Jun 20, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2020-21 
    
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2020-21 [Archived Catalog]

Geological Sciences - MS


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Master of Science in Geological Sciences

Geological Sciences  - MS3321 (thesis), MS3324 (non-thesis)

Department of Geological Sciences
316 Clippinger Laboratories
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701-2979
Geological.Sciences@ohio.edu

Delivery Mode: Athens campus

Terms of Entry: Fall, Spring, Summer

Program Overview

The Department of Geological Sciences provides students with an introduction to problem solving, critical thinking, and basic concepts using the earth sciences and to show how modern observations can be extended into deep time. We impart to our graduate students a high level of knowledge, skills, and professionalism that enable them to advance their careers by integrating courses with forefront research into the processes that formed and now modify the Earth.

MS3321 (thesis option)

The Master of Science in Geological Sciences thesis program combines graded coursework and thesis research to train students in advanced geological and scientific analysis. Students conduct research in collaboration with a faculty advisor in one of three research clusters: solid earth and planetary dynamics, sedimentary geology and paleobiology, and environmental and surficial processes. Thesis research trains students in all stages of scientific investigation including hypothesis generation, data collection and analysis, interpreting research data, and presenting those results in a written thesis and oral presentation. Students are also trained in grantsmanship and encouraged to participate in scientific meetings. The MS thesis program is designed to train and prepare students to be successful in continuing into a PhD program or obtaining positions in the industry, government, or consulting sectors. Full-time students normally complete the program in two academic years.

MS3324 (non-thesis-option)

The Master of Science in Geological Sciences non-thesis program is designed for students who are planning to enter the geology workforce, but are not planning to pursue career paths that require a Ph.D., such as those in academia. The non-thesis option provides geology graduates and those from related STEM disciplines with advanced/applied training and experiences through coursework that will enhance their marketability as the next generation of practicing geoscientists and allied professionals. Full-time students normally complete the program in two to three semesters.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • Interpret, analyze, discuss, and critique scientific papers about geological problems and research techniques.
  • Identify geological problems, formulate hypotheses to address geologic problems, and generate high quality written proposals for investigating geologic questions.
  • Apply different geological methods to collect data and solve geological problems.
  • Analyze, discuss, and formulate conclusions about geologic data to solve geological research questions.
  • Produce high quality analyses of data, results, interpretations, and conclusions in written and oral scientific formats.

Opportunities for Graduates

The M.S. degree in Geological Sciences is the degree-level most often sought by employers in Geological Sciences. Excellent opportunities are can be found in both energy and environmental fields as well as careers within or related to geology including government, scientific communication, education, and consulting.

Further Information

Link to Program: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/geology/graduate

Link to Program Handbook:  Most information is distributed within the department website (linked above). For a PDF of version of the most recent handbook, contact the current graduate chairperson.

Admission Requirements

MS3321 (thesis)

Applicants are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in geology, environmental geology, earth sciences, or closely related degree from an accredited institution or equivalent. A curriculum vitae or resume, a one- to two-page statement that describes their interest in both the field of geological sciences and our graduate program, and three letters of recommendation are required. A faculty member willing to direct the applicant’s thesis research is required for admission. In order to receive full consideration for funding decisions, all application materials must be submitted by February 1.

MS3324 (non-thesis)

Applicants are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in geology, environmental geology, earth sciences, or closely related degree from an accredited institution or equivalent. A curriculum vitae or resume, a one- to two-page statement that describes their interest in both the field of geological sciences and our graduate program, and three letters of recommendation are required. To receive full consideration, all application materials must be submitted by April 1 for Fall or September 1 for Spring entry.

International Students

This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

Graduation Requirements for Thesis Track


Complete a minimum of 30 credit hours as follows:

Coursework Requirements


Students must complete a minimum of six letter-graded courses at the 5000-level or higher (minimum of 24 credit hours). Two courses may be from departments other than Geological Sciences, but they must be approved by the student’s academic committee.

The following courses are required:

Culminating Experience


Students must successfully complete and defend a thesis. A thesis proposal is required beforehand, typically defended by the end of the first year of study.

Graduation Requirements for Non-Thesis Track


Complete a minimum of 30 credit hours as follows:

Coursework Requirements


Students must complete a minimum of seven letter-graded courses at the 5000-level or higher (minimum of 28 credit hours). Two courses may be from departments other than Geological Sciences, but they must be approved by the student’s academic committee.

Students must also complete a minimum of two semesters of Colloquium (for a total of 2 hours):

Culminating Experience


Students must successfully complete of a research and technical skills portfolio designed to assess synthesis of knowledge developed during the course of study.

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