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.
- Santa Cruz, CASanta Cruz, CA
University of California - Santa Cruz
The Earth & Planetary Sciences Department at the UC, Santa Cruz has an outstanding reputation; our graduates are leaders in academia, research, government, and industry. We offer both master's and doctoral programs. Admission is highly competitive, and...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
University of Chicago
The Department of the Geophysical Sciences covers a wide range of disciplines related to the Earth, including its origin, life, fluid envelopes, and cosmic environment. Concepts and methods in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology are applied to...
- Binghamton, NYBinghamton, NY
Binghamton University (S.U.N.Y.)
Our grad program in Geological Sciences provides outstanding resources and unique opportunities for professional development...
- University, MSUniversity, MS
University of Mississippi
The Department of Geology and Geological Engineering offers M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in both geology and geological engineering. Graduate study emphasizes fundamental and applied study and research in a broad range of earth science topics including, but...
- Carbondale, ILCarbondale, IL
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
The Department of Geology at SIUC offers graduate support and research opportunities both in the U.S. and at field sites worldwide.
- Rochester, NYRochester, NY
University of Rochester
Educational and research programs in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences are integrated, allowing undergraduate and graduate students to conduct research in all phases of their studies in geochemistry, paleomagnetism, structural geology a...
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of California - Berkeley
- Wilmington, NCWilmington, NC
University of North Carolina Wilmington
- Murray, KYMurray, KY
Murray State University
- Odessa, TXOdessa, TX
University of Texas of the Permian Basin, The
The graduate program in Geology has several objectives.a. Mastery of the fundamentals in Geology at a professional level.b.
- Bowling Green, OHBowling Green, OH
Bowling Green State University
Areas of emphasis include carbonate petrology, economic geology, environmental geology, geochemistry, geographic information...
- Gainesville, FLGainesville, FL
The University of Florida
The Department consists of 20 faculty members and 4 research associates and over 50 graduate students. Our research and teaching programs emphasize five primary areas: Environmental Geosystems, Tectonophysics, Chemical Geodynamics, Marine Geology and Pa...
- Troy, NYTroy, NY
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at Rensselaer offers the opportunity to learn from some of the most accomplished faculty, and to work on some of the most exciting and significant projects in Earth Science. Alumni of our graduate program...
- Logan, UTLogan, UT
Utah State University
- Tallahassee, FLTallahassee, FL
Florida State University
The Master's program is designed to provide breadth and depth of knowledge for the student who desires a professional degree, and to prepare students interested in continuing on to earn a doctorate. The doctoral degree program is intended to develop ind...
- Golden, COGolden, CO
Colorado School Of Mines
CSM offers unique educational programs that offer opportunities to combine science and engineering and provide fundamental principles and practical methods and techniques. Each student in the department develops a program of study that suits his/her edu...
- Golden, CO
- Greenville, NCGreenville, NC
East Carolina University
- Middletown, CTMiddletown, CT
This program is designed for students who desire further training prior to initiation of a doctoral program at a larger...
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
Washington University in St Louis
- College Park, MDCollege Park, MD
University of Maryland - College Park
- Columbus, OHColumbus, OH
Ohio State University
Program includes courses in most fields of earth sciences with special emphasis on aquatic chemistry, contaminant transport and remediation, and hydrogeology; economic geology, geochemistry, geochronology, isotope geology, igneous and metamorphic petrol...