UTSA The University of Texas at San Antonio


 Graduate Majors

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.

Documents required for application to the program: a) Submit three letters of recommendation, b) a personal statement of research interest, c) undergraduate transcripts, d) GRE scores or TOEFL/IETLS scores. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

First semester/year:

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.

Graduate Committee:

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.

Comprehensive Examination:

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.

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.

 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.

For more Information:
Contact the Graduate Advisor of Record (GAR):
Dr. Hongjie Xie
email: Hongjie.Xie@utsa.edu
telephone: +1(210) 458-5445



Department of Geological Sciences
Flawn Building (FLN) 4.03.30

One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, Texas 78249-0663

Phone: (210) 458-4455
Fax: (210) 458-4469
Email: geosciences@utsa.edu


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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property — for Texas, the nation and the world.

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