University of Missouri

Geological Sciences Department of Geological Sciences Department of Geological Sciences

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Undergraduate Program
BS - Geological Sciences
BA - Geological Sciences
Minor in Geology


Graduate Program
MS - Geological Sciences
PhD - Geological Sciences
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Graduate Program

Master of Science Program

Thesis Option

University requirements:

  1. A minimum of 30 hours beyond the bachelor's degree.
  2. At least 15 hours of 8000- or 9000-level work.
  3. No more than 12 hours (of the 30) can be Geology 7085, 7990, 8085, & 8090 (problems, readings, thesis research, etc.).
  4. Read the pertinent parts of the Graduate Catalog for additional information on MU requirements for the Master's degree.

Advice: Take most of your classroom coursework (18 hrs. or more) the first year, then concentrate on thesis research the second year.

Departmental requirements:

  1. Admission is based upon examination of transcripts, required GRE scores (Verbal and Quantitative), and letters of recommendation. Serious consideration for admission requires a 3.00 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, GRE scores totaling 1100 on the Verbal and Quantitative Tests, and strong letters of recommendation. Lower GPA's must be offset by higher GRE scores.
  2. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.00 for all competitive classroom work at MU. If GPA falls below 3.00, student must raise GPA to 3.00 or higher by end of next semester or be dropped from Master's program.
  3. Equivalent of MU Bachelor of Science degree in geology or another science field is normally required prior to receiving an advanced degree. Science-course deficiencies must be made up before beginning thesis work.
  4. There is no foreign language requirement.
  5. A thesis is required. (There is also a non-thesis option; see below). The student must choose a supervisor by the middle of his second semester in residence, and make a brief written report to the faculty outlining the proposed thesis research.
  6. The Master's Final Exam is a defense of the thesis. The student should invite all faculty members to attend their defense. An oral presentation of the thesis results must be given at a departmental seminar (either fall or winter semester) as a part of the defense. After an open question-answer session, the student and the exam committee may conclude the defense in a closed question-answer session.
  7. Faculty members will not read theses or conduct final examinations during the summer field season.

Note: International students for whom English is a foreign language must submit a TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) to be considered for admission.

Non-Thesis Option

Our Department recently instituted a non-thesis option for the Master's Degree. We developed this additional track for students who

  1. are employed full- or part-time and who wish to pursue an advanced degree while working;
  2. are coming from engineering or chemistry backgrounds or other fields and who wish to acquire geologic knowledge to become registered geologists; and/or
  3. wish to study advanced geology for any reason, but do not wish to pursue thesis research.

Like the thesis opton, the non-thesis option also requires 30 hours beyond the bachelor's degree with at least 15 hours of 8000- or 9000-level work. The chief difference is that the non-thesis option requires 27 of the 30 hours to be classroom courses plus 3 hours of research credit leading to completion of a smaller-scope research report, which is presented publicly. Although students conducting research leading to a thesis receive preferential consideration for Departmental financial support, those interested in the non-thesis option may also be supported if funds are available.

Our Application Process and Financial Aid Information

Department of Geological Sciences | 101 Geology Building | Columbia, MO 65211-1380
Phone: 573-882-6785 | Fax: 573-882-5458 | General inquiries: BedfordT@missouri.edu

Department of Geological Sciences | College of Arts and Science | University of Missouri
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This file last modified Friday, 20-May-2016 09:27:23 CDT