Dec 02, 2020  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
    
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Master of Science - Geoscience


Plan Description


The Master of Science – Geoscience degree is designed to prepare students for a broad range of challenging careers in government service, private consulting, and industry. This thesis-based degree program also serves as a stepping-stone for those students who wish to pursue further graduate studies at the Doctoral level. Working closely with their advisor, students focus on original research in one of several areas of specialization, including: petrology, volcanology, economic geology, structural geology, sedimentology, geochemistry, hydrology, soil science, climate change, petroleum geology, and paleontology. Students are expected to develop original research suitable for submission to a refereed scientific journal. Students are expected to have strong content knowledge in their area of emphasis, which is tested during the culminating defense of their thesis research.

For more information about your program including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements. 

Geology Track
The emphasis in Geology includes the fields of economic geology, environmental geology, geochemistry, geochronology, geomorphology, igneous petrology, paleontology, metamorphic petrology, Quaternary geology, pedology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, structural geology, surficial processes, tectonics, and volcanology. Applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in geology or equivalent.
  2. In order to be admitted without contingencies the student must have completed an introductory geology class and six of the following eight classes (or their equivalents): mineralogy, geochemistry, geomorphology, structural geology, igneous and metamorphic petrology, paleontology, field geology, and sedimentology/stratigraphy.

Geophysics Track
Applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in geology, engineering, physics or mathematics.
  2. To be admitted to the program with a Geophysics emphasis, it is recommended that the student have completed the following courses for unconditional admission to the program.
    1. Mathematics: Three semesters of calculus
    2. Physics: Two semesters of introductory (calculus level) physics
    3. Geology: Physical geology, historical geology, mineralogy, structural geology, sedimentology/stratigraphy, and igneous and metamorphic petrology.

Soil Science Track
Applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. B.S. degree in a Natural Science (or similar field and course work) or B.A. degree in Natural Science (or similar field and course work) with approval of the graduate coordinator.
  2. To be admitted to the program with a Soil Science emphasis, it is recommended that the student have completed two of the following courses for unconditional admission to the program: Mineralogy, Geomorphology, Sedimentology/Stratigraphy, or Geochemistry.

Hydrogeology Track
Applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. A B.S. degree in geology or a related discipline (e.g., civil engineering).
  2. To be admitted to the program with a hydrogeology emphasis, it is required that the student have completed four of the following courses (or their equivalents) for unconditional admission to the program:

GEOL 474 – Hydrogeology
GEOL 330 – Geochemistry
GEOL 333 – Geomorphology
GEOL 341 – Structural Geology
GEOL 348 – Field Geology
GEOL 462 – Stratigraphy and Sedimentology

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Geology Track


 Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements 

Required Courses – Credits: 4

GEOL 701 - Research Methods in Geoscience 

GEOL 795 - Poster Presentation and Time Management 

Elective Courses – Credits: 20

Complete 20 credits of 600- or 700-level GEOL courses, or other advisor-approved courses.

Thesis – Credits: 6

GEOL 797 - Thesis 

Degree Requirements 

See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements 

See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Subplan 2 Requirements: Geophysics Track


 Total Credits Required: 30

Cou rse Requirements 

Required Courses – Credits: 4

GEOL 701 - Research Methods in Geoscience 

GEOL 795 - Poster Presentation and Time Management 

Core Course – Credits: 3

Complete one of the following courses:

CEE 636 - Engineering Geophysics 

GEOL 645 - Geophysical Methods 

Additional Core Course – Credits: 3

Complete one of the following courses:

ECG 780 - Digital Signal Processing 

GEOL 793 - Independent Study and Research 

Geophysics Courses – Credits: 9

Complete 9 credits in three or more of the following courses, or other advisor-approved courses.

BIOL 618 - Microbial Ecology 

CEE 634 - Rock Mechanics 

CEE 636 - Engineering Geophysics 

CEE 676 - Earthquake Engineering 

CEE 737 - Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 

CEE 775 - Seismic Response of Structures 

GEOL 630 - Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Theory and Applications 

GEOL 643 - Plate Tectonics 

GEOL 644 - Tectonics of Orogenic Belts 

GEOL 646 - Geologic Applications in Remote Sensing 

GEOL 678 - Hydrogeochemistry 

GEOL 688 - Microtechniques in Geoscience 

GEOL 716 - Geostatistics 

GEOL 744 - Tectonics and Structures 

GEOL 745 - Advanced Structural Geology 

GEOL 746 - Strain and Microstructural Analysis 

GEOL 747 - Geological Evolution of Western North America 

GEOL 770 - Sedimentary Basins 

GEOL 772 - Reflection Seismic Data Interpretation 

GEOL 773 - Seminar in Geophysics 

Elective Courses – Credits: 5

Complete 5 credits from the following list of courses, or other advisor-approved courses that are appropriate for the course of study.

BIOL 618 - Microbial Ecology 

CEE 634 - Rock Mechanics 

CEE 636 - Engineering Geophysics 

CEE 676 - Earthquake Engineering 

CEE 737 - Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 

CEE 775 - Seismic Response of Structures 

GEOL 630 - Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Theory and Applications 

GEOL 643 - Plate Tectonics 

GEOL 644 - Tectonics of Orogenic Belts 

GEOL 646 - Geologic Applications in Remote Sensing 

GEOL 678 - Hydrogeochemistry 

GEOL 688 - Microtechniques in Geoscience 

GEOL 716 - Geostatistics 

GEOL 744 - Tectonics and Structures 

GEOL 745 - Advanced Structural Geology 

GEOL 746 - Strain and Microstructural Analysis 

GEOL 747 - Geological Evolution of Western North America 

GEOL 770 - Sedimentary Basins 

GEOL 772 - Reflection Seismic Data Interpretation 

GEOL 773 - Seminar in Geophysics 

Thesis – Credits: 6

GEOL 797 - Thesis 

Degree Requirements 

See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements 

See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Plan Degree Requirements


  1. Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  2. At least 12 credits (excluding thesis) must be in 700-level courses.
  3. GEOL 701 and GEOL 795 must be taken during the first year of enrollment.
  4. Credits taken at other institutions will be considered for transfer; however, at least 16 of the 24 course credits required for the degree (not including thesis credits) must be taken at UNLV.
  5. Students must confer with their appointed advisor prior to enrollment in their first semester. Using Degree Audit as a guide, a degree program must be approved by the advisory committee. A thesis prospectus must be filed with the Graduate College, and a thesis committee must be appointed by the end of the second semester after admission to the college. This responsibility rests with the student. Students will be dropped from the program and separated from the Graduate College if they fail to fulfill this requirement.
  6. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a thesis committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  7. Satisfactory progress toward meeting the degree requirements is required of all students. Satisfactory progress includes maintaining at least a 3.00 grade point average in all graduate-level courses. Consult the Geoscience Graduate Student Guidelines at http://geoscience.unlv.edu/graduatestudentguidelines.htm for full details.

Plan Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.

  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her thesis by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted hard-copy thesis to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.