Return to: 3240 Department of Geosciences
The Department of Geosciences offers the Master of Science (M.S.) in Geosciences in two tracks: thesis or capstone option. The thesis track offers a research-intensive experience for students seeking additional advanced degrees or research-based employment. The track culminates in a thesis project. The thesis track affords the experience of writing for publication and is suited for students with a project requiring more time to pursue. The capstone track is experiential in nature and is the appropriate choice for non-academic professionals or students seeking a more structured, time-confined project. The track culminates in a capstone project that covers a variety of options such as case studies, internships, surveys, or extensive literature reviews. The M.S. track is normally selected on the application. A switch between tracks is possible pending approval from the Director of Graduate Studies and as long as it is completed by the end of the first year of study at the latest. Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of Geosciences by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies at the addresses above.
Applications for admission are accepted for all three semesters. The regular deadlines are April 1 admission to the fall semester and November 1 for the spring and summer semesters. International students and students requesting graduate assistantships are encouraged to apply by the priority deadlines of February 15 for fall admissions and October 1 for spring and summer admissions. The late deadline for application for fall admissions is June 1. There is no late deadline for spring and summer applications. Late applications may not be considered for graduate assistantships. Online applications must be submitted and all materials received to be reviewed for admission.
Graduate assistantships are available for qualified M.S. and Ph.D. students.
In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Geosciences has the following admission requirements:
- Three letters of recommendation on official letterheads from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate work.
- A statement (approximately 500 to 1500 words) of educational, research, and career goals, where the applicants indicate their desired area of specialization, faculty members they would be interested inworking with, and if they have made preliminary contact with that faculty member.
- Brief (not more than 250 words) rationale explaining preference for thesis or capstone track.
In addition to the above departmental requirements that apply to all applicants, concentration-specific requirements are outlined below.
Additional Admission Requirements - Geology Concentration
- A bachelor’s degree in geology, earth sciences, engineering or a related field.
- Foundational coursework: These courses are normally expected to have been completed as part of the applicant’s undergraduate education and completed with a grade of C or higher. However, students who are otherwise qualified may be accepted under Special Status, with the condition that this coursework is completed as part of their graduate study:
- Minimum one semesters of calculus
- Minimum one semester of physics
- Minimum one semesters of chemistry
- Minimum of two semesters of introductory geology or equivalent training
- For students seeking traditional disciplinary training in the field of Geology, who have aspirations of seeking Professional Geologist certification to work for a state or federal government, or for certain career pathways in industry, supplemental foundational coursework should include that listedbelow. Note that these courses are in addition to the foundational courses outlined above in Section2, and are also expected to have been completed as part of the applicant’s undergraduate education with a grade of C or higher. However, students who are otherwise qualified may be accepted under Special Status, with the condition that this coursework is completed as part of their graduate study. During the application process the prospective student can indicate their primary interests in their statement of goals and interests. The graduate-admissions committee can then evaluate the students’ undergraduate coursework in light of their stated interests:
- Minimum of one additional semester of calculus and/or statistics (2 semesters total)
- Minimum of one additional semester of chemistry (2 semesters total)
- Minimum of four additional courses of upper-level geology or equivalent training
- Minimum of one semester of a field course in geology or equivalent training
Additional Admission Requirements - Water Sciences Concentration
- A bachelor’s degree in geography, geology, engineering, physics, or related field.
- Foundational coursework for students who wish to specialize in physical-chemical aspects of water science are listed below. These courses are normally expected to have been completed as part of the applicant’s undergraduate education and completed with a grade of C or higher. However, students who are otherwise qualified may be accepted under Special Status, with the condition that this coursework is completed as part of their graduate study:
- Minimum one semester of calculus
- Minimum one semester of physics
- Minimum one semester of chemistry
- Two semesters of introductory physical geography or geology
- The Water Sciences Concentration is designed to support the educational and research goals of students with interests in social, political, and economic aspects of water resources as well. Students with these primary interests would not be required to have completed the courses noted above in section 2.a-d. During the application process the prospective student can indicate their primary interests in their statement of goals and interests. The graduate-admissions committee can then evaluate the student’s undergraduate coursework in light of their stated interests.
Early in their coursework, all students must select a thesis advisor or project director to direct their programs of study and help with course selections. Additionally, students should consult with faculty members to align their course of study with desired professional licensure and certification appropriate to their desired career trajectory - for example, either the American Institute of Hydrology’s Professional Hydrologist Certification, or the Association of State Boards of Geology’s Professional Geologist Licensure Examination.