Jun 22, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
    
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Geology, M.S.


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Introduction

The Department of Geosciences offers a wide range of courses leading to the Degree of Master of Science in both Geology and Geophysics.  Applicants to the Master’s of Science Program must have earned a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent.  Applicants to graduate school will be evaluated based upon their Grade Point Average (GPA), Graduate Record Exams (GRE) scores, and letters of recommendation.  A GPA of 3.0 or better in the last 60 hours and commensurate scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections of the GRE are generally considered acceptable for admission.  Individuals with a lower GPA but elevated GRE’s may also be admitted.  Letters of recommendation are also given considerable weight in the evaluation process.  All non-native English-speaking students must take the TOEFL examination and receive a score of 550 or better for the paper exam, 213 or better for the computer exam, and 79 or better for the internet-based exam.  In addition to these requirements, graduate admission may also be contingent upon a faculty advisor agreeing to supervise the applicant’s research.  Therefore, prospective students are strongly encouraged to contact faculty members in the applicant’s field of interest prior to the application deadline.

Submit all online graduate applications to www.applytexas.org.  Please ensure that you have asked ETS to submit your GRE and TOEFL scores to UH using code 6870.  Also, for reference letter purposes, ensure that you have included 3 names and email addresses on your application.

Have original transcripts mailed to:

Sylvia Marshall, Academic Advisor II
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Rm. 312, SR1
University of Houston
Houston, Texas 77204-5007

Deadlines

All students:  Complete applications for Fall semester admissions must be submitted for review no later than January 1.  Complete applications for Spring semester admissions must be submitted for review no later than September 1.  All of the required forms (letters, test scores, and original transcripts) must be received by our departmental office by the deadlines stated above.

Please do not send any material to the Office of Admissions.

Background Requirements

Candidates for an M.S. degree in Geology are required to have successfully completed course work equivalent to the University of Houston’s undergraduate B.S. in Geology program.  These courses include:

  • Physical Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Paleobiology
  • Petrography
  • Geologic Field Methods
  • Stratigraphy
  • Igneous/Metamorphic Petrogenesis
  • Structural Geology
  • Sedimentary Petrogenesis
  • Introduction to Geophysics
  • Field Camp

Allied courses include:

  • 3 semesters of Calculus
  • 2 semesters of Calculus-based Physics
  • 2 semesters of Chemistry.

Substitution of courses equivalent to those listed above as well as waivers of requirements will be considered on an individual basis.  Applicants with a few deficiencies can satisfy those requirements while also taking graduate courses at the University of Houston.  It is normally recommended that a student with 6 or more deficiency courses - e.g., those whose undergraduate degree was in another discipline - work toward a second undergraduate degree in Geology prior to graduate work.

Program Information

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required for the M.S. degree in Geology, 6 of which are thesis hours.  All students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with all rules, regulations, etc., of the University, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Department of Geosciences and for meeting all requirements.  Applicants are encouraged to review the detailed requirements for the M.S. degree.

Twenty-one (21) hours must consist of 6000-level EAS courses, and the remaining 9 hours can be selected 4000-level (or above) courses or approved 3000-level (or above) course work in other departments.  No more than six (6) undergraduate hours may be in EAS.  A maximum of 6 semester hours of graduate level course work can be transferred from other institutions, provided they were taken as part of a graduate degree program, that the grades are B or higher, and that the courses were taken within the last 5 years.  In order to insure breadth, each student is required to take at least one course from 3 of the 4 Graduate Core Course Work Categories.  These categories are:

  1. Geochemistry/Petrology,
  2. Sedimentary Geology,
  3. Stucture/Tectonics, and
  4. Applied/Analytical (a list of courses in each category is on the web site).

An average of B must be maintained in courses taken for graduate credit.  A grade of C+ or lower in four courses (12 hours) renders the student ineligible for any advanced degree at the University of Houston.

Additionally, all international students must familiarize themselves with all regulations, etc. relevant to their status (e.g., International Student Services).  Students are reminded that the University requires them to complete their degree requirements within five (5) consecutive years after their initial enrollment in graduate course work at the University of Houston.  Additionally, graduate credit is not given for any University of Houston course work completed prior to admission into the graduate program, e.g., courses taken as a post-baccalaureate student (PB) and non-degree option do not count.

