Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy

The requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy are as follows:

  1. GEOS 30200 must be taken in the student's first or second year.
  2. A program of study approved by the student's advisory committee.
  3. A reading comprehension examination in a modern foreign language may be required if deemed appropriate by the advisory committee.
  4. A preliminary examination consisting of a written part covering fields that the student has selected for a program of study, and an oral part based upon the student's proposal for a dissertation topic that has been submitted as a research prospectus.
  5. Admission to formal candidacy for the degree, based upon 1, 2, 3 above and upon the advisory committee's assessment of the student's competence and promise in independent research.
  6. A dissertation by the candidate on the results of independent research in the geophysical sciences.
  7. An oral final examination, concerned mainly with the subject of the dissertation and the field of specialization.

Master of Science

The Department has no formal Master of Science program, but some students elect to take an M.S. degree on the way to the PhD.  The divisional requirement for the degree of Master of Science is nine courses. In addition the department requires:

  1. Approval of the departmental counselor and an individualized advisory committee of a program of study and an essay. Normally the program of study shall include the following: (a) Three or more physical and/or biological science courses of which, at most, three may be of 20000-level, the rest of 30000-level. (b) Three or more 30000-level courses in the department. (c) At least one, but not more than three, reading/research courses.
  2. An average grade of B and no grade less than C in courses offered for the degree.
  3. An essay, thesis, or publication in conjunction with the research course and a seminar delivered to a general departmental audience.

The master's degree is not required for work toward the Ph.D. in the department.