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Geology - M.S.

The Master of Science degree in Geology provides qualified students the opportunity for advanced study in a wide variety of geologic fields. Focus areas include environmental research (water, surface and subsurface processes; geohazards; and natural resources), as well as evolution of earth's systems research (climate change, paleoecology and evolution, crustal processes).

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Program Information

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Show in-depth comprehension of several areas, including both basic and applied aspects of geology/earth sciences.
  2. Formulate testable scientific hypotheses and carry out independent research using appropriate field, experimental, analytical and/or computational methods.
  3. Describe, synthesize and interpret the results of a scientific investigation and understand its broader applications.

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.750 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000-point scale
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Goal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions to waive) by earning one of the following:1
    • Minimum 79 TOEFL iBT score
    • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
    • Minimum 58 PTE score
    • Minimum 110 DET score

International applicants who do not meet the above test scores may be considered for conditional admission.

Application Deadline

  • Fall Semester
    • Priority deadline: January 15
      Applications submitted by this deadline will receive the strongest consideration for admission.

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
Additional Program Requirements 124
Culminating Requirement
Minimum Total Credit Hours:32

Students must complete 9 credit hours at the 60000-level.


Upon the completion of the thesis proposal defense, the student registers for 6 credit hours of ESCI 60199. Thereafter, the student must be continuously registered in ESCI 60299 until all degree requirements are met.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum Major GPA Minimum Overall GPA
  • Participation in required orientation and colloquia
  • Accepted and publicly defended thesis that incorporates the results of a program of original geologic research
  • All students will have a fundamental knowledge and understanding of earth materials by the end of the second year in the program. This will be fulfilled by a lecture and lab course in Earth Materials or an equivalent course related to mineralogy and/or petrology as determined by the graduate coordinator.
    • No more than one-half of a graduate student’s coursework may be taken in 50000-level courses.
    • Grades below C are not counted toward completion of requirements for the degree.
Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Kent Campus

Important Dates

There are several deadlines (including those for applying for graduation, completing the thesis/dissertation defense, and presentation of thesis/dissertation to the Office of Graduate Affairs, College of Arts & Sciences) that must be met in order to graduate in a timely fashion. If the student applies for graduation in one term and is delayed in finishing the work, it is necessary to file a re-application in the Office of Graduate Affairs, College of Arts & Sciences during the term in which graduation is anticipated.

Additional Resources

View our list of forms and downloads.

Frequently Asked Questions

What options do I have when selecting formal coursework to fit my course of study?

The department requires a certain amount of formal coursework. Keep in mind that in addition to the formal courses offered in the department, you have the following options available to help you develop the skills you need:

  • You can take courses at the University of Akron, Cleveland State University, and Youngstown State University through the Memorandum of Understanding, without transfer.
  • You can take courses in allied fields.
Can I pursue two Masters degrees simultaneously or sequentially at KSU?

Yes you can, please contact your advisor for more information.

Where can I go to get the thesis style guide and the necessary forms I will need as I progress through the program?

The KSU College of Arts & Sciences Style Guide and Instructions for Formatting Theses and Dissertations (updated Fall 2015) is available in the main Earth Sciences office. You can also access these materials from this website (see above), or at the appropriate page in the Arts and Sciences website. Libraries and Media Services also provides guidelines for preparing your thesis or dissertation to help you complete the process.

How much time do I have to complete my degree?
What about my enrollment status?

The Department of Earth Sciences requires all Department and University funded students to be enrolled full-time (at least 8 credits) during the academic year. Students who are not funded by the department are recommended to be enrolled full-time to ensure that they make continued progress toward their degree and to save on tuition and fees by shortening their time to degree.

For additional enrollment requirements consult the University Graduate Catalog.

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

Atmospheric, earth, marine, and space sciences teachers, postsecondary


slower than the average


number of jobs


potential earnings

Geological and hydrologic technicians


faster than the average


number of jobs


potential earnings

Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers


about as fast as the average


number of jobs


potential earnings



faster than the average


number of jobs


potential earnings

Natural sciences managers


about as fast as the average


number of jobs


potential earnings

Notice: Career Information Source
* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

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