Degree Requirements


The Master of Science (M.S.) degree will be awarded after students have successfully completed requirements specified in one of the two following plans:

Plan I: Thesis Option


Students may satisfy degree requirements by completing a minimum of 30 approved semester hours, no more than nine of which, with specific departmental approval, may be at the advanced undergraduate level, and no more than six of which may be undergraduate hours in the major department.  At least three semester hours of thesis courses and a thesis acceptable to the department must be completed.  At the option of the department, a qualifying and/or final comprehensive examination may be required.

Students who complete a thesis as part of their degree requirements must specify a thesis committee and have the names on file in the Office of the Dean at least one semester prior to their graduation.  The committee must consist of a minimum of two faculty members from within the major department and one approved member external to the major department from industry and/or academia who is acceptable to the department and the college.  After these minimum requirements for committee members are satisfied, additional committee members may be approved from industry and academia, but 50% of the committee must be tenured/tenure-track faculty at the University of Houston..

Plan II: Non-thesis Option


In some departments, students may satisfy degree requirements by completing a minimum of 36 approved semester hours, no more than nine of which, with specific departmental approval, may be at the advanced undergraduate level and no more than six of which may be special problems courses.  At the option of the department, a qualifying examination and/or final comprehensive examination may be required.

Part-Time M.S. Students: Non-Thesis Option


All part-time (6 hours per semester or less) M.S. students admitted into the graduate program in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS) will be admitted as non-thesis option starting Fall 2011.  Present students are grandfathered in the old system.

Non-thesis M.S. students must complete 39 credit hours for the degree.  All courses, except the research capstone, must be formal courses (for example, research hours do not count toward this degree) in the geosciences program.

All students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with all of the rules, regulations, etc. of the University, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS) and for meeting all requirements. Additionally, all international students must familiarize themselves with all regulations, etc. relevant to their status (e.g., International Student Services).  Students are reminded that the University requires them to complete their degree requirements within five (5) consecutive years after their initial enrollment in graduate course work at the University of Houston.  Additionally, graduate credit is not given for any University of Houston course work completed prior to admission into the graduate program, e.g., courses taken as a post-baccalaureate student (PB) and non-degree option do not count.

Non-thesis M.S. students must complete 39 credit hours for the degree.  All courses, except the research capstone, must be formal courses (for example, research hours do not count toward this degree) in the geosciences program.  Twenty-one (21) hours must consist of 6000-level EAS courses, and the remaining 9 hours can be selected 4000-level (or above) courses or approved 3000-level (or above) course work in other departments.  No more than six (6) undergraduate hours may be in EAS.  A maximum of 6 semester hours of graduate level course work can be transferred from other institutions, provided they were taken as part of a graduate degree program, that the grades are B or higher, and that the courses were taken within the last 5 years.  In order to insure breadth, each student is required to take at least one course from 3 of the 4 Graduate Core Course Work Categories.  These categories are:

  1. Geochemistry/Petrology,
  2. Sedimentary Geology,
  3. Stucture/Tectonics, and
  4. Applied/Analytical (a list of courses in each category is on the web site).

An average of B must be maintained in courses taken for graduate credit. A grade of C+ or lower in four courses (12 hours) renders the student ineligible for any advanced degree at the University of Houston.

After completion of 18 hours, students with a GPA of 3.4 and above and demonstrated abilities to conduct research may petition to switch to a thesis-based degree.  In order to do this, the student must have an advisor and committee members willing to supervise them.  The thesis research advisor, Geology Graduate Advisor, and Department Chair must sign a petition indicating approval of the change to a thesis-based M.S. degree option and it must be filed with the Academic Advisor.  The student must successfully defend their thesis proposal (as outlined in the requirements for the thesis-based degree option) after they have completed their core course requirements and prior to completion of 27 hours of course credit.

Questions pertaining to specific requirements should be addressed to the Geology Graduate Advisor:

Dr. Thomas Lapen
TJLapen@uh.edu

or

Academic Advisor II:

Ms. Sylvia Marshall
smarshall@uh.edu
713-743-3401

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