This is a research-oriented department affiliated with a number of research institutes and research centers, including the Cooperative Institute for Environmental Research (CIRES), the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), the Center for Astrobiology, the Energy and Minerals Applied Research Center (EMARC), and the University Museum. Related areas of study are geography, astrophysical and planetary sciences, atmospheric and oceanic sciences, chemistry, physics, geophysics, microbiology, ecology and evolutionary biology. Degree programs for incoming graduate students are individually designed according to research efforts of the faculty. It is highly recommended that students locate a faculty member whose research interests most closely match their own.
For additional details, visit the Geological Sciences website.
Admission & Prerequisites
All students applying for admission must take the Graduate Record Examination. Results of this examination are used both for determining admittance and for initial academic counseling. Each student acquires a primary advisor and an advisory committee that provides guidance throughout the degree program.
Entering students normally have completed at least 24 credit hours of basic courses in geological science and two semesters each of chemistry, physics and calculus. In some cases, exceptional undergraduate preparation in other fields of science, mathematics or engineering may substitute for part of the 24 hours in geological science.
Candidates for the master's degree in geological sciences must complete at least 30 credit hours of graduate coursework either with a thesis (Plan I) or without a thesis (Plan II).
A maximum of 6 credit hours may be completed at the 3000- or 4000-level at the discretion of the associate chair for graduate studies and the principle advisor.
Students interested in graduate work in the geological sciences should carefully read the detailed information regarding admission, registration and degree requirements on the department's Information for Prospective Graduate Students webpage.
Plan I: Thesis Option
Students must complete least 24 credit hours at the 5000-level or above, including a minimum of 4, but no more than 6, master's thesis credit hours.
Plan II: Non-thesis Option
Students must complete least 24 credit hours at the 5000-level or above, including at least 3 credit hours of Plan II Master's Research (GEOL 6960) under the supervision of the advisory committee.