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Master of Science Geology

Students in the mountians doing field work.

A Masters of Science Degree in Geology is for those who have an undergraduate degree in the sciences, and have demonstrated the potential for research. To be admitted to the program you must consult with an advisor in the department.

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 also be required. For more information, please download the ISU Geosciences Department Graduate Student Handbook.


To be considered for graduate school a bachelor degree or higher must have been earned from a college or university, regionally accredited in the United States, or its equivalent from a school in another country.

To be considered for scholarships, students must submit their application, transcript and test scores by February 15th (Fall Entry) or November 1st (Spring Entry).



A Graduate School Application submitted online requires the following.
  • Online Application Form (you will be required to create an account)
  • Fee to apply ($60 non-refundable)
  • GRE scores (Minimum of 50th percentile is required in both verbal and quantitative categories)
  • Your Transcripts
  • A 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 Graduate Assistantship or Research Assistantship please submit your application by January 15th.

For more in-depth descriptions regarding assistantships please visit the graduate school.

Please download the "Department of Geosciences Handbook" for more information. Picture of graduate handbook with department logo


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, biology, etc.) or opt to take the foreign language challenge exam at the elementary level.

*Geology 6649 credits are not included


The following courses are required and usually taken during the first and second semesters of graduate study.
  • GEOL 5591 Seminar 1 credit
  • GEOL 6601 Advanced Physical Geology 2 credits
  • GEOL 6603 Geologic Writing Seminar 2 credit

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.

Dates and Deadlines

  • April 1, 2018 . . . . . . . Graduation Applications Due for August - for those walking in May ceremony
  • April 13, 2018 . . . . . . Last Day for Thesis or Dissertation Defense/Oral Examination for May (Spring) Graduation
  • Apr 30-May 4, 2018 . . Finals Week
  • May 4, 2018 . . . . . . . Final Program of Study/Admission to Candidacy for August (Summer) Graduation
  • May 5, 2018 . . . . . . . Commencement
  • May 14, 2018 . . . . . . Summer sessions begin (varies 4, 6, 8 weeks sessions)
  • May 25, 2018 . . . . . . Graduation Application due for August (Summer)
  • May 28, 2018 . . . . . . Memorial Day
  • July 4, 2018 . . . . . . . Independence Day (No Class)
  • July 13, 2018 . . . . . . Last Day for Thesis or Dissertation Defense/Oral Examination for August (Summer) Graduation
  • August 3, 2018 . . . . . Summer Session ends

Graduate Program Inquiry

If you are interested and would like more information about the program please fill out this form.


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Pocatello, Idaho, 83209

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