request reimbursement, email Sean at with your full name, email address, and the following documentation: GIT Exam Ticket (include first and last name, Date of Exam, and Candidate ID number), GIT Exam form of payment (if paid via check, send a picture of the back and front of cancelled check - this can be found through your online banking account), Fingerprinting receipt (showing fees paid and form of payment. If paid via check will need back and front copy of cancelled check). Students who graduate from the UC Davis Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences will be eligible for his reimbursement just once, and within a year of graduating. 

  • Research Funding
  • Undergraduate Research Center funding. The Undergraduate Research Center lists many internal and external sources of funding for students conducting research projects.

    Provost's Undergraduate Fellowship (PUF). The Provost's Undergraduate Fellowship is a prestigious campus-wide fellowship awarded to students pursuing a research project, often a senior thesis, designed to help alleviate research costs.

    McNair Scholars Program. The McNair Scholars Program prepares underrepresented students to enter graduate school for their PhD by providing a paid summer research internship, travel funds, and support programs throughout the year.

    UC LEADS. The UC LEADS program prepares disadvantaged students in STEM students to enter graduate school for their PhD by providing paid research experiences, travel funds, and support programs.

    AWG at UC Davis Gear Lending program. This program, while not a scholarship, allows students to save money on field gear costs by borrowing gear from the AWG collection.

    University of California Natural Reserve System Field Science Fellowship.

    Robert A. Matthews Undergraduate Research Award (MURA). Robert A. Matthews (1926-2006) was the first environmental geologist hired in the Department of Geology (now Earth and Planetary Sciences) at UC Davis. In 2000, in recognition of his close involvement with students throughout his academic career, campus named one of the five courts at The Colleges at LaRue, a student residential complex, in his honor.

    MURA Supports undergraduate student activities, such as research and fieldwork, and encourages students to pursue study of the geologic sciences. Recipients need not meet any minimal GPA or other measure of scholastic attainment, but should show evidence of potential for future development.

    Eligibility. Only students doing senior thesis research are eligible for funding. Applicants with financial needs other than their research will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

    Applicants must be either full or part-time registered UC Davis undergraduates at the time their research is conducted. Students must be in good academic standing.

    If the project is to be done over the summer, the recipient must be on continuing student status during that summer and is required to be an enrolled undergraduate at least the following fall quarter. Students who have received the Provost’s Undergraduate Fellowship (PUF) in the same academic year are not eligible for this award.

    Application Process. Submit all materials as a PDF to

    • Describe the proposed project by composing a brief account of the hypothesis you are testing, the methods that you intend to use, and the time frame of when the work will be accomplished. Discuss the context of this project relative to other research projects by your faculty mentor. Provide at least 3 research citations in the body of the narrative and in the references. Length: One page, single spaced, 12 point font, Times/New Roman, half-inch margins. If necessary, references cited list may be included on a second page.

    • In a separate document, discuss the significance of this experience in relation to your academic and/or career plan. "Why this project? What do you plan to get from it?" Length: 1000 characters.

    • Detailed budget

      • Award requests may not exceed $300.

      • Salaries are not funded.

      • The awards committee within Earth and Planetary Sciences assumes that you will have access to labs and associated materials from the host principal investigator, as well as appropriate software and books commonly found on campus. Only specialized chemicals or supplies required for the proposed work are permitted. Requests for field costs, travel expenses, lab supplies, or other materials should be accompanied by a short justification.

    • Sponsoring Professor's Recommendation: Provide your completed application to your sponsoring professor or research mentor so that they can complete a letter of recommendation for you. They will submit their letter directly to

    Deadlines. Applications will be accepted at any time during the academic year. Notification of the award will be made 2-3 weeks after submission.

    Recipients of the Matthews award will be asked to submit a short summary of the results of their research within a year of receipt of the funds.

  • UC Davis Funding
    • UC Davis Global Learning Hub Scholarships & Funding

    • Students are encouraged to apply for UC Davis Undergraduate Scholarships each year. Scholarship applications are due each January.

      • Everett Dale Jackson Memorial Scholarship. Everett Dale Jackson was an alumnus of the University of California and a distinguished geologist. He achieved international recognition in the areas of igneous petrology, volcanology, mineral deposits, lunar geology and ocean basin tectonics. He was also noted for the inspiration and encouragement he provided to younger scientists. The scholarship in his memory was established in 1980 by family and friends and is restricted to upper-division students majoring in geology.

  • External sources of funding