Geology Masters 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.
- Bowling Green, OHBowling Green, OH
Bowling Green State University
Areas of emphasis include carbonate petrology, economic geology, environmental geology, geochemistry, geographic information...
- 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...
- Milwaukee, WIMilwaukee, WI
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
The Department of Geosciences offers graduate work emphasizing applied aspects of the hydrologic, geological, and geophysical sciences.
- Logan, UTLogan, UT
Utah State University
- Malvern, AustraliaMalvern, Australia
- Johannesburg, South AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa
University of the Witwatersrand
The University of the Witwatersrand is located in the largest metropolitan area and the industrial and commercial heart of South Africa. Wits is recognised both nationally and internationally for the quality of its graduates and its excellence in teachi...
- Sheffield, United KingdomSheffield, United Kingdom
University of Sheffield
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
The Department of Geology offers a two-year M.S. program that includes graduate courses in geology, weekly graduate seminars, qualifying exams, and re...
- Taejon, KoreaTaejon, Korea
Chungnam National University
- 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...
- Kharagpur, IndiaKharagpur, India
Indian Institute of Technology
- 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...
- Newcastle Upon Tyne, United KingdomNewcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Developing innovative solutions for the geoenvironmental and geoengineering business sectors presents entrepreneurial scientists and engineers with significant business opportunities. This programme aims to enable you to identify these opportunities and...
- Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
- Arlington, TXArlington, TX
University of Texas at Arlington
The MS in geology is a two year program with specialization in stratigraphy, paleontology, sedimentology, structural geology...
- Arlington, TX
- Thunder Bay, ONThunder Bay, ON
The M.Sc. program in geology is normally taken as a full-time study program over two academic years but many students have successfully completed thei...
- Houghton, MIHoughton, MI
Michigan Technological University
- Houghton, MI
- 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...
- Fukuoka, JapanFukuoka, Japan
- Brooklyn, NYBrooklyn, NY
Brooklyn College Of The City University Of New York
The M.A. program in geology offers advanced instruction and research experience in a wide array of subjects in earth and environmental sciences.
- Canberra, AustraliaCanberra, Australia
Australian National University, The
The Graduate School of The Australian National University is a cosmopolitan academic community, attracting students from many countries and from all parts of Australia. Approximately 1200 graduate students are enrolled in research degrees (PhD or Master...
- Dekalb, ILDekalb, IL
Northern Illinois University
- Kobe, JapanKobe, Japan
- 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...
- Shizuoka, JapanShizuoka, Japan
Shizuoka Institute of Science and Technology