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Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Geosciences is conferred upon successful completion of either the Thesis Track or the Non-Thesis Track of the degree program. For more information, see the MS in Geosciences Graduate Program Handbook. For a full listing of courses, visit the Earth and Environment Graduate Course Catalog

  • Thesis Track

    Traditional master’s degree: satisfactory completion of coursework, mastery of a discipline of geoscience, and completion of independent research project, the master’s thesis.

    A minimum of 30 credits are required, including:

    • Two graduate seminars (2 credits)
    • GLY 6061 Geoscience Systems
    • Formal (non-research) graduate courses (14 credits)
    • Electives (formal graduate courses, seminars or supervised research) (5 credits)
    • MS thesis (GLY 6971) (6 credits)

    These courses are selected to fit the student’s particular professional goals and to ensure sufficient depth and breadth of geoscientific knowledge. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for all coursework counted toward the 30 credits required. The MS degree is conferred upon satisfactory completion and defense of a thesis proposal and an original research thesis.

  • Non-Thesis Track

    Aimed at working professionals whose career would be enhanced by degree and whose work duties would not allow them the research time required for the thesis. Research assistantships are not usually awarded to students pursuing the Non-Thesis Track.

    A minimum of 30 credits are required, including:

    • Formal (non-research) graduate courses in the field of specialization (18 credits)
    • Electives (formal graduate courses or seminars) (9 credits)
    • Supervised Research (GLY 6910) or a Professional Internship (GLY 6949) (3 credits)

    A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for all coursework counted toward the 30 credits required for the master’s degree. The Supervised Research (GLY 6910) must include a research paper, and the Professional Internship (GLY 6949) must include an internship report. Students must make an oral presentation of their research paper or internship report to the Department of Earth and Environment.

Fields of Concentration

  • Atmospheric Sciences

    Research focuses on hurricane dynamics, hurricane impacts, hurricane boundary layer turbulence structures, atmospheric convection, atmospheric boundary layer and clouds, and cloud-climate feedbacks.

  • Environmental Biogeoscience

    Research in this concentration applies knowledge of geological, biological, physical, and chemical processes to current threats facing the biosphere, including deteriorating water and air quality, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function, soil degradation, coastal erosion, and other emerging issues at local or global scales.

  • Geophysics/Remote Sensing

    Geophysical investigative techniques use gravity, magnetism, seismic reflection and refraction, earthquake seismology, thermal properties, and satellite imagery. Land-based geophysical studies may focus on the Caribbean and South American seismicity and crustal structure. Environmental geophysical studies may be based in the South Florida and Caribbean regions.

  • Hydrogeology/Hydrology

    Research includes field and modeling approaches to groundwater flow and solute fluxes in subsurface and near-subsurface environments. Topics include the interaction of surface water and groundwater, solute transport, chemical and isotopic tracing techniques, watershed hydrology in Florida, Central America and other locations,. Igneous Petrology/Geochemistry/Economic Geology Research problems emphasize the petrology/geochemistry of igneous and metamorphic rocks with reference to their origin, and relationships in time and space. Topics include the origin of hydrothermal and other economic deposits, and the field occurrence, geochemistry and petrogenesis of crystalline rocks, especially those of the Caribbean region and South America. Trace element and isotope geochemistry may be applied to the study of the petrogenetic associations.

  • Micropaleontology

    Research topics of the faculty and students include paleoecology, facies analysis, paleobiogeography, evolutionary processes, biodiversity, biostratigraphy, and the response to global climatic changes, as interpreted from microfossils, especially foraminifera and radiolarians.

  • Stratigraphy/Sedimentology

    Research in this concentration includes sedimentary petrology, sedimentary environments, paleoenvironments, paleoceanography, sequence stratigraphy, cyclic stratigraphy, microfacies analysis, and basin analysis. Field and laboratory techniques are applied to the solution of problems in these topics, especially as applied to sedimentary rock sequences of South Florida, the Caribbean and Central America. The evolution of sedimentary basins in these regions are studied in relation to global and regional tectonics.

  • Tectonics/Structural Geology

    Field- and lab-oriented research employs methods of structural analysis. Analysis of geologic deformations is based upon the principles of mechanics and utilizes field data. Field areas include the Caribbean and South America.