M.S. in Geology | Kent State University

M.S. in Geology

Field Camp in the Black Hills, SDSteps toward completion of the M.S. in Geology program

  • Requirements for Graduation
  • Important Dates
  • Recommended Schedule for M.S. Students Funded by the Department
  • Forms
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Information on this page is summarized from the "Department of Geology M.S. Program Requirements" (printed copies may be obtained from the Graduate Coordinator). In addition, at least one chapter of your thesis/dissertation, in final form, should be examined by the Office of Graduate Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences for conformity to the rules before you complete and photocopy all the chapters. This will assure in advance the acceptance of your document.

Also see the Guide to Graduate Education at Kent State University for a summary of the policies and procedures for graduate education.

Requirements for Graduation

(See University Catalog for details - revised June 2017)

Requirement Details
Minimum Graduate GPA that must be maintained
Graduate students are expected to maintain a 3.0 average GPA in all work attempted at Kent State. A student who fails to maintain a 3.0 average is subject to dismissal. In addition, in order to qualify for graduation, a 3.0 average must be maintained for all graduate coursework. Grades below C (2.0) are not counted toward completion of requirements for any advanced degree, but are counted in evaluating a student's grade point average. Only graduate course credits count toward a graduate degree. A graduate student who receives a combination of more than 8 credit hours of B- (2.7) or lower grades, or more than 4 credit hours of grades lower than C (2.0) is subject to dismissal. Academic Performance and Progress is reviewed at the end of each semester. 
3.00
Preparation for Study
Students enrolled in the graduate program are expected to have completed undergraduate course work in Earth Materials I and II (mineralogy and petrology), and a substantive field experience such as a five-week 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 KSU. If completed at the graduate level, these courses may count toward the graduate program of study.
Required
File signed MS Proposed Program of Research (Word) and MS Proposed Courses of Study(Word) with the Graduate Coordinator
Minimum number of Graduate Credit Hours needed 32
Number of Thesis I hours needed (GEOL 60199)
GEOL 60199 (Thesis I) hours are taken after successful completion of the thesis proposal and usually in the second year of study. Subsequently, the student must enroll for 2 hours of GEOL 60299 (Thesis II) each semester, including one summer term, until graduation.
6
Minimum number of credit hours beyond the 6 required Thesis I Hours 26
Minimum number of credit hours of Formal Coursework needed 20
Minimum number of 60,000 or higher level credit hours of Formal course work needed
This requirement is satisfied by taking any combination of 60,000-level or greater formal courses including GEOL 60084 (Geology Graduate Student Orientation); but excluding thesis hours. Note, 50,000 level coursework in allied disciplines, including Biological Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, or Math & Computer Sciences, or in Civil Engineering (at U. Akron) will apply toward the 10 hours required at the 60,000 or greater level. A signed MS Proposed Program of Study must be filed with the Graduate Coordinator by the end of the first semester. 
10
Successful Thesis Proposal Defense
All Masters students are required to successfully complete an oral thesis proposal defense evaluated by their proposed thesis advisor and committee. The primary goal of the meeting is to refine the student's thinking and approach to the research and the method of carrying it out, and to facilitate input on these same matters from the Thesis Committee members. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Thesis Committee votes regarding approval or disapproval of the proposal. For full-time Master's students, the entire procedure should be completed prior to the end of the second semester of study. For part time Master's students, the procedure must be completed prior to the end of the semester in which the student completes 16 hours of credit toward the degree. Follow the College of Arts & Sciences Style Guide when writing the thesis.
Required

File the Notification of Approved Thesis Topic with the Office of Graduate Affairs, College of Arts & Sciences and the Geology Graduate Coordinator (3 copies).
Annual Progress Review
To ensure progress toward the degree, non-funded students are encouraged and all departmental and grant-funded M.S. students are required to hold an annual committee meeting (typically in late spring) with a majority of the committee including the advisor in attendance to review their progress and methodologies, and discuss strategies to address problems that may have arisen. The student must inform the Graduate Coordinator of the date and outcome of the Spring Review meeting. 
The student provides the Graduate Coordinator with a written progress report, poster(s) or presentation printout to document progress.
Public Oral Thesis Defense
With the approval of the advisor, the student must present the draft copy of the thesis to the committee members, providing at least 10 days for the thesis to be read and evaluated. The thesis committee must meet to determine if the thesis is defensible in its current form or requires revisions. Once a defensible copy is provided to the committee, a date is set for the public oral thesis defense. The oral defense is open to the Kent State community and publicly announced at least 10 days in advance of the event.

All Masters students are required to successfully pass an oral thesis defense, which serves as a graded final examination (Pass/Fail). The grade given at the completion of the defense is final and cannot be changed without recourse to the academic appeals process (i.e., there are no second opportunities to defend the thesis). In extraordinary cases, if the committee determines that the student is running into difficulty during the exam, the committee can vote to suspend the defense. This suspension will involve a significant time lapse during which appropriate revisions must be made. At a later date, the defense can be continued. Presentation of their student research at a scientific meeting is recommended, but not required for graduation. Additional procedural details can be found in the Masters Thesis Defense GuidelinesPrepare the signature page: Signature Page instructions and examples.
Required

File the completed Report of Thesis Final Examination and Application for Graduation forms in College of A&S, Office of Graduate Affairs, with a copy to the Graduate Coordinator, upon completion of this requirement.

Once your revisions are complete and you have the final version of your thesis ready for electronic publication, gather signatures on your signature page (see example in the Style Guide), complete the Thesis Preparation Approval Form, and submit both to the College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Affairs Office.

Complete the Department of Geology Graduate Student Check-Out Form and file with the Graduate Coordinator.

