3240 Geosciences

Programs Offered:

  • Master of Science in Geosciences
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry with Concentration in Geology
  • Professional Certificate in Geographic Information Science
  • Dual B.A. or B.S. / M.S. in Geosciences

Department of Geosciences
24 Peachtree Center Ave.
340 Kell Hall
P.O. Box 4105
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404/413-5750
Fax: 404/413-5768
geosciences.gsu.edu

Daniel Deocampo, Chair
Jeremy E. Diem, Director of Graduate Studies for Geosciences
Hassan Babaie, Director of Graduate Studies, Ph.D degree program with Chemistry

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of Geosciences by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies at the addresses above.

Master of Science in Geosciences (Geography Concentration)

The Department offers the Master of Science in Geosciences with a Geography concentration. Students seeking this degree and concentration are offered a broad range of courses that prepare students for research and professionals careers. Areas of specialization include: urban studies, geospatial technologies, or physical geography/environmental studies. Further information concerning specific courses applicable to each of these specializations is available in the departmental publication, Guide to Graduate Studies in Geosciences, which may be obtained from the department.

Students with professional goals are encouraged to enroll in the departmental internship course. This program is coordinated by the geoscience faculty members who assist students in selecting an appropriate sponsor. Our students have interned with a diverse group of sponsors, including local and regional planning agencies, federal and state governments, and numerous private corporations. Graduate credit earned in the internship course may be applied toward minimum credit requirements. Applications and internship qualifications can be obtained from the department. Thirty-six hours are required for completion of this degree. Thesis and non-thesis options are available and this option is normally selected in the first year of study. Further information is provided at geosciences.gsu.edu.

Master of Science in Geosciences (Geology Concentration)

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree program with a Geology concentration in the Department of Geosciences offers a broad range of courses that prepare students for research and professionals careers. Both thesis and non-thesis option programs are offered. The non-thesis option is normally selected within the first year of study. Research efforts are in the following broad areas: geochemistry (analytical, aqueous, environmental, igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary), mineralogy, hydrogeology, petrology, sedimentology, structural geology, and geoinformatics. Thirty-six hours are required for completion of this degree. Further information is provided at geosciences.gsu.edu.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Geology is offered in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry. This program culminates in a dissertation containing the results of distinctive and original research scholarship carried out by the candidate. The dissertation must be defended publicly and judged to be a significant contribution in the advancement of science.

Graduate assistantships are available for qualified thesis-option M.S. and Ph.D. students. Masters students in the non-thesis option must participate in an internship or equivalent limited research project as a directed study and submit a report to the graduate faculty on the findings of this project. The non-thesis M.S. degree students must also pass the departmental comprehensive exam.

Applications for admission are accepted for all three semesters. International students and students requesting graduate assistantships must have submitted their complete application by April 15 to be considered for admission fall semester and by November 15 for spring semester.

Additional Admission Requirements Geography Concentration

In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Geosciences has the following admission requirements for the Geography Concentration:

  1. Applicants to the M.S. degree program in Geosciences with Geography concentration must submit three letters of recommendation from professional sources.
  2. A statement of educational/career goals.

Additional Admission Requirements Geology Concentration

In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Geosciences has the following admission requirements for the Geology Concentration:

  1. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate work in Geology.
  2. A statement of educational or career goals.
  3. A bachelor’s degree in Geology or other physical science or engineering. Students with a B.S. degree in other fields other than Geology are also welcome but are expected to take the Foundational courses listed below.
  4. Foundation coursework (0-46 hours)
    These courses are assigned as part of the admission process. They can be exempted if equivalent work has been completed with grades of C or higher. Note: Field Geology requirement may be satisfied by presenting evidence of supervised field work in Geology performed at the upper-division undergraduate level. Graduate students who are required to take the Geology Foundation courses should take them at the graduate level (i.e., 6000 and higher) if available.

    1. Geology (0-26 hours)
    2. Allied Disciplines (0-20 hours)

Program Financial Information

Effective summer 2009, lab fees will be assessed automatically for students who register for certain courses. As a result, students will no longer be required to purchase lab fee cards. For more information, please feel free to contact the department or review the GoSolar or catalog course listings to determine if a course includes a lab fee.

Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Geosciences, Geography Concentration

Thesis option (36 hours)

Early in their coursework, students must select advisers to direct their programs of study and to appoint their general examination and thesis committees. A timeline is provided in the Guide to Graduate Studies.

  1. GEOS 8001 (Methods of Geographic Research) to be taken the first time offered after the student’s admission to the program.
  2. Techniques training equivalent by completion of one of the following courses: GEOS 6518 (Digital Cartography); (GEOS 6530 (Introduction to Remote Sensing); GEOS 6532 (Introduction to Geographic Information Systems); GEOS 6534 (Advanced Geographic Information Systems). This course may count toward the departmental minimum credit hour requirements.
  3. GEOS 6515 (Qualitative Methods in Geography) or GEOS 6520 (Quantitative Spatial Analysis). This requirement may be waived if student has equivalent training.
  4. Six semester hours of coursework at the 8000 level in addition to GEOS 8002.
  5. Seminar (1-2 hours) GEOS 6095 Seminar in Geological Sciences
  6. Remaining hours in student’s area of specialization chosen from graduate level courses.
  7. Six semester hours of GEOS 8999 (Thesis Research) for thesis option or three semester hours of GEOS 8990 (Research Practicum) for non-thesis option.
  8. Proficiency in a foreign language or in an approved research skill. Courses taken to fulfill this requirement may not count towards the departmental minimum credit hour requirements.
  9. Completion of Thesis and pass oral examination of Thesis.

Non-Thesis Option (36 hours)

In addition to the requirements 1-7 above for the thesis option, students taking the non-thesis option must take three additional semester hours of graduate level coursework in lieu of GEOS 8999 and complete a non-thesis research project (GEOS 8990 Research Practicum). Students may attempt to fulfill the practicum requirement twice, but only three semester hours of GEOS 8990 can be counted toward their degree requirements. Students must pass a written comprehensive examination and pass an oral examination of the research project.

Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Geosciences, Geology Concentration

Thesis Option (36 hours)

  1. GEOS 8001 (Methods of Geographic Research) to be taken the first time offered after the student’s admission to the program.
  2. Techniques training equivalent by completion of one of the following courses: GEOS 6518 (Digital Cartography); (GEOS 6530 (Introduction to Remote Sensing); GEOS 6532 (Introduction to Geographic Information Systems); GEOS 6534 (Advanced Geographic Information Systems). This course may count toward the departmental minimum credit hour requirements.
  3. Geology courses (14-20 hours)
  4. Seminar (1-2 hours) GEOS 6095 Seminar in Geological Sciences
  5. Extra departmental courses (3-6 hours): An approved list of courses is available from the Department of Geosciences.
  6. Foreign language: Proficiency in a foreign language or in an approved research skill in computer programming. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking an approved course or by taking an examination.
  7. Thesis Research (GEOS 8999) (9 hours).
  8. Completion of Thesis and pass oral examination of Thesis.

Non-Thesis Option (36 hours)

  1. GEOS 8002 (Methods of Geographic Research) to be taken the first time offered after the student’s admission to the program.
  2. Techniques training equivalent by completion of one of the following courses: GEOS 6518 (Digital Cartography); (GEOS 6530 (Introduction to Remote Sensing); GEOS 6532 (Introduction to Geographic Information Systems); GEOS 6534 (Advanced Geographic Information Systems). This course may count toward the departmental minimum credit hour requirements.
  3. Geology Courses (14-20 hours)
  4. Seminar (1-2 hours) GEOS 6095 Seminar in Geological Sciences
  5. Extra departmental Courses (6-9 hours). An approved list of courses is available from the department
  6. Directed Study (3 hours) GEOS 8097 Directed Study in Geology
  7. Comprehensive Examination: Pass a general written examination taken within the first year of study
  8. Foreign language: Proficiency in a foreign language or in an approved research skill in computer programming. This can be fulfilled by taking a course or taking an examination.
  9. Submission and approval of research project paper and pass oral examination of research project.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Geology is offered in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry. At least 80 hours of graduate credit are required for the Ph.D. degree. In order to satisfy the minimum requirements for the degree, students must complete successfully:

  1. Thirty hours of approved graduate core coursework.
  2. Forty hours of research, at least 20 hours of which must be Dissertation Research.
  3. Ten additional hours of graduate course electives.
  4. Satisfaction of the foreign language (research skill) requirement.
  5. A written and oral qualifying general examination.
  6. A dissertation.
  7. A final oral examination directed primarily to the defense of the dissertation.

