Graduate Studies

Graduate Programs

graduate student analyzing sample dataDegrees Offered

The Department of Geological Sciences offers the following graduate degree programs:

For a detailed list of degree requirements and course descriptions, visit the UA Graduate Catalog.

For a general outline describing the completion requirements for both M.S. and Ph.D. programs within two and four years, respectively, view the M.S. completion timeline or Ph.D. completion timeline.

Research Opportunities

Our faculty and graduate students are involved in a wide range of geological sciences research. Opportunities exist for theoretical, experimental, analytical, and field-based studies, with many projects combining aspects of each.

For a list of faculty research specialties, visit the Research Overview, or check out the open research positions for graduate students.

Financial Support

The department offers competitive financial support to graduate students in the form of assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships. For a complete list of opportunities, visit our Financial Support page.


Before applying, students should contact a faculty member with whom they would like to conduct research with, and also read through the procedures for selection of graduate applicants by department faculty, found here.

The application process is completed online through the UA Graduate School’s Electronic Application Center.

Admission to the graduate program in geological sciences is highly competitive. The Graduate School requires the following materials:

  • a Grade Point Average (GPA) greater than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (international grades are converted by the Graduate School to a 4.0 system)
  • If your native language is not English, you will also need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. The minimum TOEFL score for unconditional admission is 550 for the paper-based test, 213 for the computer-based test, and 79 for the internet-based test.
  • A Statement of Purpose (SOP), guidelines for which can be found here.

Application review begins January 15 for TA/RA support. To have the best chance for support, applications should be submitted by January 15. Applications will be considered after this date but will be given lower priority.

Note that from Fall 2020, the GRE requirement has been permanently removed from our admission requirements.

Self-funded, scholarship/fellowship, and international applications must be completed by March 15.


For more information, contact Dr. Kim Genareau, Professor and Graduate Program Director, at

The DGS is a partner in the AGU Bridge Program.

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