Geology Graduate Programs in Washington

Jun 11, 2019

Studying geology doesn't have to end with a bachelor's degree. If you are looking at graduate school in Washington, you'll find several options for geology graduate programs.

Most of the time, you will find graduate programs through a Master of Science in Geology or Geological Sciences when searching in Washington. They aren't very numerous, and some might come as concentrations in geology while pursuing similar degree programs.

Schools in Washington Offering Graduate Programs in Geology

University of Washington

With the University of Washington, you'll find a Master's in Earth & Space Sciences, with a focus on Applied Geosciences (the program is known as MESSAGe). Full-time and part-time options are available, with the former taking 18 months to complete, while the latter lasts two to three years depending on your level of commitment. The program offers several elective options to morph the degree into one that caters directly to your research interest. Along with an internship, you will complete a capstone investigation as part of the degree requirement. The investigation helps to raise your understanding of data collection, planning, and analysis. Core course topics include engineering geology and hydrogeology; electives change each year, but might cover such topics as tectonic geomorphology and natural hazards.

Washington State University

WSU is home to a Master of Science in Geology. Students can choose two different tracks: one with a thesis, which requires 15 hours of 500-level courses, or a track without a thesis, which ups the requirement to 17 hours. In the thesis track, a final oral exam must be passed to earn the degree. Regardless of thesis options, this is a full-time program that takes two years to complete. All master's-level students are expected to enroll in a seminar for at least two semesters.

WSU also has the rare Ph.D. in Geology. This program lasts for three years, with an extra year necessary if students enter without a master's degree. Two rounds of exams are given before the doctorate is administered. Specialization areas for the Ph.D. include tectonics, geodynamics, and hydrogeology.

Central Washington University

You can find a Master of Science in Geological Sciences at CWU. Each course is aimed at student specialization and research interest, including field-based experiences in a number of areas. Teaching assistantships are available for academically qualified students, as well as research assistantships supported by outside organizations. Before graduating, you'll design an original research project and show your results during oral presentations and written analysis. Previous graduate courses have covered topics including the volcanology, climate change, and geochronology.

Admissions Requirements for Geology Graduate Programs

Each graduate department holds a different fee to submit an application for a geology program. Before applying, check the faculty to find a member whose research interests most closely align with your own. You will need to submit your scores for the GRE exam, and if you are interested in an assistantship, you should take the exams as early as you can. Potential graduate students in geology should have a bachelor's degree in geoscience or something closely similar. Some programs are taken in as cohorts and will not start until September, but others function on a revolving schedule.

Graduate programs in geology can usually be found in Washington as a master's program, but at least one university offers a doctorate. Make sure you study geology as an undergraduate if you want the best chance of getting into a graduate program.

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