Geology Masters United States Graduate Programs
Geology master's degree programs are classified as part of the geosciences. Geology is the study of the history, composition and processes of Earth. Geology has applications in a number of industries including environmental protection and conservation, energy and natural resource exploration and extraction and development and infrastructure projects.
Earning a master's degree in geology prepares students to enter the field of geology with the most up-to-date research tools, methods and technology as well as current geological principles.
Geology Master's Degree Program Curriculum
Master's degree programs in geology require particular undergraduate coursework. Some schools look for previous coursework in physics, chemistry, higher level mathematics and courses specific to geology such as mineralogy, petrology, stratigraphy and various topics in geology.
While most graduate programs have a specific focus within the field of geology, typical courses of a master's in geology program include:
- Structural geology
- Advanced, focused courses in petrology
Field work is an important part of the graduate program and is often undertaken during summers. Each school offers different field areas.
Master’s programs in geology generally last two to three years, while Ph.D. programs range from three to six years. Master’s candidates are typically expected to produce a final research project, but it does not need to contain original research. In contrast, a Ph.D. candidate must typically complete a dissertation consisting of original and groundbreaking scientific research, and must pass qualifying exams.
Geologist Career Paths
Geologists find work in a variety of capacities including research positions, working with architectural and engineering firms and assisting with
environmentally conscious oil and gas extraction efforts. Others find environmental conservation positions and assist with building, infrastructure and waste remediation projects. Many geologists land positions with state and federal agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior.
Geologists Job Outlook
Jobs for geoscientists are expected to grow 16 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). New positions will largely be based in environmental protection and energy exploration and extraction, and positions supporting sustainability and responsible use of natural resources will be created. A large number of geologists might also find work as consultants especially with building and construction projects. Graduates with a master’s degree in geology are projected to have the best job prospects in the field.
According the BLS, the median annual salary for geologists in 2012 was $90,890. However, this figure ranges with industry of employment. The graph below provides 2012 median salary information for geologist employed in select industries.
- Normal, ILNormal, IL
Illinois State University
The Hydrogeology program focuses on groundwater as a dynamic resource and as a component of environmental science.
- Auburn, ALAuburn, AL
- Flushing, NYFlushing, NY
Queens College - City University Of New York
- Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches, TX
Stephen F Austin State University
- Morgantown, WVMorgantown, WV
West Virginia University
The Geology Program at West Virginia University prepares people for a range of fields - from environmental geology to...
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
- Flagstaff, AZFlagstaff, AZ
Northern Arizona University
The Department of Geology offers a strong Masters program in a region with unique opportunities for geologic studies.
- Lincoln, NELincoln, NE
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Individual graduate programs are designed by the student and the student's advisor. Field work is normally required for Geology degrees. The department has extensive research and computer facilities, and an excellent library, as well as access to meteor...
- Pullman, WAPullman, WA
Washington State University
- Northridge, CANorthridge, CA
California State University, Northridge
- Muncie, INMuncie, IN
Ball State University
The M.S. in Geology requires a thesis and is the traditional graduate degree leading to professional work in all specialties of geology in industry and government or study toward the Ph.D. Completion of the M.A. in Geology requires passing two standardi...
- Johnson City, TNJohnson City, TN
East Tennessee State University
Prepares students for conducting research in one of many realms of Paleontology with particular emphasis on Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleobotany.
- Provo, UTProvo, UT
Brigham Young University
The underlying core values and philosophies of this program are those espoused in the BYU Mission and AIMS.
- Raleigh, NCRaleigh, NC
North Carolina State University
- Manhattan, KSManhattan, KS
Kansas State University
The Department of Geology offers a graduate program leading to the M.S. degree in geology. The department also cooperates in the Ph.D. program in geology at the University of Kansas. Candidates for the Ph.D. degree who wish to study with a faculty membe...
- Springfield, MOSpringfield, MO
Missouri State University
This program provides professional training and skills in geospatial sciences in the areas of physical geography and environmental geology. Students will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with many cutting edge technologies, including Geos...
- Bridgewater, MABridgewater, MA
Bridgewater State University
The Accelerated Post Baccalaureate is for individuals seeking an initial license in the middle school and high school in Earth Science. The MAT assists students in moving from an initial license to a professional license in this area within the state of...
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
St. Louis University
At Saint Louis University the Geoscience program focus is seismology, including all aspects of earthquake hazard analysis, tectonophysics, physics of the deep interior, and geology of the crust and upper mantle. In addition to academic and institutional...
- Dekalb, ILDekalb, IL
Northern Illinois University
- Stillwater, OKStillwater, OK
Oklahoma State University
The School of Geology has emphasized two areas of Research with great potential: sedimentary/petroleum geology and environmental studies in the geosci...
- East Lansing, MIEast Lansing, MI
Michigan State University
- Las Cruces, NMLas Cruces, NM
New Mexico State University
The Department of Geological Sciences offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science in Geology degree.
- Providence, RIProvidence, RI
- Houston, TXHouston, TX
The objective is to educate business-savvy, scientifically trained leaders in the field of energy exploration.