Master's in Geology Program
Program Admission Requirements | Thesis Option | Non-Thesis Option |
Completed Thesis Projects/Career Options
The Department of Geological Sciences at UTSA offers graduate research programs leading to the Master of Science degree in Geology. Geological Sciences is the multidisciplinary department of the College of Sciences. Our research uses mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, statistics, and computer modeling to address some of the most challenging interdisciplinary questions about the past, present and future state of the earth system. Our department is equipped with computer and laboratory facilities for calculation, visualization, and experimentation. A good number of our students are funded by graduate assistant or research assistantships, or teaching assistantships.
Program Admission Requirements:
An undergraduate degree in geology (equivalent to UTSA's) or a bachelor's degree in chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, life sciences, or engineering from an accredited institution of higher education with sufficient coursework in the geosciences.*
- Submit three letters of recommendation.
- A personal statement of research interest.
- Undergraduate transcripts.
- GRE scores or TOEFL/IETLS scores.
- Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
*If the students undergraduate degree is not in geology, the student may be required to take prerequisite coursework.
Prerequisite Coursework Click to close or open.
Geology Master's Example of Academic Preparation
The following list is an EXAMPLE of undergraduate preparation coursework for applicants who did not major in geology, and with little to no coursework in geology. At the time of application review by the department graduate studies committee and department chair, either may assign conditions for deficiency and/or prerequisite coursework for successful completion of the master's of science degree in geology.
||University of Texas at San Antonio Course EXAMPLES
|Mineralogy with lab
|Petrology with lab
|Structural Geology with lab
|Geologic Field Investigations
- All candidates for the M.S. degree must meet with the Graduate Advisor of Record for the program.
- The Graduate School strongly advises that deficiency coursework be completed as soon as the course is offered. Generally taken within the first year of the program. Failure to statisfy any admission condition may result in academic probation or academic dismissal.
All candidates for the M.S. degree must have a Graduate Committee. The committee will consist of a chair (student's advisor) and a minimum of two other faculty members of the graduate faculty. It is strongly recommended by the time the student reaches 15 hours of graduate coursework that the committee has been chosen and on file in the department office. This will include a prilimanary Program of Study.
All candidates for the M.S. degree must pass a comprehensive examination administered by their Graduate Committee.
- This examination should be scheduled the semester before the degree requirements are to be completed.
- The Graduate Committee will determine the content of the examination.
- The examination normally consist of academic material that the student is expected to have mastered during their course of study.
- Examination may only be taken twice.
- If it is not passed the first time, it may be scheduled again in the following semester.
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Thesis Option in Geology:
The M.S. degree requires successful completion of 33 semester credit hours of coursework, which includes 6 hours of thesis credit.
Required courses: GEO 5103, and GEO 6983 Master's Thesis (6 hours).
Requirements specific to the M.S. degree in geology (thesis):
- A minimum of 24 semester credit hours of graduate credit in organized classes with the approval of the Graduate Advisor of Record is also required.
- Although only 6 hours of thesis will apply toward the degree, a student is expected to be enrolled in master's thesis each term they are working on their thesis. The student must also be registered in master's thesis the term they are to graduate.
- Pass a final oral comprehensive examination (see section on comprehensive examination).
- Must successfully defend their thesis before their Graduate Committee and will be a public presentation in an open advertised forum.
Non-Thesis Option in Geology:
The M.S. degree requires successful completion of 39 semester credit hours of coursework.
Required courses: GEO 5103, GEO 5973, and GEO 6953 (9 hours of required graduate coursework).
Requirements specific to the M.S. degree in geology (non-thesis):
- An additional 30 semester hours of graduate credit as approved by the Graduate Advisor of Record is required.
- Pass a written comprehensive examination that covers several major areas of geology. This examination is taken after student has completed at least 30 semester credit hours of coursework. If GEO 6961 Comprehensive Examination is taken, it does not contribute toward the 39 semester credit hour minimum.
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Required Academic Performance
In order to graduate with a Master of Science degree in geology, the student must be in good academic standing with a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). No course for which a grade of less than "C" was earned may be applied to a graduate degree.
Reveiw the master's degree regulations section in the graduate catalog for additional information.
Completed Thesis Projects/Career Options
Recently Completed Thesis Projects
- Penelope Wagner, Intercomparisons of sea ice thickness and concentration from visual observation, EM measurements, and video imagery
- Benjamin Boyer, The conodont color alteration index using igneous and metamorphic pressure and temperature conditions, Marble Canyon, Sierra Diablo Mountains, west Texas
- Jonas Harrell, Carboniferous stratigraphy of the Sierra Diablo, Culbertson county, Texas
- Marla Roberts, Time series resistivity analysis of unsaturated karst
- Leigh Symank, Variable density modeling of the hydrogeologic evolution of the convergence zone between freshwater and saline basinal groundwater, Wilcox group, Central Texas, Gulf of Mexico coastal plain, USA
Career Options Available for an M.S. in Geology Graduate (click here)
- Career opportunities are within both the public and private realm.
- Former students work at environmental and engineering consulting firms (e.g., Hurd Enterprises, San Antonio, TX; Parsons Engineering, Denver, CO), petroleum exploration companies (e.g., Noble Energy, Houston), and Southwest Research Institute.
- Some students pursue doctoral degrees.
For more Information:
For further information regarding the Master's in Geology program, please contact the new Graduate Advisor of Record (GAR), Dr. Hongjie Xie, email: Hongjie.Xie@utsa.edu, or telephone: (210) 458-5445.
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