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Graduate Programs

One graduate degree is offered by the Geological Sciences Department:

Additional information can be found in the CSULB Catalog: Geological Sciences.

Master of Science in Geology

The Department offers a comprehensive program of courses coupled with appropriate thesis projects leading to the Master of Science in Geology. Within geology, students specialize in any of a number of sub-disciplines including environmental geochemistry, hydrogeology, marine geology, petrology, paleontology, petroleum geology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, structural and field geology, geophysics, and paleoclimatology.

Students may include in their studies courses offered by other departments at CSULB. Interested students are encouraged to contact faculty in their intended areas of study and research.

Application Process and Deadlines

You will need to apply both to the CSU Graduate School and the Geological Sciences Department. Please note: these applications are separate.

Two sets of transcripts are needed. Send formal transcripts to the Graduate School as instructed in Cal State Apply. Send either formal or pdf informal transcripts to the Geological Sciences Department with your Geology application.

Deadline: February 15 and October 1

Supporting documents are also needed:

  1. Three letters of recommendation to be sent to by US postal mail or email directly to the Graduate Advisor.
  2. Official transcripts of all of your college work sent to the University.
  3. Unofficial transcripts of all of your college work to the Department.
  4. Official report of your score on the General test of the GRE sent to the University.

If you wish to be considered for the Johnson-Conrey Fellowship (see below), please provide a written essay (approximately 1,000 words) describing the how the Johnson-Conrey Fellowship would help you attain your professional goals. The essay should detail the student's projected research and professional interests as well as experiences that might indicate potential for success as a professional Geoscientist. This is a separate essay from the one written in application to the graduate program.

More information about the application process can be found at Enrollment Services or by contacting the Graduate Advisor.

Johnson-Conrey Fellowship

The Carl W. Johnson-Bert Conrey Graduate Fellowship in Geological Sciences is available for graduate students.

As a result of the tremendous generosity of the Carl W. Johnson Foundation, the Geological Sciences Department offers one to two prestigious scholarships each year in any geological field of study leading to a Master of Science Degree in Geological Sciences. The award is $15,000 per year, renewable upon good progress for up to two years, with supplementary income from teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or other funding sources.

Eligibility

There are no GPA or GRE restrictions. However, the scholarship is competitive and most recipients have GPA >3.6. Students who graduated from CSULB-Geological Sciences are not eligible to apply.

Applying

Deadline: February 15. In addition to completing the University and Department M.S. application requirements, students wishing to be considered for the Fellowship must also include a written essay (approximately 1000 words) describing how the Johnson-Conrey Fellowship would help them attain their professional goals. The essay should detail the student's projected research focus and professional interests as well as experiences that highlight their potential for success as a professional Geoscientist. This is a separate essay from the one written in application to the graduate program. Application to the program and the requested additional essay are due by the deadline.

Teaching Assistantships

A limited number of TA positions are available. TAs typically teach labs for Physical Geology (GEOL 102), Natural Disasters (GEOL 110), and Introductory Oceanography (GEOL 160). If you are interested in being a TA, please let the Graduate Advisor know at the time of application.

Master's Student Learning Outcomes

By obtaining M.S. degrees from the Geological Sciences Department, students will:

  1. Find peer-reviewed articles, maps, government reports and/or data sets
    • Concept Introduced in GEOL 500
    • Evaluated in GEOL 695, GEOL 537, Thesis and one of the following: GEOL 531, GEOL 555, GEOL 577, GEOL 570: IBA
  2. Read, digest, and distill ideas from the published literature
    • Concept Introduced in GEOL 500
    • Evaluated in GEOL 695, GEOL 537, and Advancement Proposal
  3. Identify and clearly articulate a specific research question
    • Concept Introduced in GEOL 500
    • Evaluated in GEOL 697, Advancement Proposal and Thesis
  4. Formulate multiple working hypotheses
    • Concept Introduced in GEOL 500
    • Evaluated in GEOL 697, Advancement Proposal and Thesis
  5. Identify and/or develop process(es) or means to answer a specific research question
    • Concept Introduced in GEOL 500
    • Evaluated in GEOL 697 and one of the following (GEOL 531, GEOL 555, GEOL 577, GEOL 570: IBA), Advancement Proposal and Thesis
  6. Work and be able to and problem-solve independently in the lab and/or field
    • Evaluated in GEOL 697 and Thesis
  7. Create publication quality figures (maps, line drawings, etc).
    • Evaluated in Advancement Proposal and Thesis and one of the following (GEOL 531, GEOL 555, GEOL 577, GEOL 570: IBA)
  8. Write a comprehensive analysis of a geological problem placing it into the context of past research and including background, methods, data analysis and discussion
    • Evaluated in Thesis
  9. Present original research, methods, and outcomes to an audience of peers
    • Concept Introduced in GEOL 500
    • Evaluated in one of the following (GEOL 531, GEOL 555, GEOL 570: IBA), Advancement Proposal and Thesis