Degrees Offered


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 their 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.

Master of Science

The Master of Science (MS) degree at the Jackson School of Geosciences is considered to be the professional degree for a career in the Geosciences. This degree is the foundation for students pursuing employment in the petroleum industry, environmental and hydrogeological fields, state and federal government agencies, and other related geoscience fields. Some students also use the MS degree as preparation for pursuing a PhD. The MS program is designed to bring the student to a high level of expertise within their chosen area of the geosciences through learning advanced concepts provided by graduate course work and through independent and original research. Graduates of the Jackson School MS program are expected to be proficient in a broad range of technical and socially-relevant areas of the Earth sciences and best-prepared among their peers in terms of conducting, presenting, and publishing research. Jackson School MS students are among the most highly recruited group of young professionals in the energy industry.

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.

M.S. Degree in Energy and Earth Resources

The Master of Science degree in Energy and Earth Resources (EER) is intended for those that seek a quantitative underpinning for their graduate work and who desire to conduct a thesis project that is research based along the lines of those prepared in science and engineering. It is the preferred degree with some employers in the energy, mineral, and water resources fields.

M.A. Degree in Energy and Earth Resources

The Master of Arts degree in Energy and Earth Resources (EER) is intended for those that seek to build critical knowledge and skills with qualitative underpinnings for their graduate work and who desire to take courses and conduct a thesis project along the lines of the types carried out in policy, law, business, humanities, liberal arts, and some technical fields.

EER Website

Certificate Programs

These programs provide graduate students with opportunities to pursue specific interests and develop targeted skill sets. Certificate programs at the Jackson School of Geosciences are open to all UT Austin graduate students. The programs are transcript-recognized, non-degree credentials that may be used to satisfy the requirements of a Master’s degree. To learn more about requirements see Stackable Graduate Certificate Programs.

Machine Learning and Data Analytics in Geosciences

A stackable certificate program that trains students in the fundamentals of artificial intelligence while working at the forefront of earth and data science.

Program Website