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M.S. in Geological Sciences—Thesis

Audrey Blakeman in the field
Audrey Blakeman in the field

Collecting, Assembling and Interpreting Research Data

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Geological Sciences program combines graded coursework and thesis research to train students in advanced geological and scientific analysis. Students conduct research in collaboration with a faculty adviser in one of three research clusters: solid earth and planetary dynamics, sedimentary geology and paleobiology, and environmental and surficial processes. 

Thesis research trains students in all stages of scientific investigation including hypothesis generation, data collection and analysis, interpreting research data, and presenting those results in a written thesis and oral presentation. Students also are trained in grantsmanship and encouraged to participate in scientific meetings. The M.S. program is designed to train and prepare students to be successful in continuing into a Ph.D. program or obtaining positions in the industry, government, or consulting sectors.

Career Opportunities

The M.S. Degree in Geological Sciences is the degree-level most often sought by employers in Geological Sciences. Excellent opportunities are can be found in both energy and environmental fields as well as government and teaching positions.

Scope of the Program

The Department of Earth and Environmental Geosciences at Ohio University offers the Master of Science (M.S.) degree. Incoming graduate students who hold bachelor's degrees from other colleges will have already indicated on their application form or cover letter which area of Geological Sciences they intend to pursue graduate studies. Students may change their area of concentration by petitioning the Department for approval.


The mission of the Department of Earth and Environmental Geosciences 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 enable them to advance their careers by integrating courses with forefront research into the processes that formed and now modify the Earth.

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 written analyses of data, results, interpretations, and conclusions in a scientific format.
  • Present and defend original scientific research in oral, poster, and written formats.