Earth Sciences: Geology (M.S.)

Earth Sciences: Geology (M.S.)

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Why get a master’s degree in earth sciences with a geology option?

Earth scientists enable society to engage in the responsible and prudent use of Earth’s resources and to understand and facilitate the mitigation of natural disasters and climate change. The demand for skilled geoscientists in the United States and worldwide is expected to grow rapidly in coming years. Students with an earth sciences M.S. are well suited for jobs in either the public or private sector that require knowledge of physical Earth system processes, laboratory analytical techniques, quantitative and geospatial data analysis, and scientific communication. 

Why choose UNH’s earth sciences program?

Earth sciences students at UNH gain experimental, numerical and analytical skills in rigorous classes and research projects focused on sites in New England and around the world. Cutting-edge research experiences involve instrumentation such as petrographic microscopes, x-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electronic microscopes, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers, and magnetometers. The Department of Earth Sciences is one of the key academic centers of UNH’s renowned programs in Earth and environmental sciences, with many students working with faculty in the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS), the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (CCOM), and the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering (SMSOE).

Potential careers areas 

  • Computer modeling 
  • Economic geology 
  • Education 
  • Environmental hazard assessment 
  • Geophysics 
  • Governmental agencies (e.g., EPA, USGS, NOAA) 
  • Hydrogeology 
  • Marine geology 
  • Oil and gas extraction 
  • Renewable and alternative energy 
  • Seismology

Contact

Department of Earth Sciences
56 College Road
214 James Hall
Durham, NH 03824

P: (603) 862-1718
E: earth.sciences@unh.edu

Curriculum & Requirements

This option is for students seeking a broad background in geology and also for those wishing to study one area in depth. These goals are accomplished through a set of common requirements, core courses and electives for a total of at least 30 credits (34 for non-thesis option). Most students who enter this program have undergraduate degrees in geology or earth sciences. Those with other majors may have to make up selected undergraduate courses.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
Core Curriculum 1 Course 4
Elective I Course 3-4
ESCI 997 Seminar in Earth Sciences 1
 Credits8-9
Spring
Core Curriculum 2 Course 4
Elective 2 Course 3-4
ESCI 998 Proposal Development 1
 Credits8-9
Second Year
Fall
Core Curriculum 3 Course 3-4
ESCI 899 Master's Thesis ( or Elective for Directed Research Option) 3-4
 Credits6-8
Spring
Elective 3 Course 3-4
ESCI 899
or ESCI 898
Master's Thesis
or Directed Research
2 or3
 Credits5-7
 Total Credits27-33

Students in the thesis option must satisfactorily complete at least 30 graduate credits, which include the credits accumulated in the core curriculum. Students in this option must complete a master's thesis (6 credits) and give an oral presentation of the results.

Students in the non-­thesis option must satisfactorily complete at least 34 graduate credits, which includes the core curriculum, a 2­-credit directed research project (ESCI 898 Directed Research), and a written and oral presentation of that research.

Geology

The core curriculum for the option in geology normally includes:

Select at least three of the following courses:11-12
ESCI 826
Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
ESCI #831
Geodynamics
ESCI 834
Geophysics
ESCI 835
Earthquakes and Faulting
ESCI 841
Geochemistry
ESCI 845
Isotope Geochemistry
ESCI 854
Sedimentology
ESCI 856
Geotectonics
ESCI 859
Geological Oceanography
ESCI 862
Glacial Geology
ESCI 866
Volcanology
Required Courses:
ESCI 997
Seminar in Earth Sciences (first year)
ESCI 998
Proposal Development (first year)
Select Master's Thesis or Directed Research:
ESCI 899
Master's Thesis (6 credits total)
ESCI 898
Directed Research (2 credits)

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Jan. 15 (for funding); April 1 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 1
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters: Yes

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Test Scores: GRE Required

GRE required. Request official test scores to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service. Test scores more than five years old are not acceptable. Student copies and photo copies of scores are not considered official. Our CEEB code is 3918.

For general information about test scores required for admission into our programs please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives,
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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