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 Geology Graduate Student Handbook (Word). Printed copies are available upon request in the Department of Geology office, 221 McGilvrey Hall. 

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 2018

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)


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: