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Advanced, Applied Training for Geology Workforce & Science Teachers

Online Master's in Geological Sciences

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About the Non-Thesis M.S. in Geological Sciences

The online M.S. in Geological Sciences at Ohio University is a non-thesis master's program for geoscientists, earth science teachers and working professionals.

  • Designed for working professionals and teachers
  • Convenient online, seven-week courses
  • No thesis
  • 30 credits—in as little as three semesters
  • No GRE

The non-thesis M.S. degree requires that students take seven letter-graded courses and two credits of colloquium (30 semester hours) in geology or other approved disciplines and pass a Research and Technical Skills Portfolio evaluation designed to assess synthesis of knowledge and acquaintance of skills developed during the course of study.

Program Overview

The online Master of Science in Geological Sciences non-thesis program provides geology graduates and those from related STEM disciplines with advanced, applied training and experiences through a wide range of topics in earth sciences. The mission of the program is to enhance graduates' marketability as the next generation of practicing geoscientists, earth science educators and allied professionals.

You can also add an online certificate in Geospatial Information Sciences (GIS). OHIO offers both introductory and advanced graduate certificates in GIS.

Career Opportunities

These flexible and convenient online courses are applicable to working professionals and science teachers.

The M.S. in Geological Sciences is the degree-level most often sought by employers in geological sciences. Excellent opportunities can be found in energy and environmental fields as well as careers within or related to geology, including education, government, scientific communication and consulting.

Complete the M.S. in One Year

Time to Degree: Students normally complete the program in three semesters.

Why Pursue an M.S. in Geological Sciences at Ohio University?

Graduate school is a challenging but rewarding period of any scientist's life. Earning a non-thesis M.S. in Geological Sciences degree should be an intellectually stimulating and demanding experience. Faculty encourage students to develop into independent scientists while earning the skills necessary to pursue their career aspirations.

Ohio University is a state-assisted, research extensive institution with an enrollment of more than 20,000 students at the Athens Campus, including about 4,500 graduate students. Athens is centrally located between Columbus, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, situated in the rolling unglaciated hills of southeastern Ohio, on the western edge of the Appalachian Plateau.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition and fees are assessed based on the number of credit hours of enrollment, Ohio residency and program.

Financial Aid: When graduate students take two four-hour courses per semester, their attendance is considered half-time for financial aid purposes. U.S. citizens and permanent residents have access to federally funded loans through Ohio University's Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. The Ohio University school code is 003100.

Admissions for the Online M.S. in Geological Sciences

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For more information, contact Dr. Eva Lyon.

Application Deadlines

Students can start any semester.

  • The spring deadline for submitting applications is December 1.
  • The summer deadline is April 1.
  • The fall deadline is July 15.

All graduate applications must be submitted electronically through the Graduate College. You will be prompted to first select the term for which you wish to apply. Then select “Graduate Degree Application.”

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's Degree: Applicants are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in geology, earth or space sciences, integrated science, physical science, science education, or a related degree from an accredited institution or equivalent.
  • GRE: Not required.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae: describes your previous education, work, teaching, and research experience, professional affiliations, community and volunteer experience, honors and awards, and publications.
  • Statement of Goals/Purpose: a one- to two-page statement that describes your interest in both the field of geological sciences and OHIO's online Geological Sciences graduate program.
  • Personal References: Three letters of recommendation are required. They can be from former employers, instructors, advisers, or persons otherwise having had a professional or academic experience with you.
  • English Language Testing: Non-native speakers of English must submit official results of one of two standardized tests as part of the application packet: iBT – 70 Composite, Writing 17, all other Section Scores of 15; or IELTS – 6.0 Composite, all Bands 6.0.
  • International Students: This online program is open to students globally; however, I-20 cannot be issued based on admission to this program due to the nonresidential nature of the program. The Athens campus-based M.S. in Geological Sciences (MS3321) may issue an I-20 based on admission. 

Graduation Requirements

Program Code: MS3325

See program information in the Graduate Catalog.

The following minimum requirements must be satisfied to graduate.

  1. Earn a minimum of 30 semester hours.
  2. Students must complete a minimum of seven letter-graded courses, totaling at least 28 credit hours. At least five letter-graded courses must be completed in GEOL. The remaining two letter-graded courses may be from other departments but must be approved by the student’s academic committee.
  3. Complete two credits of colloquium (GEOL 6921).
  4. Maintain a GPA at or above 3.00.
  5. Successfully pass a Research and Technical Skills Portfolio evaluation designed to assess synthesis of knowledge and acquaintance of skills developed during the course of study.

Program Mission

The mission of the Geological Sciences Department is to provide students with an introduction to problem solving, critical thinking and basic concepts using the earth sciences and to show how modern observations can be extended into deep time. We prepare our undergraduate majors with a solid foundation in the discipline for use in their subsequent life, work or advanced studies and impart to our graduate students a high level of knowledge, skills and professionalism that enables them to advance their careers by integrating courses with forefront research into the processes that formed and now modify the Earth.

Program Learning Objectives 

Graduates will be able to:

  • Interpret, analyze, discuss and critique scientific papers about geological problems and research techniques.
  • Identify geological problems, formulate hypotheses to address geologic problems and generate high quality written proposals for investigating geologic questions.
  • Apply different geological methods to collect data and solve geological problems.
  • Analyze, discuss and formulate conclusions about geologic data to solve geological research questions.
  • Produce high quality analyses of data, results, interpretations and conclusions in written and oral scientific formats.