Graduate Programs in Earth Sciences
Graduate study in the Department of Earth Sciences offers students opportunities for field, laboratory and computational geological and geophysical research spanning the Earth’s deep interior, lithosphere and surface on a host of timescales. Several of our faculty lead collaborative domestic and international research programs that afford our graduate students opportunities to work in diverse parts of the world with teams of internationally recognized scholars. State-of-the-art analytical and computational facilities provide opportunities for cutting-edge research in the fields of Earth sciences.
Diverse, interdisciplinary research opportunities leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees include:
- Computational Geophysics
- Environmental Geology
- Global Environmental Change
- Hydrogeology & Hydrology
- Isotope Geochemistry
Ph.D. and M.S. students are supported by full-tuition scholarships and stipends through teaching assistantships, research assistantships and/or fellowships. Typically, M.S. students receive a minimum of four semesters of support, and Ph.D. students receive a minimum of eight.
The overall goal of the graduate program is to provide a pathway to advanced degrees in the Earth sciences through research, education and other relevant experiences. All students receiving advanced degrees from the department acquire experience with the following:
- Skill in the collection and analysis of data
- Preparing research results with the ultimate goal of publications and reports
- Experience writing proposals to fund research or teaching objectives
- Building a broad network of relevant professional contacts outside the department
- Teaching experience in labs, lectures and seminars
In order to help students meet these objectives, each student has a faculty advisor and an advisory committee that meets periodically to evaluate student progress and provide feedback.
The MS degree is ideal for students interested in careers in industry, consulting, government, or other sectors where an advanced degree is desirable, but a PhD is not required. The MS degree is a research-based degree and all MS students write and defend a research thesis.
The Ph.D. in Earth Sciences is ideal for students interested in careers in academia, research, and other sectors where the terminal degree is required. The Ph.D. requires significant independent research, and all doctoral students write and defend a dissertation.
Thirty credits are required. At least 15 of these must be at or above the 600 level. The student is required to pass a comprehensive written examination, but no thesis is required.