Master of Science Programs in Geology

Students in a Master of Science in Geology program study the physical structure of the Earth, from why earthquakes occur to how natural gas deposits form. Learn about the curriculum of a master's degree program in geology as well as career information and admission requirements. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Master of Science in Geology Program?

To earn your master's degree in geology, you will study many facets of the planet's physical properties. This includes learning about plate tectonics, ocean currents, stream flows and rock formations. You will take lecture-based courses, participate in laboratory exercises and complete field research projects. All of this work often culminates in a thesis.

In many programs, you may specialize your studies in an area of interest or career potential. For example, if you focus on environmental geology, you will learn about protecting the natural world, including wetlands conservation, waste disposal and water contamination. If you specialize in mining, you receive training intended to prepare you to enter the mineral or oil extraction industry. Due to the field and laboratory requirements, master's programs in geology are not generally offered online.

Key Topics Ocean currents, rock formations, steam flows, plate tectonics
Potential Work Environment State and federal government agencies, oil and gas extraction companies
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree required for admission; some institutions may require a bachelor's degree in geology, accompanied with standardized test scores

What Can I Do With This Degree?

While you can find entry-level work with a bachelor's degree in geology, a master's degree provides you with the expertise required by most employers. You may work for a private architectural or engineering firm or an oil and gas extraction company, helping to balance efficient energy production with environmental concerns. State and federal agencies are also potential employers for you, since geology skills are required for surveying and conservation. Though this varies by state, you may be required to obtain a license if your job includes directly offering services to the public.

If you are interested in further education, Ph.D. programs in geology are widely available. These programs can provide you with the skills necessary for advanced research positions. More commonly, you'll enroll in a Ph.D. program if you plan to teach geology at a college or university.

What Prerequisites Will I Need?

You will need a bachelor's degree in order to be admitted into a master's program in geology. Some programs require that you have an undergraduate degree specifically in geology. If you previously studied in another field, you may need to take general science or foundational geology courses prior to beginning your graduate study. Many programs require the submission of your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Johns Hopkins University

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  • Capella University

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  • Yale University

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  • West Virginia University

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    • West Virginia: Morgantown
  • Wesleyan University

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    • Connecticut: Middletown
  • Washington University in St Louis

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    • Missouri: Saint Louis
  • University of Utah

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  • University of Tulsa

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    • Oklahoma: Tulsa