Geological Sciences (MS)


The MS in Geological Sciences is a great opportunity for students to explore various research topics within the geological sciences field. SESE’s extensive research portfolio across many disciplines allows students to specialize in one area or to explore interdisciplinary topics. Thesis topics for the MS in Geological Sciences may include (but are not limited to):


  • Astrobiology
  • Cosmochemistry
  • Geochemistry
  • Geochronology
  • Geodynamics
  • Geomorphology
  • Geophysics
  • Geoscience Education
  • Hydrology
  • Mineralogy
  • Mineral physics
  • Paleontology
  • Petrology
  • Planetary geology
  • Seismology
  • Structural geology
  • Systems Engineering
  • Tectonics
  • Volcanology


Students are encouraged to visit the research section of the SESE Web site for information on faculty research and the high-tech facilities available for conducting top quality investigations. Interested students are encouraged to make contact with faculty members who conduct research in the area(s) of interest.

The MS in Geological Sciences will prepare students for further graduate studies or for professional careers in industry, government and education.


Program Requirements

A minimum of 30 semester hours are required for an MS student to graduate. These credits will include at least 20 credits of coursework and 6 credits of thesis. The remaining credits should consist of research hours or additional coursework. Courses are selected by a student in consultation with his/her supervisory committee based on the research area. In addition, all SESE students are required to take 2 one-hour seminars: GLG 500: SESE colloquium and GLG 591: Faculty Research Seminar (required in the first semester). The MS degree in Geological Sciences is awarded when a student has obtained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in coursework and has demonstrated quality results on his/her research project through the successful completion of an oral defense and a written thesis. In addition, the student must meet all deadlines and requirements set by the Graduate College.

Background Requirements for Admission

Applicants of the MS in Geological Sciences must have a bachelor’s degree. Applicants typically have a bachelor’s degree in geological sciences or a related area; however, this is not a requirement. Applicants must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA from their last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of undergraduate coursework and are required to take the general GRE exam. There are no minimum scores required for the GRE exam. International applicants are required to demonstrate English Proficiency via the TOEFL or IELTS. Minimum required scores can be found at the website:

Application and Admission Information