GSB is all about igneous and metamorphic rocks and using their mineralogy and chemistry to say useful things about the deep earth. The year starts with a course on the formation of the solar system (with a particular emphasis on meteorites). After this it goes back to basics and looks at crystallography and some common igneous minerals then scales things and studies various volcanic settings. This whole series is then repeated for metamorphics. Thermodynamics is a big theme through all of this – but it’s taught in a minimal-maths way that’s pretty easy to follow. This course covers a smaller range of topics than GSA, but goes through them in more detail. As a single geology course this is popular with chemistry and/or materials but be warned – GSB involves a lot of microscope work, so if that wasn’t your cup of tea in 1A this may not be for you.