Applying to the Graduate Program
The Department of Geology welcomes applicants who possess an undergraduate degree in geology or in an allied field and who wish to pursue advanced studies. Graduate degrees include the Master of Science in Geology and Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Geology. Students enrolling in the graduate program are expected to have completed undergraduate or graduate course work in mineralogy, petrology, structural geology, sedimentology and stratigraphy, and a five-week or longer, geological field camp prior to the completion of their degree. These courses may be completed by applicants prior to entering the graduate program or while enrolled at Kent State University. If completed at the graduate level, these courses may count toward the graduate program of study.
For additional information regarding the application process, please contact the Geology Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Joseph D. Ortiz.
Graduate Research Areas of Focus
Students at the M.S. and Ph.D. level can focus in one of three areas that will prepare them to be professional geologists, scholars, or for a broad spectrum of other careers. These areas include:
See how are graduates are using their degrees at our Alumni page.
Application Process and Timeline
The Department of Geology has a minimum grade point average (GPA) admission criteria of 3.000 or greater on a 4.000 scale for unconditional admission. If your average grades are calculated on a different scale by the schools you have attended, they will be converted to a 4.0 scale by the Graduate School or the Office of International Affairs as appropriate as part of the application process. Applicants with a 3.000 or greater GPA can be admitted unconditionally and are eligible for departmental funding. Applicants with cumulative GPAs ranging between 2.750 and 2.999 may petition for conditional admission, but will not be eligible for departmental funding during at least their first semester at the university. Applicants admitted conditionally must generally clear their conditions of admission - which are determined on an case by case basis - by the end of their first semester in residence to remain in the program.
Applicants should generally apply for admission during the Fall term. We usually make offers of financial support for incoming students starting their graduate work during the Fall term. Applicants who can provide their own funding are welcome to apply for entry during the Spring term. If accepted into the program and in good standing, student who enter in the Spring term under their own funds can apply for departmental funding during the following Fall term. Please make sure to allow sufficient time for your letters of reference, official transcripts and GRE scores to arrive and be processed prior to the application deadline.
Because of the length of time necessary to process applications from students with international degrees, students with non-US degrees should submit application materials no later than September 15 of the year preceding their intended year of enrollment.
To receive full consideration for financial support, all application materials must be submitted to Kent State University in sufficient time for the Division of Graduate Studies to process and forward the applicant's file to the Department of Geology by January 15 for August admission.
After January 15, applications may still be submitted, however we will have begun the process of evaluating applications and will continue to do so until all funds are allocated for the Fall start date. Applications must be completed online.
Your application will not be considered complete and released to the Department of Geology until all application materials are received by the Office of Graduate Program Services or the Office of Global Education. An incomplete application will delay the decision process. Begin the application process online at the Online Application System.
A complete application includes all of the following materials as described in steps 1-6 below:
1. The Graduate Studies Information Request Form
All applicants must complete a Graduate Studies Information Request Form. Please be sure to complete all the requested fields. Your response will be automatically emailed to us when you receive the confirmation page. Please do not send other application materials to the Geology Graduate Coordinator or Department of Geology unless directed as this could slow the processing of your application.
2a. Online Kent State University graduate application
Applications for graduate school at Kent State University must be submitted online using the links provided below. The Department of Geology accepts applications at the Masters of Science (M.S.) and Doctoral (Ph.D.) levels. The department requires all applicants for the Ph.D. to hold a US M.S. degree or its equivalent as determined by the Office of Global Education at Kent State University. US Citizens and Permanent Residents of the US should use the "Domestic Applicants" link below. All other applicants should use the "International Applicants" link below. If you have a question regarding which link or program is appropriate for you, please contact the Geology Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Joseph D. Ortiz.
2b. Online Application Upload Utility for Supporting Documents
Applicants can use the links provided in the online application or the link to the secure form below to submit a vitae or resume, a goal statement, essays, or other required application materials. Letters of reference can also be submitted by the author of the letter using this upload utility. Students should provide their letter writers with their application I.D. to prevent delays when processing letters of reference. If you submit documents using this form, please do not mail them as well. You will receive an email notification when your document(s) have been processed.
Please do not submit official transcripts using this form. All official transcripts must come directly from a previous institution.
3. Statement of Purpose
All applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose describing their current academic interests, their long-range career goals, and how they feel that admission to the graduate program in geology at Kent State will help them achieve these goals. Please provide your statement of purpose following the instructions provided in the online university application.
4. Three letters of recommendation
These are required as part of the KSU application process. The University will contact your referees based on the information that you provide on your online university application. Please do not ask your referees to send their letters directly to the Department of Geology as this will slow the processing of your file. Letters should be submitted directly to the Graduate School following the instructions that are provided to the referees.
5. Official academic transcripts
Kent State University requires official transcripts for any academic programs in which you are enrolled and for all academic degrees that you have completed. All official transcripts should be sent to the Office of Graduate Program Services or the Office of International Affairs as appropriate using one of the addresses listed below:
Domestic Applicants (US Citizens and Permanent residents):Office of Graduate Program Services Division of Graduate Studies Kent State University P.O. Box 5190 Kent, OH 44242-0001
Office of Global Education
106 Van Campen Hall
Kent State University
Kent OH 44242 USA
6. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Scores
The Department of Geology does not implement a minimum GRE score to apply, but requires all applicants to the graduate program to have completed the GRE exam. This provides a metric against which all applicants can be evaluated. The TOEFL exam is required for any applicants with degrees which are exclusively from non-English speaking programs or whose native language is not English. The University requires official documentation of one of the following minimum TOEFL scores as proof of English proficiency.
The Department of Geology prefers that applicants take the TOEFL internet Based Test (iBT) when available.
|Exam||Paper Based (pBT)
||Computer Based (cBT)
||Internet Based (iBT)
An official MELAB score of 77 or greater or an IELTS score of 6 or greater are also acceptable documentation of English proficiency. Additional information can be found on the Admissions Office English Language Proficiency Requirements web page.Both the GRE and the TOEFL exams are administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
Information about these exams are available from the ETS website and the University's online application instructions. Please indicate that official scores should be mailed directly to the Kent State University Department of Geology by ETS either at the time the exam is taken or by contacting ETS as described on the ETS website. Kent State uses the GRE Department code for "Geological Sciences", and the TOEFL Department Code for "Geology".
The ETS institution and department codes for Kent State University are as follows:
Your GRE scores and, if appropriate, TOEFL scores and TOEFL test format should also be noted on the Department Graduate Information Form. You will receive a link to this form once you complete Step 1 of the application process.
Funding decisions are made on a separate basis from admission, so it is possible to be admitted, but not funded for graduate study. Most graduate students receive financial aid in the form of Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, federal fellowships, or other types of scholarships. University Teaching Assistantships currently provide nine-month stipends of $12,000 for M.S.- level students and $15,000 for Ph.D. students, with an exemption from all instructional and out-of-state fees. As part of the application process for a University Teaching Assistantship, we may conduct phone interviews for any applicants with degrees exclusively from non-English speaking programs or whose native language is not English to determine their suitability for a teaching appointment.