Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD combines coursework and a dissertation.  This degree is for those who intend to pursue careers in academia, although individuals who intend to go into industry, government, or other careers also have earned the doctoral degree. The PhD is research-oriented, with the student and his or her supervisor developing a plan for its completion. Breadth of knowledge in the geosciences is expected, and the student works with their supervisor to meet this goal through their coursework and research. Graduate students can pursue research in any of these broad themes or focus on a specific discipline.

Research Themes

Climate, Carbon & Geobiology
Energy Geosciences
Marine Geosciences
Planetary Sciences
Solid Earth & Tectonic Processes
Surface & Hydrologic Processes

Research Disciplines

Climate Dynamics
Computational Geosciences
Geochemistry/Thermo- & Geo-chronology
Petrology/Mineral Physics
Sedimentary Geology/Geomorphology
Structural Geology/Lithospheric Geodynamics

Master of Arts

This degree option is designed for students who have been working professionals and seek coursework to enhance their technical knowledge. The expectation is that this degree will be completed in three semesters. Students in this degree option are not eligible to be a Teaching Assistant.

Master of Science

This MS degree is obtained through coursework and the completion of a thesis. It is the preferred degree for most professional employment and for preparation for Ph.D. work. The MA degree is obtained through coursework and the completion of a report. The MA degree is designed for the professional geologist or student interested in applied geology who wishes to focus on excellence in training rather than excellence in research. Programs in hydrogeology and petroleum geology are the only MA programs available at present.

Students who apply for the “Masters Program” are assumed to seek the MS degree. A person seeking the MA degree should inform the graduate advisor of this at the time of application. MA aspirants are not eligible for teaching assistantships.


Energy & Earth Resources

Interdisciplinary program provides the opportunity for students to prepare themselves in management, finance, economics, law and policy leading to analytical and leadership positions in resource–related fields. Private sector and government organizations face a growing need for professionals that can plan, evaluate, and manage complex resource projects, commonly international in scope, which often include partners with a variety of professional backgrounds. This program is well suited for those looking towards 21st century careers in energy, mineral, water, and environmental resources.