Master of Science Geology

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The Masters of Science Degree in Geology is for those who have an undergraduate degree in geology and have demonstrated the potential for research. To be admitted to the program you must consult with an advisor in the department and possibly take an entrance exam.

You must complete 30 credits of coursework to earn a master's degree in geology.

  • 17 credits must be at the 6600 level geology (including 6 thesis credits)*
  • 13 credits completed at the 5500 or 6600 level, 8 of which can be from a related discipline*

To remain enrolled in the program you must maintain a 3.0 grade point average and be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of the degree.

For more information about degrees and funding please contact the graduate advisor, David Pearson. Classes required for the B.S. in Geology at ISU that have not been previously taken, will be required as well.  For more information please download the Geosciences Department Graduate Handbook.

*Geol 6649 credits are not included

How to Apply

A baccalaureate degree or higher from a college or university regionally accredited in the United States or its equivalent from a school in another country.

  • An ISU Graduate School application form submitted on-line through the graduate school should include:
  • GRE scores (minimum of 50th percentile is required in both verbal and quantitative categories)
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of intent
  • Statement of goals (Motivation for graduate school and your long term career goals)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation

If you are interested in a Teaching or Research Assistantship please submit by January 15th. Applications submitted after January 15, but before published Graduate School deadlines (see below) will be considered.

  • Fall semester enrollment application deadline is April 1st.
  • Spring semester enrollment application deadline is November 1st.
  • Summer session enrollment application deadline is April 1st.
30 credits of course work are required to complete an M.S. in Geology.
  • 17 credits must be at the 6600 level in Geology (including 6 "Thesis" credits)*
  • 13 credits completed at the 5500 or 6600 level, 8 of which can be in a related discipline*
  • In addition to the 30 credits, take 2 approved courses from outside the Geosciences Department (e.g., technical writing, anthropology, etc.) or opt to take the foreign language challenge exam at the elementary level.
The following required courses are usually taken during the first and second semesters of graduate study.
  • GEOL 5591 Seminar 1 cr
  • GEOL 6601 Advanced Physical Geology 2 cr
  • GEOL 6603 Geologic Writing Seminar 1 cr

Graduate students may not sign up for GEOL 6650 (thesis credits) until their thesis prospectus has been submitted and approved by the Thesis Committee. All graduate students are required to present at least one geology colloquium dealing with their thesis topic prior to taking their oral examination.

*Geol 6649 credits are not included

Please download the latest and greatest version of the "ISU Department of Geosciences Graduate Handbook" for more indepth descriptions of class and grauduation requirements.




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