Jan 17, 2019  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 
    
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Geosciences Ph.D.


 

Degree Requirements

The doctoral degree requires course work, a proposal defense, an oral qualifying examination, and a written dissertation, which may consist of three or more publishable papers. A minimum of 60 credits past the baccalaureate or bachelor’s degree is required. Students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.S. degree in geology or a related field will be awarded 24 credits toward the Ph.D. Credits taken at another institution will be considered for transfer; however, at least two-thirds of the minimum number of credits required for the degree, not including dissertation credits, must be taken at UNLV.

Course selection is based on the student’s research objectives. The student, the advisor and the doctoral advising committee will design the degree program. All Ph.D. students must take at least 12 credits of:
GEOL 799 - Dissertation . The 60 credits required of those students entering the program with a B.S. must include at least 24 course credits at the 700 level. The 36 credits required of those students entering the program with an M.S. degree must include at least 12 course credits at the 700 level. In both cases the 700-level courses must include:
GEOL 701 - Research Methods in Geoscience ; remaining courses may be at the 600 or 700 level. Although more course work and dissertation credits may be taken, only 12 credits of GEOL 799, and 48 course credits for those entering the program with a B.S. or 24 course credits for those entering the program with an M.S. will be counted toward the degree program.

Doctoral students are encouraged to take courses from outside of geoscience; however, a minimum of 15 credits must be geoscience (GEOL) courses. A maximum of three credits of Independent Study:
GEOL 793 - Independent Study and Research  are permitted, except in special circumstances in which case permission from the doctoral advising committee, the department Graduate Coordinator and the department chair is required.

A dissertation advisor must be chosen by the end of the first semester, and the doctoral advising committee must be appointed prior to the end of the second semester. An approved graduate degree program must be filed prior to the  beginning of the third semester of enrollment. Students may request a maximum of 15 graduate credits taken at UNLV prior to admission be included in the graduate degree program, providing those credits were not used to fulfill undergraduate requirements and a grade of B (3.00) or higher was achieved.

A typical Ph.D. student will spend four years completing the required course work and research, and the department and advisor will strive to provide four academic years of support. During this time, the student must be a teaching assistant or instructor for at least one semester. Satisfactory progress toward meeting the degree requirements is required of all candidates. Satisfactory progress is defined as, at a minimum:

  1. Maintenance of at least a 3.00 grade point average in all graduate-level courses. Two grades of B- are permitted in the degree program as long as the GPA remains at or above 3.00. One grade of C+ or lower results in academic probation even if the overall GPA is above 3.0. Two  grades of C+ or lower will result in automatic suspension from the program.
  2. Selecting a dissertation advisor and committee. The advisor must be selected before the end of the first semester and the committee before the end of the second semester.
  3. Scheduling of an interview with the advisor either during or before the first semester. If an advisor is not selected, a temporary advisor will be assigned by the graduate coordinator. The purpose of the interview is to develop a plan of course work for the first year.
  4. Scheduling of a diagnostic interview with the Advisory Committee before the end of the 2nd semester. The purpose of the interview is to develop a list of recommended courses and design the student’s degree program, which must be submitted prior to completing 16 credits of course work toward the degree.
  5. Preparation of a dissertation proposal and satisfactory performance on a Proposal Defense Examination. This examination must be completed prior to the end of the third semester. The Proposal Defense Examination focuses on the dissertation proposal and the student’s ability to perform the research. It includes a formal oral presentation of the student’s dissertation proposal, research to date, and questions by the dissertation advisory committee on the dissertation topic. The Proposal Defense Examination is to be taken prior to the Comprehensive Examination.
  6. Satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination. Ph.D. students must have a basic knowledge of Physical Geology in addition to a comprehensive knowledge of three fields of geosciences (see Department of Geoscience Graduate Student Guidelines for recommended fields for each Ph.D. Emphasis). The format and content of the exam will be determined by the student’s doctoral advisory committee with approval of the department graduate coordinator. The Comprehensive Examination will be taken either the semester after all course work is completed or before the end of the fifth semester, which ever comes first. The examination will be oral. In exceptional circumstances, as determined by the student’s dissertation committee and the graduate coordinator, the examination will consist of both oral and written components. Students who fail to pass the Comprehensive Examination or Proposal Defense on the first attempt must successfully complete a second examination (as specified by the doctoral advisory committee) within the next six months to remain in the program. Students who entered the program with a baccalaureate degree and who fail the second examination may be allowed to continue as a Master of Science student with the consent of the doctoral advising committee. Students who entered the program with a master’s degree who fail the examination a second time will be separated from the program. A student who has successfully passed both the Proposal Defense and Comprehensive Examinations will be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.
  7. Satisfactory performance on a final examination will consist of the presentation and defense of the dissertation research. The defense will consist of an oral presentation open to the public, a short period of questions from the public, a closed session of questions from the doctoral advising committee, and a closed deliberation and vote by just the advisory committee members. Any graduate faculty member may attend the closed session of questions of the defense.

Geoscience Emphasis M.S. and PhD


Emphasis in Geology


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. Students must satisfy all of the general degree and admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Admission requirement in addition to those listed above for the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in geology or equivalent. A Master of Science degree in geology or equivalent is recommended for the Ph.D. applicants, but not required.
  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.

Emphasis in Geophysics


Admission requirements in addition to those listed above for the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in geology, engineering, physics or mathematics. A Master of Science degree is recommended for Ph.D. applicants, but not required.
  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.
    Mathematics: Three semesters of calculus
    Physics: Two semesters of introductory (calculus level) physics
    Geology: Physical geology, historical geology, mineralogy, structural geology, sedimentology/stratigraphy, and igneous and metamorphic petrology.

Degree requirements in addition to those listed above for the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees.

Required Graduate Courses


In addition, each student must take at least three courses from the list below. The remaining credits can be obtained from the list below or other Geoscience graduate-level courses that are appropriate for the course of study.

Emphasis in Soil Science


Admission requirements in addition to those listed above for the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees:

  1. A 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. A Master of Science degree is recommended for Ph.D. applicants, but not required.
  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.

Degree requirements in addition to those listed above for the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees.

Emphasis in Hydrogeology


Admission requirements in addition to those listed above for the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees:

  1. B.S. or master’s degree in geology or a related discipline (e.g., civil engineering). A Master of Science degree is recommended for Ph.D. applicants, but not required.
  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

Degree requirements in addition to those listed above for the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees.