Master of Science Degree Programs
The Master of Science Degrees are designed to give students a solid
background in geology, skills that can be applied in geology-related industry
or teaching, experience in research and, in most cases, experience in teaching.
The department offers three options for the M.S. degree.
The Standard Option awards the degree of
M.S. in Geology. This option requires the completion of a
thesis. It is the most commonly used option, and is designed for students
who will pursue geological careers in research or industry, or who plan
to continue graduate study toward a Ph.D. Most oil companies, for example,
prefer to hire students who have completed a thesis, because of the valuable
experience that students gain by doing thesis research. This option is designed
to be completed in about two years, though students who enter the program with
a sparse background in geology may need additional time.
The Applied Geology option also
awards the degree of M.S. in Geology. It is designed for students who plan
to enter an area of applied geoscience (e.g., engineering geology, hydrogeology,
applied geophysics, environmental geology). This option can be completed
in about 1.5 years by students who enter the department with no deficiencies,
but generally will take 2 years. Students pursuing this degree option do
not write traditional theses. As many employers expect M.S. recipients
to have completed a thesis, this option is not commonly used.
The Teaching of Earth Sciences Option is a separate
degree program designed for students who will teach at the secondary school
level, and requires education classes and other sciences in addition to geology.
It awards an M.S. Degree in the Teaching of Earth Science.
See the Graduate Handbook for detailed information.