The geosciences aim to increase our understanding of the composition and evolution of the Earth, including its fundamental role in creating the natural environment that humans inhabit. As such, this broad field addresses problems that will likely constitute some of the premier challenges for humankind in the 21st century, given the need to feed a rapidly growing world population, the continuously increasing per capita demand for natural resources, and the associated impacts such as climate change and the vast spectrum of more regional environmental impacts.
Applicants pursue a thesis program for a Master of Science degree. To be acceptable, the thesis must contain an original contribution to knowledge and be in form and of literary quality worthy of publication. In addition to the thesis, 24 semester hours of course work at the 6000-9000 level are required. Those expecting to continue into a Ph.D. program can either finish their Master degree or pass a Ph.D. qualifying exam after their fourth semester.