Graduate Degrees

Master of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in Geology and Geophysics

Our graduate program features advanced coursework coupled with cutting-edge research.

The master’s degree can be earned with a thesis or a non-thesis option. The Ph.D. requires a detailed dissertation and publication of original works.

Research emphasis areas at the graduate level include the following:

  • Aqueous and environmental geochemistry and water resources
  • Economic geology and petrology
  • Geophysics, tectonics and geodynamics
  • Sedimentology, stratigraphy limnology, and paleoclimatology
  • Paylonology and micropaleontology
  • Petroleum systems

For more information, check out the university catalog:



Our program has a wealth of equipment and instrumentation for research in geology, geochemistry and geophysics. In addition to our own facilities, we have a large collection of cutting-edge facilities in centers such as the Materials Research Center and the Environmental Research Center.  


There are two options in the master's program (thesis option and non-thesis option). The non-thesis option requires coursework only, while the thesis option requires a thesis with your research advisor with less coursework.

Both options are equally considered for admission without preference or priority. For the thesis option, the procedure of how to secure an advisor and seek his or her confirmation is the same as that of Ph.D. (see Doctoral Degree below).

The most important thing for Ph.D. admission is to secure your tentative advisor prior to applying. You can do this by viewing the department's faculty directory* to review each faculty member's research areas and identify your potential Ph.D. advisor. Contact the faculty member by email with your portfolio (CV, transcript, and publication(s)) and a detailed description of what interests you about that faculty’s research. Since faculty receive many emails from prospective students, emails identifying specific topics of interest rather than generic emails are most likely to be answered.

Once you find a potential advisor, specify that you would like to work with that faculty member in your Statement of Purpose in your application. Please note that a faculty member’s interest to potentially serve as your advisor does not mean you’ll automatically be offered financial assistantship. You need to ask the advisor about the availability of assistantships.

*Look for Geological Engineering next to the faculty's name to find those in our program.


There are two major mechanisms of assistantship for graduate students in G&G: Graduate Research Assistants (GRA) and Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA). Students can be appointed as GRA or GTA by any rate up to 50% FTE (Full-Time Equivalent), which is the maximum part-time employment rate for students. The monthly wage for 50% FTE is approximately $2,000, which is proportional to the % FTE (e.g. $400 for 10% FTE). Additionally, if students have out-of-state tuition, this is waived if offered at least a 25% FTE or higher.

Graduate degree funding

We value our graduate students. In our commitment to your education, we've put together several funding opportunities to help make your degree an excellent return on investment. Take a look at what we have to offer.