Oct 28, 2020  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog

Geology - PhD

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College of Science

Department of Geosciences

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Geology requires original research in a specific area of geology, demonstration of broad knowledge in the field of geology, and demonstration of depth of knowledge in at least two areas of geology. The successful candidate must demonstrate a breadth of understanding in geology, as well as a depth of understanding in his or her chosen area(s) of emphasis. Potential students must show an ability to do creative research. This research should be carried out during a significant period of time (i.e., during at least one year or three semesters in residence). Thus, each successful PhD candidate will produce a significant piece of original research, presented in a written dissertation and defended in an oral examination. This work should be of such scope and quality that more than one journal or conference article can be derived from it.

Degree Requirements

There are two program tracks for this degree: academic and professional. The academic track is designed to prepare graduates for a career in academia or other teaching-related settings. It includes a classroom teaching experience under the supervision of a faculty teaching mentor. The professional track is designed to prepare graduates for work in professional careers with the petroleum industry, with other extractive industries, or in environmental and hydrologic consulting. Completion of a professional internship is encouraged.

Students completing a PhD in Geology must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Complete at least 72 credits of graduate coursework (including at least 21 credits of GEO 7970 , Dissertation Research) beyond a BS degree or at least 42 credits (including at least 15 credits of GEO 7970 , Dissertation Research) beyond an MS degree, with a minimum class grade of B and a minimum overall GPA of 3.3.
  2. Academic Track: Successfully teach one geology course under the supervision of a faculty mentor while taking GEO 6900  (teaching internship)   credits. Coursework in pedagogy may be pursued.

           Professional Track: Completion of a professional internship program is encouraged and GEO 6900  credits may be taken with this. Coursework developing computational skills may be pursued. 
  3. Pass a written comprehensive examination showing depth and breadth of knowledge in geology and in the student’s area(s) of emphasis. The student may be required to take additional classes to satisfy any deficiencies.
  4. Successfully complete a written dissertation research proposal, present that proposal orally to the committee, and defend it during an oral examination. The oral examination will include questions of a deep and probing nature, and may range beyond the dissertation proposal into geoscience areas unrelated to the student’s specialization.
  5. Successfully complete and defend a dissertation. The dissertation will be a written document and may consist of several papers submitted or accepted for publication. The defense will be oral, including a presentation of the work and successful defense of the work to the faculty. 
  6. Students enrolled in the Geology PhD program will be expected to complete the majority of the Geology undergraduate core course requirements if they have not done so prior to enrollment (e.g. Introductory or Physical Geology with laboratory,Minerals and Rocks (Earth Materials), Historical Geology, Sedimentation and Stratigraphy, Geomorphology, Structural Geology, and Field Methods or relevant experience). 


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