This Handbook is for both new and continuing students. In it you will find the Department's philosophy of graduate education, and information on how to successfully complete your degree. Contact your advisor or a member of the Department's Graduate Studies Committee (GSC), if you have additional questions, comments and suggestions.
For detailed information on policies and regulations affecting graduate students, including degree requirements, please refer to the Policy Manual for the Geology Graduate Program
Contact the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC), if you spot any errors or inconsistencies in the policies.
Goals of Graduate Programs in Geology
Our program aims to help students develop skills and acquire knowledge necessary for work as leaders in research, professional practice, and teaching in geoscience. The program centers on three complementary activities:
- Independent research: We strive to teach students how to formulate scientific problems, analyze data, make interpretations, and disseminate results. We expose students to examples of solid research and introduce them to methods for evaluating the research of others. As in most graduate programs, we emphasize research work as the best means for developing skills of critical thinking and self-motivation.
- Coursework: We offer courses at the graduate and advanced undergraduate levels that efficiently communicate state-of-the-art information in geoscience. Our courses teach students to access and analyze current and classic geoscience literature, to think critically, and to develop skills in written and oral presentation.
- Teaching: Most students have the opportunity to serve as teaching assistants. We view TA's as apprenticeships in teaching, providing students with the opportunity to refine their own understanding of geoscience, and to organize and present information. Teaching also provides experience in public speaking and in developing teaching techniques. The TA experience helps all geoscientists, not just future teachers -- presentation is also important in corporate and government settings.
Independence: A Critical Part of the Program
Independent thinking and research form a central theme of our grad program. The grad program is as flexible as possible, so that students can devise a plan of study that meets their individual needs.
Even though you have more independence than you did as an undergrad, you will still find yourself in need of advice. Don't hesitate to talk to your advisor, fellow grad students, and staff members. Others with more experience may help you find the answers you need quickly.