Nov 27, 2022  
2011-2012 Catalog 
2011-2012 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geology, Thesis, MS

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College of Sciences and Technology

Graduate Faculty

Babcock, R. S., PhD, geochemistry, petrology.
Caplan-Auerbach, J., PhD, geophysics, seismology.
Clark, D.H., PhD, glacial geology.
DeBari, S.M., PhD, petrology, science education.
Engebretson, D.C., PhD, tectonics, paleomagnetism.
Hansen, T.A., PhD, paleontology.
Hirsch, D.M., PhD, metamorphic petrology, mineralogy.
Housen, B.A., PhD, geophysics.
Linneman, S.R., PhD, geomorphology, science education.
Mitchell, R.J., PhD, groundwater hydrology, environmental geology.
Schermer, E.R., PhD, tectonics, structural geology, geochronology.
Stelling, P, PhD, igneous petrology, volcanology, geothermal research.
Suczek, C.A., PhD, stratigraphy, sedimentary petrology, tectonics.

Emeritus Faculty

Beck, Myrl E., Jr., geophysics, paleomagnetism.
Brown, E.H., metamorphic petrology, geochemistry.
Easterbrook, Don, geomorphology, glacial geology.
Schwartz, Maurice L., coastal geology.
Talbot, James L., structural geology, tectonics.

Program Advisor: Dr. Bernard Housen, Environmental Studies Center 240, 360-650-3581

Program Description and Goals

The geology department offers an MS degree with a thesis and 45-48 credits of course work suitable for students wishing any of the geological specialties that can be supervised by its graduate faculty.

The program prepares students for a career as a licensed professional geologist or for K-16 earth science teaching. (K-12 teaching in public school settings requires an approved teaching credential.)


Students with a bachelor’s degree and who meet the requirements of the Graduate School are invited to apply for admission to the graduate program in geology. Students with a BS degree in geology, which includes a recognized geology field course, generally will be offered full admittance the program. Prerequisite course work may be necessary, depending on the applicant’s chosen field of study. Applicants without a BS degree in geology will need to take a minimum of 19 quarter credits, including physical geology, stratigraphy or historical geology, crystallography and mineralogy, geomorphology, structural geology and a recognized geology field camp, up to a maximum of 42 geology credits, which may include additional prerequisites in chemistry, physics and math, depending on each individual situation. Students who have not completed these courses before entering the geology MS program must do so and maintain an average of B or better in prerequisite courses before being advanced to candidacy. Courses taken to make up these deficiencies are not counted toward the MS degree.

Application Information

Specific Test Requirements: Graduate Record Examination (GRE), General Test or REVISED General Test beginning August 2011.

Deadline: The geology department prefers to admit students to enter in fall quarter. Admittance to the program also will depend on the availability of an advisor in the student’s area of interest.

TA Deadlines: To be considered for a teaching assistantship, application and supporting materials must be on file by January 15.

Supporting Materials:

  • A statement of the student’s background and purpose
  • Reference letters
  • Official transcripts

Program Requirements (45 to 48 credits)

Required Coursework:
❑ 35 or more credits of graduate level courses (500- and 600-level) including 6 credits of GEOL 595
❑ 10 or less credits from 400-level courses.
❑ The 600-level credits shall include 12-15 credits of GEOL 690.

Electives in Specialization

Geology and supporting courses are selected under advisement through the department chair and the chair of the thesis committee. General courses plus specialty courses in economic geology, paleontology, geomorphology, applied geology, hydrogeology, igneous and metamorphic petrology, stratigraphy and sedimentary petrology, and in tectonics, geophysics and structural geology allow a choice of specialties; that choice should be made as soon as possible in the student’s graduate career.

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