May 27, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geology, M.S.

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(30 UNITS)

The Master of Science in Geology provides opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge and experience centered around one of the sub-disciplines of the geological sciences that builds on the undergraduate foundation. Learning is rooted in field- and/or laboratory-based experiences that are provided by advanced coursework in the discipline. Most importantly, students work with faculty members to conduct original scientific research leading to a written thesis that describes the problem, methodology and results. Students must complete an oral thesis defense and are highly encouraged to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals and present them at regional, national and/or international conferences. The degree prepares students for: professional geology positions in industry and government; geologic consulting opportunities; teaching positions at high school or community college; and Ph.D programs at other institutions.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet the CSU requirements for admission to a master’s degree program. Please consult the Graduate Admissions  section in this catalog for complete information. In addition, acceptance into this program in a classified standing is contingent upon the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in geology from an accredited institution, with an expected 3.0 GPA in geology courses, which normally includes the equivalent to core courses of the Cal State Fullerton Geology B.S. program and a 2.5 GPA in related science and mathematics courses; or, in the case of a bachelor’s degree in a related area, a selection of science courses deemed as adequate preparation for further study in geology by the Department Graduate Committee.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Completion of the departmental application.
  • Availability of faculty and resources in the student’s stated area of interest.

Students with limited subject or grade deficiencies may be considered for conditional acceptance into the program if they meet all other departmental and university requirements. Conditionally classified graduate standing may be removed upon completion of adviser- and graduate-committee-approved postgraduate courses in geology, mathematics, chemistry or physics, with grades of “B” (3.0) or better.

Students with a degree in a related field and/or substantial subject deficiencies are encouraged to apply. Such applicants may be considered for conditional acceptance if they meet all other departmental and university requirements. Such a student may later qualify for classified standing by completing all courses recommended by the Department Graduate Committee and by maintaining a 3.0 GPA in geology and in related science and mathematics courses.

Application Deadlines

Materials and deadlines for department and university applications are available on the Geological Sciences website:

Classified Standing

Students should achieve classified graduate standing as soon as they are eligible. Students may apply for classified standing when theyhave met all university and departmental admission requirements.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to candidacy is attained by applying for graduation and receiving a recommendation by the Department Graduate Committee.

Degree Requirements

At least 21 units must be at the graduate level; a maximum of nine units may be 400 level. No more than a total of 3 units of GEOL 599 may be used toward the degree.

Culminating Experience (3-6 units)

Must take a total of at least 3, but no more than 6 units. Requires a public, oral defense of the thesis.

Total (30 units)

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