GEOS 414 Geology Field Camp

The University of Arizona Summer 2022 GEOS 414 Geology Field Camp application is now open! Apply here.


Additional information on our Summer 2022 GEOS 414 Field Camp experience is provided below.

What is the GEOS 414 Geology Field Camp?

The University of Arizona’s capstone GEOS 414 Geology Field Camp course is a 5-week, 6-credit intensive field course offered each summer. This course or an equivalent course at another university is required for the Geology and Geophysics sub-plans within the UA Geosciences B.S. major. GEOS 414 or an equivalent course can fulfill the 6-unit Capstone Experience for the Earth, Oceans, & Climate sub-plan requirements, as well as the Gem Science sub-plan requirements. The Summer 2022 GEOS 414 course will run from June 15 – July 18, 2022 (subject to change).

What will GEOS 414 participants experience?

Students enrolled in GEOS 414 will put into action principles and knowledge acquired in their on-campus courses in geology and geophysics. Students will study a broad range of rock types in various tectonic and geomorphological settings, often in the context of creating geological maps, in order to learn the geological and tectonic history of the western North American Cordilleran orogenic belt. The various exercises are designed to provide students with an understanding of the Cordillera as an integrated tectonic system. Students depart from Tucson in University vehicles, accompanied by professors and teaching assistants, and travel from campsite to campsite for the duration of the 5-week period. 

GEOS 414 will be the most physically and scientifically challenging course students take during their undergraduate curriculum and they must be prepared for long days of strenuous physical exercise, variable weather conditions, and extremely rough terrain. Students must also be properly attired and equipped to carry out this work safely. Backcountry campgrounds have limited facilities. Cell phone reception is also limited and students should not expect to be in contact by phone with family/friends.

What are GEOS 414 application requirements and who can apply?

Students in GEOS 414 are supervised 24/7 by faculty and safety standards must be met. Therefore, space in the UA field course is limited to 20-25 students each summer. Admission is therefore not guaranteed for UA students. All qualified students from the University of Arizona or other institutions are welcome to apply. Admission is competitive, based on GPA (3.0 minimum), and the overall quality of the application. Applicants must upload a PDF copy of their unofficial transcript to their on-line application. A faculty letter of recommendation is required. Applicants should be prepared to provide the name of their faculty recommender in their application. The student may upload a PDF copy of the faculty letter to the on-line application or their faculty member may email the letter of recommendation directly to Shawna Matteson at

      How much does the GEOS 414 Geology Field Camp cost?

      For summer 2021, the estimated cost breakdown for students (in-state and out-of-state) was as follows. This information will be updated once the UA Summer 2022 Tuition and Fee Rates have been posted.

           $400 deposit
           $1,970 transportation & food
           $2,953 tuition & fees (6-units summer)
           $5,323 estimated total

      What are my alternatives if I have a significant health concern, physical or other disability?

      UA GEOS BS students who have significant health concerns, physical or other disabilities should apply for the GEOS 405 Accessible Earth or an equivalent field experience that better fits their needs. Additional information about the GEOS 405 Accessible Earth field experience and study abroad scholarship opportunities are available on the UA Global Study Abroad website. Alternatively, students may request a Disabilities Resource Center (DRC) accommodation for fulfilling their Capstone Field Experience requirement with a reasonable alternative to their specific needs. Students needing a DRC accomodation should submit the DRC Affiliation Form as soon as they become aware of the need for an accomodation as this process can take several weeks or more.

      Students in GEOS 414 are supervised 24/7 by faculty and safety standards must be met. However, accidents do sometimes happen. Admitted students who injure themselves prior to attending the GEOS 414 camp should notify the GEOS Field Camp Director, Dr. Pete DeCelles, immediately to assess whether attending will pose safety concerns for themselves or other camp participants. It is the responsibility of each camp participant to notify one of the camp instructors as soon as reasonably possible if they or another camp participant is injured or becomes sick.

      Many other universities offer 6-credit field camps that can be transferred to UA. These camps vary in the type of experience, when the experience is offered and for how long, the number of credits earned, cost, the application process, etc. UA GEOS BS students are urged to apply for a variety of field camps, as well as the UA GEOS 414 Geology Field Camp, to ensure they are able to complete their 6-unit minimum Capstone Field Experience requirement within a timely manner. UA GEOS BS students who are attempting to complete their Capstone Field Camp Experience in Summer 2022 are currently required to engage in in-person experiences. At this time, online Field Camp Experiences have not been approved for Summer 2022 nor future semesters.

      Information on other field camps can be found on the following websites. Contact your Major Advisor if you are unsure of what camps can fulfill your degree requirements.

      Who do I contact if I have additional questions about field camp?

      Students are encouraged to contact the GEOS Field Camp Director, Dr. Pete DeCelles, to discuss GEOS 414 Geology Field Camp course content and rigor if they have any concerns about whether GEOS 414 is a good fit for their personal situation.

      Additional questions about the GEOS 414 Geology Field Camp application process or UA GEOS BS degree requirements may be directed to Shawna Matteson, GEOS BS Academic Advisor and Field Camp Program Coordinator. Students may schedule an advising appointment through Trellis Advise. Shawna Matteson can assist applicants and admitted students with other GEOS 414 administrative processes. Please contact her as soon as possible if you need to cancel your admission or withdraw (once enrolled) for any reason. Students are responsible for meeting all posted dates and deadlines that are posted on University websites, especially related to enrollment and financial dates and deadlines.

      Students from other majors or institutions should schedule an appointment with their major advisor if they have any questions or concerns about fulfilling their specific degree requirements with our GEOS 414 Geology Field Camp course.