Graduate Degree Programs

The EES graduate program in Earth and Environmental Sciences is designed to provide a graduate student an integrated, multidisciplinary education, nurtured through a carefully tailored degree program requiring a breadth of understanding and mastery of a spectrum of scientific and engineering principles. Among the goals is to provide students who have earned science or engineering undergraduate degrees a common ground for interdisciplinary communication, an understanding of the Earth and the environment, and competence in a discipline that will allow them to evaluate and solve complex geoscience or environmental problems.


Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences

The M.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences has four options: an Environmental Science option (with or without a thesis); a Geoscience option (with or without a thesis); a Professional Environmental Science option; and a Petroleum Geoscience Professional option.


M.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences (Environmental Science option)

The Environmental Science option provides graduate students with an integrated, multidisciplinary education, requiring a breadth of understanding and mastery of a spectrum of scientific and engineering principles. The thesis option, designed for those interested in an in-depth experience in some particular topic, and a non-thesis option are available. All new students are admitted into the non-thesis option. During the first year, students may transfer to the thesis option after obtaining a faculty thesis supervisor. A thesis supervisor is not guaranteed.


M.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences (Geoscience option)

The Geoscience option is a two year program with specializations in stratigraphy, petrology, paleontology, sedimentology, structural geology, Geomechanics, plate tectonics, computer modeling, hydrology, geochemistry and paleoclimatology. Students in this program are prepared for additional graduate work at the Ph.D. level, or for positions in industry and government. Thesis or non-thesis options are available. However, all new students are admitted into the non-thesis option. During the first year, students may transfer to the thesis option after obtaining a faculty thesis supervisor. A thesis supervisor is not guaranteed.


M.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences (Environmental Science Professional option)

The Environmental Science Professional option is a professional master’s degree for those interested in a career in environmental science. Instead of a thesis, students participate in a mentoring program, take a course in project economics, work as an intern or in a part time job in the environmental science profession, and course experiences involving business ethics, teamwork, a small research project, and communication. This is a non-thesis program.


M.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences (Petroleum Geoscience Professional option)

The Petroleum Geoscience Professional option is a professional master’s degree for those interested in a career in the petroleum Industry. In addition to core geology courses, students are required to participate in a networking program with industry professionals, work as an intern or in a part-time job in petroleum geoscience, take a course in project economics, and participate in course activities that emphasize business ethics, teamwork and communications. A thesis research project is required. All students are initially admitted to the Geoscience non-thesis option. During the first year, students may transfer to the Petroleum Geoscience option after obtaining a faculty thesis supervisor. A thesis supervisor is not guaranteed.


Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences

The EES doctoral program provides students with the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to conduct independent research in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Students conduct dissertation research under the supervision of a faculty member in one of the participating departments (Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, or Urban and Public Affairs). The supervising professor and a faculty committee assign courses in this primary area of emphasis to support the student’s research and professional goals. To provide interdisciplinary training, additional courses are assigned in a secondary area of emphasis. If they have not already done so in their previous work, all doctoral students must take one engineering course; two science courses; and one course in policy or planning.