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Geosciences, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
University rank #863 (BCR) , CA,
The Master of Science in Geosciences is an advanced, postgraduate degree that trains students to conduct research in Earth sciences and prepares students for careers in private industry, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), teaching in high schools or community colleges, or for continuing postgraduate studies leading to a doctoral degree at another university.


The Department of Earth & Climate Sciences faculty includes people with expertise in geology, hydrology, meteorology, and oceanography—fields that are critical to understanding fundamental Earth processes and many environmental problems, such as air and water contamination, coastal erosion, and climate change. In addition to standard courses in the three subdisciplines, recent advanced-level courses have included Tectonic Geomorphology, Global Tectonics, Rock Mechanics in Geomorphology, Paleoceanography, Vadose Zone Hydrogeology, Electron Microscopy, and Analysis and Prediction of Severe Storms.

All students take courses in their respective areas of emphasis plus a common core of three courses: ERTH 700, a multidisciplinary seminar that exposes students to current geoscientific research and literature, and ERTH 701 and ERTH 702, which prepare students for thesis research, quantitative analyses and scientific writing. Thesis projects are expected to have a rigorous base in a geoscience discipline. Depending on the particular field and focus of study, these projects can involve laboratory research, field work, theory development, numerical simulations or model development.

Recent graduate research projects have focused on topics such as active faults in Death Valley, effects of climate change on regional aquifers, geomorphic controls on Bay Area streams, deformation associated with the San Andreas fault system, Pliocene–Pleistocene climate change, large-scale tectonic processes in the Himalayan Mountains, carbon cycling in the ocean, wave erosion at Ocean Beach, and characteristics of severe storms in California. We encourage students to work on interdisciplinary projects and develop interactions and collaborations with other departments in the University, other institutions and agencies, and private industry.

We strongly recommend that students plan a course of study before beginning the M.S. program, in consultation with a faculty advisor and the graduate coordinator.

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Graduate Seminar in Geosciences
  • Research Methods in Geosciences
  • Quantitative Methods in Geosciences
  • Research Project
  • Master's Thesis

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

To be considered for admission to the master's program as a classified graduate student, applicants must:
  • Satisfy the University admission requirements.
  • Have a bachelor's degree in one of the geosciences (geology, meteorology, or oceanography) or a related discipline.
  • Have a 3.0 GPA in their earned undergraduate degree or last 60 semester (90 quarter) units completed.
  • Satisfactorily complete the Graduate Record Examination general test.
  • Provide letters of recommendation from at least two people familiar with the applicant’s previous academic work and/or professional accomplishments.
  • Submit a statement of purpose.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    7176 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 3588 USD per semester and a duration of 24 months.
  • National

    7176 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 3588 USD per semester and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for San Francisco

  • 2206 - 4120 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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