Master of Science in Geology

The M.S. degree is offered to those students who have a degree in the sciences, and have demonstrated the potential for research and a professional career. Classified (degree-seeking, fully accepted) admission to the program is recommended by the graduate faculty of the Geosciences Department.

The student’s course of study will be determined by consultation and possibly an entrance examination. Students will normally be required to complete deficiencies, at the undergraduate level, in any courses required for the B.S. in Geology at Idaho State University. Continued enrollment in the program is contingent upon maintaining a 3.0 grade point average and making satisfactory progress toward the degree.
Unclassified status is used for students with large numbers of deficiencies or with low undergraduate GPAs. Unclassified students may apply for classified status when their performance warrants.

General Requirements

A student who wants to earn a master's degree in geology must complete at least 30 credits of coursework. These credits must be earned under the following conditions:

  1. The student must earn at least 17 credits (including six thesis credits) at the 6600 level in geology. GEOL 6649 credits are not included in this count. 
  2. The remaining 13 credits may be earned at the 5500 or 6600 level, of which eight credits may come from a related discipline. GEOL 6649 credits are not included in this count. 

In addition to the 30 required credits, each student must take two approved courses from outside the Geosciences Department (e.g., technical writing, anthropology, etc.) or may opt to take the foreign language challenge exam at the elementary level.

The department requires that the following core courses be completed. These classes are normally taken during the first and second semesters of graduate study:

GEOL 5591Seminar1
GEOL 6601Advanced Physical Geology2
GEOL 6603Geologic Writing Seminar2

Graduate students may not sign up for GEOL 6650 (Thesis) until their thesis prospectus has been submitted and approved by the Thesis Committee. Additionally, all graduate students are required to present at least one geology colloquium dealing with their thesis topic prior to taking their oral examination.