Undergraduate Program Computer Application Minor

PSU computer science graduate student working in a computer lab

Computer Application Minor Overview

Computational simulation and mathematical modeling are becoming increasingly important as tools in the geosciences to forecast and understand the world around us.

By minoring in computer applications with an emphasis in geosciences at PSU, you'll become familiar with software and hardware for collecting, processing, analyzing, and presenting data that is critical to solving problems in geology. This background will give you a competitive advantage for careers in governmental agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, in education as teachers in elementary and high schools and at the college level, and in the private sector such as with engineering, architecture, and planning firms or in the construction, mining, and petroleum industries.

The computer application curriculum is designed to be flexible, allowing you to choose courses from different departments that best suit your interests. A pair of core courses introduce you to real-world applications of digital computers, modeling software, and numerical methods, including stratigraphic sections, chart recordings, sample locations, mapping, trend surfaces, clustering, and solving systems of equations that describe geological processes.

The minor is rounded out with three courses in advanced computer applications and a research project or practicum that gives you an opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills.

Degree Details

  • m
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Computer Application Minor: Why PSU?

Our location in Portland provides students with the unique opportunity to study the geology of the Pacific Northwest, from extinct and active volcanoes to landslides, the Columbia River flood basalts to glaciers atop Mount Hood, and tsunami deposits along the coast. You won't have to go far to gain new insights about our past, present, and future.

You’ll learn from and work alongside our faculty who are leading researchers in the field of geology. Their areas of expertise include volcanology, geochemistry, structural geology, urban systems, glaciology, hydrogeology, meteorites, and planetary science, and active tectonics. PSU's research computing unit can provide you with access and support to geospatial servers and mapping software. PSU’s geology research facilities include surveying equipment, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, a teaching laboratory with sensors and data loggers, and a web-based data clearinghouse with regional geoscience data.

You can get involved with our student clubs, including CoRiBa and chapters of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists and the Association of Petroleum Geologists. Learn about geology and related topics outside the classroom, listen to invited speakers, explore careers in geology, and go on field trips and hikes.

What can I do with a Minor in Computer Application?

The minor in computer applications with an emphasis in geosciences provides you with a foundation to solve spatial or quantitative problems about Earth's complex systems and its distribution of resources, environments, and hazards. You can use the minor to find work with government agencies and industries, including mineral, oil and gas companies, or use it as preparation for graduate studies in GIS, geoinformatics, or a related field.

Featured Courses

  • G 324 Data Management and Analysis
  • G 326 Numerical Modeling of Earth Systems
  • Three advisor-approved courses in advanced computer applications, with at least 4 credits outside of geology.
  • A one-term, advisor-approved, upper-division research project or practicum.


Advisor-approved courses in Computer Application may come from any unit in the University but may not include 405 reading/conference courses.


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).