Geological Sciences, MS

Degree: Master of Science (MS)
Field of Study: Geological Sciences

Program Overview

This program is flexible so as to meet the needs of the individual student. General areas of study include benthic ecology, biostratigraphy and paleontology, environmental and urban geology, geomorphology, limnology, paleoclimatology, petrology, sedimentary geochemistry, sedimentation and stratigraphy, stable isotope studies, meteoritics, planetary materials, geodynamics of planetary interiors, and planetary geology.

More specific information is available from the departmental office, the departmental webpage, and the Office of Admission of the School of Graduate Studies.

Background Required of Entering Students

The coursework background of all incoming graduate students is evaluated at the time of admission. If deficiencies are deemed to exist in some areas, admission may be contingent upon completion of background courses. After arrival, the coursework background of each incoming graduate student will be reviewed by the student’s advisor to determine whether background deficiencies exist for their planned program of study. A student whose background is deemed deficient will, in consultation with their faculty advisor, determine which courses shall be taken to alleviate the deficiencies. Background deficiencies will normally be made up in the first year of graduate study. Some remedial coursework may not count toward graduate credit.


Each incoming graduate student will be assigned an advisor from the faculty of the department. The assignment will be based on the background and interests of the student. The advisor may be changed with the approval of the student's Graduate Committee. The student should meet with their advisor before registration for the first semester of study in order to outline an initial program of studies for the Geological Sciences MS degree. Additional meetings with the advisor should take place before the student registers for subsequent semesters, and from time to time, to review and update this program and discuss the student’s progress.

The Graduate School requires that each student file an official Program of Study with the Office of Graduate Studies before they can receive a degree. Normally, this document is submitted during the second semester, subject to later revisions as conditions necessitate.

Graduate Committee Progress Reports

In addition to the regular, continuous contact the student has with their advisor, the student will receive an annual review of their progress from their Graduate Committee. These progress reports will be based on coursework performance and Graduate Committee discussions with the faculty advisor.

Graduate Policies

For graduate policies and procedures, please review the School of Graduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.