President Carter has chosen Massachusetts Institute of Technology geologist Frank Press as White House Science adviser, administration sources said yesterday.

Press come to the White House Wednesday and spoke with Carter for about 30 minutes, a meeting that was described by White House sources as "amiable and agreeable" on both sides. press was apparently offered the job of science adviser but did not immediately accept it.

"I can only tell you that I saw the President," Press said by telephone from his office at MIT in Cambridge, "and nothing is settled."

Born in Brooklyn in 1924, Press graduated from the City College of New York and took his advanced degrees in geology at Columbia. He taught geology at Columbia for four years, then moved to Pasadena in 1955 to become professor of geophysics at California Institute of Technology.

Press stayed at Caltech for 10 years, then came to MIT in 1965. He is head of the department of earth and planetary sciences there.

One of the world's leading seismologists, Press was one of a team of geophysicists who first said that Antiartica is a continent and not an island of ice floating on the earth's crust. An Antarctic mountain was named for Press for this discovery. He was also one of a team who first identified the free oscillations that follow an earthquake and cause the earth to "ring" like a bell, a discovery that led scientists to distinguish between earthquake and underground atomic weapons tests.

The author of four books and more than 140 scientific articles, Press helped design and build the seimometer left on the moon by six crews of Apollo astronauts. He is an adviser to the space agency on the kinds of instruments the United States flies to the planets.

Press also serves on the National Science Board and is a consultant to seven federal agencies, including the State and Defense Departments. He has helped work out seismic methods of policing nuclear text ban treaties and is a consultant to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.