Specific requirements: In the list of requirements that follows, the minimum number of credit hours required in each category is indicated and the courses that can be taken to fulfill these requirements are listed in parentheses. Credit will be given only for those Geology courses in which the student receives a grade of B or higher. Category C may be used as the minor area of specialization if approved by the examination committee. Substitutions may be made by the graduate director in Category C with written approval of the Department of Geosciences.

  1. Core courses: Geology (11 hours). To be selected from Geos 6003, 8001, 8003, 8010, or other approved substitutes;
  2. Minor Area electives: (13 hours). To be selected from: Geos 6004, 6006, 6009; Analytical Chemistry: Chem 6850, 6860, 6800, 8900; Biophysical Chemistry: Chem 6000, 6010, 6190, 6110, 6580; Organic Chemistry: Chem 6400, 6410, 6450, 8900; or other approved substitutes;
  3. Interdisciplinary elective: (6 hours). To be selected from Chemistry or Biology or approved substitutes;
  4. Special Topics, Electives and Seminar: (10 hours). To be selected from Geos 6008, 6095, 6097, 6640, 6650; Biol 6439, 6458; Chem 6600, 6610, 6490; or other approved substitutes; and
  5. Research: (40 hours). To be selected from GEOS 8097 or GEOS 9999 (a minimum of 20 hours are selected from GEOS 9999).

Foreign language/research skill requirement: A reading proficiency in one foreign language is required. An equivalent research skill such as computer language, technical writing, advanced statistics, electronics, etc. may be substituted for the foreign language (departmental approval required). Students with M.S. degrees which had a foreign language requirement satisfy the foreign language requirement. Note: credit hours used to fulfill the language requirement do not count in the 80 hours.

Professional Certificate in Geographic Information Science

Geographic Information Science (GIS) is a rapidly growing discipline, with applications in many fields. A strong demand exists for proficient users of geospatial technology. The graduate-level Professional Certificate Program in GIS is designed to facilitate those students working toward graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines, as well as those who use GIS in the workplace and would like to obtain systematic training in the technology without having to complete a graduate degree. The Certificate Program consists of five courses with a total of 20 credit hours, including elective courses from a variety of departments/programs. Please contact the Department of Geosciences for more information.

GIS Certificate Requirements (20)

  1. Admission to the program: B.A. or B.S. in a related field. A statement of intent, GRE scores, and transcripts must be provided to the Graduate School as part of the application. Students lacking appropriate background may be required to take prerequisite courses:
  2. Required Courses (16) The student must take the following courses:
    • GEOS 6518 Digital Cartography (4)
    • GEOS 6530 Introduction to Remote Sensing (4)
    • GEOS 6532 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4)
    • GEOS 6534 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (4)
  3. Elective Courses (4) The student must take one of the following courses:
  4. Examination
  5. The student must pass an examination of GIS knowledge and applications. The certificate will be issued to students who complete the above requirements, including graduate students enrolled in the non-degree program.

Dual B.A./M.S. and Dual B.S./M.S. Programs in Geosciences

The department offers a dual Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences and Master of Arts in Geosciences. The dual degree opportunity enables qualified students to enroll in graduate courses late in their undergraduate program and count the coursework toward both the bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Students must be formally accepted into the dual degree program by the department and College of Arts and Sciences to be able to take graduate courses as an undergraduate. Additionally, acceptance into the dual program does not constitute admission to the master’s program. Students must fulfill regular graduate admissions requirements and apply for the master’s program following college processes.

Information about the dual program, including application instructions and program requirements, can be found at cas.gsu.edu/dual-degrees/.