Geochemistry Graduate Schools
Students interested in studying geochemistry at the graduate level have a few options. They can earn a master's or Ph.D. in the topic, or combine their study as part of a more general geological sciences program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a program in Geology, Geochemistry, & Geobiology that is available at the Master of Science (S.M.), Doctor of Science (Sc.D.), and Ph.D. levels. Along with geochemistry, course topics include tectonics, petrology, and sedimentary geology.
University of Colorado-Boulder
The Geological Sciences program at CU Boulder is unique in that it does not offer a formal schedule in which students follow a defined set of courses to earn an MS or Ph.D. Instead, candidates in this program will utilize a research-oriented approach as they study topics in the geochemistry concentration offered here.
The University of California-Los Angeles
UCLA's geochemistry program can result in either a Master of Science or a Ph.D. degree. Course topics in this degree program include radioactive elements, biogeochemistry, lunar geochemistry, experimental petrology, and marine geochemistry.
Western Michigan University
The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at WMU has two graduate programs in Geosciences, one at the master's level and the other at the doctoral level. After earning the degree, graduates will have the opportunity to pursue multiple careers in geochemistry, with prospective employers including the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Energy, or Environmental Protection Agency.
Colorado School of Mines
The master's in environmental geochemistry at Colorado School of Mines is a non-thesis program for students looking to earn a graduate degree without having to go through the standard research requirement. The program is offered two ways: as a fifth-year option for students already enrolled in a bachelor's program at CSM, or as a standalone degree for working professionals looking to further their understanding of the subject.
|School Name||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2018-19)|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||S.M., Sc.D., and Ph.D. in Geology, Geochemistry, & Geobiology||$51,520|
|University of Colorado-Boulder||Master of Science and Ph.D. in Geological Sciences||$$11,484 (in-state) $30,384 (out-of-state)|
|The University of California-Los Angeles||Master of Science and Ph.D. in Geochemistry||$11,442 (in-state) $26,554 (out-of-state)|
|Western Michigan University||Master of Science and Ph.D. in Geosciences||$15,638 (in-state) $29,569 (out-of-state)|
|Colorado School of Mines||Master of Science in Environmental Geochemistry||$16,650 (in-state) $36,270 (out-of-state)|
Graduate-Level Courses in Geochemistry
If you're looking to study geochemistry at the graduate level, many schools offer graduate coursework in the subject even if they don't have a degree program. Some programs combine the subject with geobiology or offer it as part of a broader geological sciences course of study.
Tectonics courses examine the complex systems that make up the composition of the earth's crust and upper mantle. Topics in this class include tomographic images, geologic time, lithospheric plates, and convergent boundaries. This complex topic spans multiple disciplines and on top of geochemistry, students will also be exposed to lessons on sedimentology, seismology, nonlinear dynamics, and paeloclimatology.
Geochemistry and Petrology
This class takes a look at the igneous and metamorphic processes at play both in the Earth and on other planets. Students will learn about subduction zones, magma generation, and the formation of the earth's crust. This course typically includes a practical component in which students will get hands-on experience in the lab.
Thesis Research and Defense
Students who opt for the research track are usually expected to write a thesis on a subject of their choosing related to geochemistry. Working with an advisor, candidates will conduct extensive research into their chosen topic and then defend their argument before a panel of faculty. This is typically the final step prior to earning the degree.
Application Requirements for Geochemistry Graduate Schools
Admission into geochemistry programs can be competitive and applicants will need to prove their competency in order to gain acceptance. A bachelor's degree is mandatory, and applicants should have demonstrated coursework in physics, chemistry, and/or multivariable calculus. Candidates who do not have these courses in their background can be accepted if they conduct an interview with the admissions committee.
In addition to an impressive GPA (3.0 or above), applicants can bolster their application with a strong showing on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. Applicants may also need to submit their resume or compose a personal statement explaining their goals for the program and beyond.
Graduate degrees in geochemistry are available at a select few schools. These programs feature interdisciplinary curricula and prepare graduates for a variety of jobs in the geographical sciences sector.