Applied Earth Science Education and Training Program Information

Instructor: Jerrycho Palero
Applied Earth science combines geology, hydrology and meteorology to look at the Earth as a whole. See program requirements, common courses, job outlook and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Applied Earth science master's degree programs are research-intensive and typically require field work. Many programs either require or encourage students to choose a field of emphasis, such as geomorphology or oceanography. Master's programs can be completed in 2-4 years.

Prior to applying for admission, a student should have a bachelor's degree in an applicable Earth science such as meteorology or geology. Some schools will allow a student to apply to the program without that specific bachelor's, but will require them to complete designated make-up courses as part of the progression.

Master of Science in Applied Geoscience

Critical thinking and problem solving play a large role in course presentations. Some of the courses offered include:

  • Biochemical recycling modeling
  • Natural energy generation and resulting hazards
  • Geological consolidation application and theory
  • Hydrographic analysis
  • Comprehensive field geology studies

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Prior to entering the workforce, a geoscientist should check with the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) to see if a state has licensing or certification requirements. Most require some form of licensing for any type of geoscientist to work for the public. Frequently, the license will require successful completion of an examination after earning a degree and gaining field experience.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, geoscientist job opportunities were predicted to experience faster-than-average growth of 6% between 2018 and 2028. Those with a master's degree were expected to have the best chance of qualifying for higher-level jobs. The median annual salary for geoscientists was reported at $91,130 in May 2018.

Continuing Education

The AIPG offers both continuing education and continuing professional development courses. These programs are designed specifically to meet continuing education requirements for renewing a geoscientist license in different states. AIPG continuing education programs run at approximately $75 per person which includes a certificate of completion and administrative fees.

There are a few Ph.D. programs available for applied Earth sciences and applied geosciences. These degrees are primarily for those who wish to pursue careers as college professors or lead research programs. A Ph.D. is not required for most jobs in geoscience.

A Master of Science in Applied Geoscience covers advanced geology concepts and topics to prepare graduates for careers as geoscientists. Graduates will need to obtain state licensure and meet continuing education requirements.

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