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Masters of Science in Geology

This degree is for those who have an undergraduate degree in the sciences, and have demonstrated the potential for research. To be admitted to the program you must consult with an advisor in the department.

To remain enrolled in the program you must maintain a 3.0 grade point average and be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of the degree.

If you are interested in a Graduate Assistantship or Research Assistantship please submit your application by January 15th.  For more information regarding assistantships please visit the graduate school.

Please contact Geosciences Graduate Program Director Glenn Thackray for more information
Department of Geosciences Graduate Student Handbook
Geosciences Graduate Catalog 


To be considered for graduate school a bachelor degree or higher must have been earned from a college or university, regionally accredited in the United States, or its equivalent from a school in another country.

To be considered for scholarships, please submit your application, transcript and test scores by February 15th (Fall Entry) or November 1st (Spring Entry).

Application Requirements

  • Online Application Form (you will be required to create an account)

  • Fee to apply ($60 non-refundable)

  • GRE scores are not required.

  • Your Transcripts

  • A Letter of Intent, including a statement of goals (motivation for graduate school and your long term career goals)

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation

Expected coursework prior to beginning M.S. Geology degree program

  • In general, applicants to the M.S. Geology program are expected to have completed at least:

    • Calculus 1, and either Calculus 2 or Statistics

    • One semester of Physics, one semester of Chemistry, and a total of at least four semesters of Physics, Chemistry, or Biology.

    • Additional, discipline-specific coursework expected prior to beginning the M.S. Geology program is listed below. There is further flexibility for students entering the M.S. Geology with an emphasis in Environmental Geosciences.

      Field camp. This requirement can be waived by petition with sufficient field experience via undergraduate or professional experiences.

      Incoming students should have eight classes total within these three broad categories with at least two in each category: (1) Sedimentary Geology/Paleontology/Historical Geology; (2) Surficial Processes/Environmental Geosciences; and (3) Structural Geology/Petrology.

Credit Requirements to Complete an M.S. in Geology

  • 17 credits must be at the 6600 level in Geology (including 6 "Thesis" credits)

  • 13 credits completed at the 5500 or 6600 level, 8 of which can be in a related discipline*

  • In addition to the 30 credits, take 2 approved courses from outside the Geosciences Department (e.g., technical writing, anthropology, biology, etc.) or opt to take the foreign language challenge exam at the elementary level.

 *Geology 6649 credits are not included 

The following courses are required and usually taken during the first and second semesters of graduate study.

  • GEOL 5591 Seminar 1 credit

  • GEOL 6601 Advanced Physical Geology 2 credits

  • GEOL 6603 Geologic Writing Seminar 2 credit

Students may not sign up for GEOL 6650 (thesis credits) until their thesis prospectus has been submitted and approved by the Thesis Committee.  All graduate students are required to present at least one geology colloquium dealing with their thesis topic prior to taking their oral examination.

For more information on this programs course requirements, go to Geosciences Graduate Catalog and scroll down to Masters of Science in Geology.