Geochemical Systems Specialization (M.S.)

Geochemical Systems Specialization (M.S.)

mountains with ice and water

Why get a master’s degree in earth sciences with a geochemical systems specialization?

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. This M.S. degree, allowing you to specialize in geochemical systems, will prepare you for jobs in either the public or private sector that require knowledge of the geochemistry of bedrock, sediment, water, ice and air; 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 scanning and transmission electronic microscopes, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers, and ion chromatography. 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 career areas

  • Academia 
  • Computer modeling 
  • Consulting firms 
  • Data analysis 
  • Environmental hazard assessment 
  • Government agencies (e.g., EPA, USGS, NOAA) 
  • Natural resources 
  • Science journalism  
  • Surveying and cartography 
  • Water resource management 
  • Wetland delineation

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

The department of Earth Sciences offers a Master of Science degree with a specialization in Geochemical Systems.  This program is intended for students with interests in all aspects of geochemistry: bedrock, sediment, water, ice, and air with particular emphasis on interpreting and modeling the interaction of these media (e.g., biogeochemistry, air quality, and climate change).

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 (ESCI 899 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.

Geochemical Systems Specialization

The core curriculum for the specialization in geochemical systems normally includes:

Select three of the following courses:9-12
ESCI 841
Geochemistry
ESCI 845
Isotope Geochemistry
ESCI 847
Aqueous Geochemistry
ESCI 852
Chemical Oceanography
EOS/NR 844
Biogeochemistry
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)
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

Prospective international students are strongly encouraged to complete our international pre-application process and are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. Please note that 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.

Explore Program Details

An applicant to the M.S. program is expected to have completed one year of calculus and at least four semesters of college chemistry, physics, and/or biology; and to have an undergraduate degree or equivalent in geology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, or the biological sciences. Applicants must submit current scores (within five years) from the general test of the GRE. Students lacking some background in a particular area may be admitted provided they are prepared to complete courses, without graduate credit, in which they may be deficient. The program of study a student wishes to follow and the student's undergraduate major determine the level of preparation necessary. The preparation of each student is determined before the beginning of the first semester in residence in order to plan the course of study. Each entering student is assigned an academic adviser to assist in planning a program of study.

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