Earth Sciences (MS)

The Department of Earth Sciences offers programs of graduate study leading to master of science (MS) and doctor of philosophy (PhD) degrees with opportunity for research in a wide variety of specialty fields. Course work is designed to meet individual needs, and students may pursue independent research in geobiology, geochemistry, geodesy, geomechanics, geomorphology, geophysics, mineralogy, petrology, volcanology, paleontology, stratigraphy, sedimentary petrology, structural geology, and ore deposit geology. The master’s degree program requires two years or more for completion.

Graduate study in earth sciences is offered in five broad areas:

  1. volcanology-petrology-geochemistry
  2. stratigraphy–surface processes
  3. paleontology-paleopedology-geobiology
  4. structural geology–geophysics
  5. economic geology (mineral deposits)

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency with modern quantitative tools that are used in the Earth sciences.
  • When confronted with real-world Earth science problems, develop and test hypotheses in a systematic way while stating caveats and assumptions.
  • Show familiarity with scientific understanding of topics that tie directly to their thesis research, as reflected by the current refereed literature.
  • Organize and present their scientific results both in concise, well-reasoned technical writing and in front of scientific audiences at major conferences.
  • Demonstrate understanding of ethical issues and responsibilities associated with working in a diverse, global community of scientists.

Earth Sciences Major

500 or 600 level 124
600-699 level 29
Thesis 39
Remaining Credits 43
Total Credits45

At least 30 credit hours in residence, in the major