Overview

The Marine Geosciences (MGS) graduate program is focused on studying the geology, geophysics, and geochemistry of the Earth system. The MGS Ph.D. degree is at the forefront of understanding carbonate depositional systems, modern and ancient reefs, and deep-sea sediments to learn more about past environmental change. Students work closely with faculty at the forefront of research on sedimentary systems, earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, and past and present climate.

Admission Requirements

The undergraduate student wishing to prepare for graduate work in the marine geosciences must be well trained in the basic sciences. The GRE score is not required for admission. You may optionally submit your GRE score, but not all faculty will consider this information. Individual faculty members may consider GRE scores as part of a holistic evaluation of the candidates. Applicants and whose first language is not English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 550. According to the special interests of the individual, the undergraduate major and minor should be in geology, physics, chemistry, and/or mathematics. All application requirements are available here.

Curriculum Requirements

The MGS Ph.D. degree requires 60 total credits. 1
Course Requirements 26
All MGS students must complete two of the following courses:
Earth Surface Processes
Introductory Geochemistry
Geophysics
Electives24
Dissertation Research30
Doctoral Dissertation
Required Examinations
Comprehensive Examination 3
Qualifying Examination 4
Additional Requirements
Research Ethics
MGS Seminar 5
Seminar in Marine Geosciences
THE GEOTOPICS Lecture Series 6
Educational Training Program (TA) 7
Educational Training 1
Educational Training 2
Educational Training 3
Total Credit Hours60

Sample Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
MGS 611 Earth Surface Processes 3
MGS 614 or 723 Geophysics
or Geodynamics
3
Approved Elective 3
RSM 700 Research Ethics 0
 Credit Hours9
Spring
MGS 613 or 771 Introductory Geochemistry
or Diagenesis of Carbonate Sediments
3
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 1
MGS 701 Seminar in Marine Geosciences 1
Approved Elective 3
 Credit Hours8
Summer
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 2
Approved Elective 2
 Credit Hours4
Year Two
Fall
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 1
Approved Elective 3
 Credit Hours4
Spring
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 1
Approved Elective 3
 Credit Hours4
Summer
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 4
 Credit Hours4
Year Three
Fall
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 1
Approved Elective 4
RSM 771 Educational Training 1 0
RSM 772 Educational Training 2 0
 Credit Hours5
Spring
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 1
Approved Elective 3
RSM 773 Educational Training 3 0
 Credit Hours4
Summer
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 4
 Credit Hours4
Year Four
Fall
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 4
 Credit Hours4
Spring
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 4
 Credit Hours4
Summer
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 4
 Credit Hours4
Year Five
Fall
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 4
 Credit Hours4
Spring
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 4
 Credit Hours4
Summer
MGS 830 Doctoral Dissertation 4
 Credit Hours4
 Total Credit Hours70

Mission

The mission of the MGS Ph.D. program is to educate and train students to become the next generation of scientists conducting research in and teaching geology and geophysics, geochemistry, and environmental geosciences. The program emphasizes coursework during the first year, then development of and independent conduct of original research that leads to preparation of peer-reviewed publications and a publicly defended Ph.D. dissertation.

Goals

To educate and train students to become the next generation of scientists conducting research and education in the areas of marine geology and geophysics, geochemistry, and environmental geosciences. The goal is to equip our students with the tools to apply their knowledge in either professional or academic careers, emphasizing on the latter.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students in the MGS Ph.D. program will demonstrate a broad comprehension of marine and Earth science, and then use this knowledge to develop an independent scientific research topic of sufficient quality and originality to lead to a Ph.D. dissertation.
  • Each student will prepare an original Ph.D. dissertation that demonstrates his/her ability to critically evaluate scientific literature, comprehend previous knowledge on a topic, formulate testable hypotheses, and independently use available data and tools to produce a significant original contribution on the topic.
  • Students will demonstrate good oral communication skills and be able to effectively communicate and defend their scientific findings to a peer audience.