Geology, Master of Science

School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability

College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences

This research-and-thesis-based Master's degree attracts students who are interested in natural resources (including water and fuel sources) and the very structure of the earth. The degree offers flexibility in the design of the student's plan of study, created with guidance from an engaged research committee.

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 32
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Thesis Thesis is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Research Individualized research is required.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement or essay
    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
      • Physical Geology; Historical Geology; Mineralogy; Petrology; Stratigraphy and Sedimentation; Structural Geology; Field Camp; Calculus I; Calculus II; Physics I; Physics II; Chemistry I; Chemistry II
    • List of courses taken in the field
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 32 units:

    • EES 605, EES 606 (2 units)
    • Select coursework in consultation with your research committee to reflect breadth in subject matter. (All of your coursework may be in geology, or you may include a graduate minor in a related field.) (24 units)
    • GLG 699, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis (6 units)

  • Please note that only 6 units of thesis credit count toward your degree. However, master's students in geology average 12-14 thesis units because they must register for GLG 699 each semester during which they work on their thesis.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.