General Information on California Professional Geologist Licenses

Does state provide a license: Yes

Current Active Licensees

Title Licensees
Engineering Geologist 1266
Geologist 3976
Geophysicist 82
Geotechnical Engineer 1148
Hydrogeologist 793
Petroleum Engineer 158

License: Professional Geologist

Exam Entity: ASBOG

Licensing Board: Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

Licensing Board Website:

Continuing Education and Experience

Degree required:

Minimum degree level required to licensure as specified by the state regulations. ‘Other’ indicates that minimum education requirements must be met that are considered equivalent to a college degree, or minimum experience requirements must be met. See notes and applicable state laws and regulations for complete information.

  • Bachelor’s Degree

Majors accepted:

Majors defined in the state regulations as acceptable to obtain a professional geologist or geoscientist license, or for the specified environmental professional license in states without a PG license.

  • Geology
  • Related Geological Sciences

Courses required:

  • Structural Geology
  • Earth Materials

Courses accepted:

  • Geomorphology
  • Other

Geology credits required: 30

Minimum number of semester hours in relevant course work required for licensure. Thirty (30) semester hours = forty-five (45) quarter hours; twenty-four (24) semester hours = thirty-six (36) quarter hours.

Credit information: Completion of a combination of at least 30 semester hours, or the equivalent, in courses that, in the opinion of the board, are relevant to geology are required. At least 24 semester hours, or the equivalent, shall be in upper division or graduate courses.

Education Notes: See the state regulations for a complete explanation of the education requirements for licensure.

Years of experience required: 5

Experience credits needed: 3

Experience information: Professional geological work does not include routine sampling, laboratory work, or geological drafting. Credit for undergraduate study, graduate study, and teaching, individually, or in any combination thereof, shall in no case exceed a total of three years towards meeting the requirement for at least five years of professional geological work as set forth above. Each year of undergraduate study in the geological sciences shall count as one-half year of training up to a maximum of two years, and each year of graduate study or research counts as a year of training. Teaching in the geological sciences at college level shall be credited year for year toward meeting the requirement in this category, provided that the total teaching experience includes six semester units per semester, or equivalent if on the quarter system, of upper division or graduate courses.

Continuing education requirements: No

Geologist in Training license available: Yes

Can take Fundamentals of Geology test before graduation: Yes

Fundamentals of Geology test details: The applicant can take the FG exam before they graduate as long as they have completed a combination of at least 30 semester hours, or the equivalent, in courses that, in the opinion of the Board are relevant to geology. At least 24 semester hours, or the equivalent, shall be in upper division or graduate courses. The ASBOG FG exam is the only exam you can take prior to completing their work experience.

Legal Code Reference for GIT, FG: Board Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Geology and Geophysics Licensure Requirements, Section 2.1.,

Sunset and Audit Legislation Information

Most registration and licensure systems include structural approaches to review both the need and operational effectiveness of the process.

Some states provide formal sunset evaluation processes for their licensure programs. Many also include a periodic audit process of the licensure program/agency, which can range from cursory financial reviews to comprehensive evaluation of program effectiveness.

The audit process is often leveraged when political pressure is applied to eliminate geologist licensure, so awareness of the history and codes for audits and sunset evaluations is critical to montioring the health of the licensure within the state.

Current modes for sunsetting evaluation: Both sunset review and audit

License subject to sunset review: Yes

License subject to audit review: Possible

Current law to establish new licensure board: Yes

Sunset regulation name: Sunset Review

Sunset statute: The Government Code, Title 2 Government of the State of California, Division 2 Legislative Deparment, Chapter 1.5 General, Article 7.5 Sunset Review, and Article 8.5 Legislative Review of State Boards

Sunset statute reference:

Sunset committee: Joint Sunset Review Committee

Composition of sunset committee: Assembly Business and Professions Committee, and Economic Development Committee

Sunset committee website:

Sunset duration: Four years, as recommended in the BPELSG March 5, 2019 sunset review.

Sunset notes: From Background Paper of 3/5/2019 hearing: Recommend that the licensing and regulation of the engineering, land surveying, and geology professions continue to be regulated by the current Board members in order to protect the interests of the public and be reviewed once again in four years to review whether theissues and recommendations in this Background Paper have been addressed.

Auditor name: California State Auditor

Auditor website:

Audit statute: The Government Code, Title 2 Government of the State of California, Division 1 General, Chapter 6.5 California State Auditor

Audit Statute abbreviation: The Government Code, Title 2 Government of the State of California, Division 1 General, Chapter 6.5 California State Auditor Section 41-5A-1

Audit statute link:

Audit legislation committee: Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC)

Audit legislation committee website:

Audit notes: Audits considered by the JLAC include performance audits, which examine whether state agencies and programs are efficiently and effectively; accomplishing specified goals and objectives; complying with laws, regulations and policies; and, using state resources properly. Performance audits are on a variety of topics, which range from broad to very specific in scope. The JLAC also considers financial and financial-related audits of government and publicly created entities.

Sunset and Audit Legislation History

Year Action Notes
1969 Practice regulation The Board for Geologists and Geophysicists was created.
1989 The Little Hoover Commission report “Boards and Commissions: California’s Hidden Government” was published.
1994 Sunset law created The Joint Legislative Sunset Review Committee was created.
2000 ASBOG The first ASBOG exam was administered.
2005 Sunset review 1995-2005, the Joint Committee reviewed all boards and programs under the Department of Consumer Affairs.
2009 None Board for Geologists and Geophysicists transferred to the Board for Professional Engineers and Land surveyors.
2010 Legislative bill The legislature announced efforts to re-invigorate the Sunset Review Process. Legislative bills AB 1659 and AB 2130 (Chapters 666 and 670, Statutes of 2010) revamped the sunset review process, abolished existing provisions, and established the new Joint Sunset Review Committee.
2011 None Board name officially changed to the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists.
2011 Sunset review Board sunset hearing.
2014 Sunset review Board sunset review.
2018 Sunset review Board sunset review.
2023 Sunset review Next board sunset review, scheduled.