The online Application for Graduation (first time only) is available in your FlashLine account, Student / Resources / Graduation / "Application for Graduation". Prepare the signature page: Signature Page instructions and examples. 
 
Electronic Submission of Thesis

The master’s candidates submit their thesis in electronic form. Information on the process may be found on the University Libraries electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD) website. Theses are submitted electronically through the OhioLINK ETD Center, where they are made publicly available. It is the responsibility of the master’s student to fulfill this requirement.

 

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. The re-application must be in the Office of Graduate Affairs by the deadline for application for graduation. Although reminders from the Graduate Coordinator and the Office of Graduate Affairs will be sent out, the Graduate Catalogue clearly stipulates that it is the responsibility of the student to meet the deadlines. Master's degree students will normally complete work within six calendar years after the students' first graduate registration at Kent State University.

Students must be continuously enrolled, including one summer term each year, prior to the completion of their degree. Please consult the Graduate Catalog for your enrollment term or the Department office for more information.

  • Departmental Scholarship Applications
    Due by April 15
  • Application to Graduate
    Due by 4:00 pm Friday of the first week of classes for the semester in which you wish to graduate
  • Thesis Defense Deadline
    Typically about 5 weeks before commencement (look for the posted deadlines each semester)
  • Thesis Submission Deadline
    Typically about 3 weeks before commencement (look for the posted deadlines each semester)

Recommended Schedule for M.S. Students Funded by the Department

Semester Actions
Semester I Course work underway.
Select advisor and thesis topic.
Discuss selection of thesis committee with advisor.
Meet with advisor and committee to develop and submit the MS Proposed Program of Research (Word) and MS Proposed Courses of Study (Word)
Semester II Committee meeting and proposal submitted by mid-semester break.
Notification of Approved Thesis Topic form completed and submitted to the Office of Graduate Affairs, College of Arts & Sciences with a copy to the Graduate Coordinator.
Summer I Research initiated.
Semester III Coursework and research continues.
Semester IV Begin writing thesis following the Style Guide and Libraries and Media Services Guidelines for electronic preparation of your thesis or dissertation.
Meet with your committee.
Summer II Finish writing thesis. Defend thesis following the Masters Thesis Defense Guidelines.
Prepare the signature page: Signature Page instructions and examples
Report of Thesis Final Examination form completed directly following the defense and submitted to the Office of Graduate Affairs, College of Arts & Sciences with a copy to the Graduate Coordinator.
Once your revisions are complete and you have the final version of your thesis ready for electronic publication, gather signatures on your signature page (see example in the Style Guide), complete the Thesis Preparation Approval Form, and submit both to the College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Affairs Office.
Submit an Application for Graduation form.
Complete the Department of Geology Graduate Student Check-Out Form.
Graduate in August or December.

Forms

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The department requires 20 hours of formal coursework, including GEOL 60084 (1 credit). 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:

  1. You can take courses at the University of Akron, Cleveland State University, and Youngstown State Univeristy through the Memorandum of Understanding, without transfer. This widens your choice of coursework substantially. Fill out and submit this form well before you need to register for the desired course. Discuss this with the Graduate Coordinator and/or your Advisor.
  2. You can take courses in allied fields;  such as GIS or Remote Sensing courses in Geography; the Wetlands, Limnology, and Ecology courses in Biological Sciences; the Environmental Chemistry courses in Chemistry; computer programming courses in Computer Science; or relevant courses in Physics. See the Registrar's website for available courses by semester. Note: Please consult primary advisor before enrolling in cross-discipline coursework. 

Can I transfer geological coursework from another institution?

Yes, you can transfer up to 12 hours of graduate credit, graded B or higher, from an accredited institution, as long as the work was done within six years of the completion date of your M.S. in Geology.

Can I pursue two Masters degrees simultaneously or sequentially at KSU?

Yes, you can! You can share 12 hours of coursework between the 2 Masters programs.

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 Typing Theses and Dissertations (updated Fall 2015) is available in the main Geology 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?

See the University policy for degree completion.

Master’s degree students will normally complete work within six calendar years after the students’ first graduate registration at Kent State University. Any credit being transferred for meeting degree requirements should also have been earned within the six-year period. Departments with time limits that vary from these norms will notify their students in writing.

When an extension of any of these time limits seems to be necessary and proper, the student and advisor will petition the student’s department for an extension. The extension may be denied, in which case the student will be dismissed, or it may be granted with qualification. The student, advisor and college dean must be informed of the decision in writing. If the extension exceeds one year, the approval of the college dean is required. Requests for time extensions exceeding one year must be submitted to the college dean with evidence that the degree candidate is current in his/her field of study.

Students who must be away from their studies for one or more semesters for personal, family, financial or other compelling reasons may apply for a leave of absence. More information can be found in the Leave of Absence policy in the University Catalog.

Upon receiving their graduate degree, students are inactivated and are no longer eligible to register for courses at Kent State University. If students wish to continue their studies at Kent State, they will need to reapply to the appropriate academic unit and be accepted for another graduate degree program or as a non-degree student.

Complete the Application for extension of time limits if you will miss a graduation date.

Information about the Minimum Enrollment Policy:

Students who have defended their MS thesis proposal, or who have some other programmatic or funding stipulation need to be continuously enrolled from semester to semester (with the three summer terms counting as one semester). Masters students should register for at least two Thesis I or II credits during the academic year and at least two Thesis I or Thesis II credits as appropriate during at least one summer term to maintain continuous enrollment. After completing 6 hours of Thesis I, a student should register for Thesis II credits each term until they defend their Thesis.

Information about the Continuous Enrollment Policy: