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It’s not all about rocks and volcanoes. Geology is an immersive field that is important for many other disciplines.
This field of science involves many methods and training. From mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology, it covers it all.
As a geology graduate student, you’ll learn about a variety of topics. These include the ways in which landscapes are formed and developed. You’ll learn about how humans interact with the planet. You’ll learn how groundwater flows. You’ll even learn about geological sustainability. Geology graduates can work just about anywhere.
If you like to be outdoors, a geology major is a smart choice for you. You will gain technical expertise in this advanced degree that will prepare you for any role in geological and geophysical engineering. This is one of the few scientific disciplines that will enable you to work outside, in the field, a vast majority of the time. You might even be able to travel around the world. Geology graduates are found just about everywhere! A degree in geology is a smart choice.
You’ll gain skills in all the sciences when you pursue a degree in geology. Plus you’ll gain many that are transferable to other fields. You will become adept at collecting data, solving problems, communicating, and even working with a team.
With a degree in geology, you could go on to work in:
- pollution control
- geological surveying
- environmental geology
- field seismology
… and a vast array of other careers.
Fortunately, there are all kinds of affordable online master’s in geology out there. These online geology masters can help you save money. That’s all while pursuing the career of your dreams. It’s all about knowing where to look for the right degree in geology!
Online degrees are smart for a myriad of reasons. They tend to be more affordable, since you can study from your own home without having to pay for things like parking, transportation, room, and board. You will also be able to pursue your studies without leaving your current place of employment.
Are you already working in geology or a related field? If so, earning an online degree makes a lot of sense. You’ll be able to apply what you learn in your online classes to your fieldwork on a daily basis.
The skills that you learn in your geology degree will be useful and transferable to many other careers. You’ll gain proficiency in things like:
- project management
- quantitative reason
If you choose to pursue a career outside of geology, you’ll have plenty of success after earning an online master geology degree. That’s true regardless of whether you are looking for a job in a laboratory, in journalism, in research, or in civil engineering. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports high salaries for careers in physical science and historical geology work. That’s true whether you work for a private company, the federal government, or even another graduate school.
Are you ready for better career options and a more in-depth knowledge of the exciting field of geology and other physical science areas? Then it’s time for you to consider pursuing one of the best affordable online master’s in geology.
What Are the Best Online Master’s in Geology Degrees?
We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue. You may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:
25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per graduate school
25% Graduation Rate: Number of graduate students who start at the university and actually finish there
20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni
20% Selectivity: The number of graduate students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted
10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department
At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one. We want to help you reach your goals.
M.S. – Geology
Majoring in geology is a wise choice if you want a lucrative career in the sciences. But in order to truly be successful, you’re going to need to spend a lot of time in the research laboratory and out in the field. You will find an online masters in geology at the University of Houston that allows you to do just that. The online master in environmental geology is one of the best.
The University of Houston was founded In 1927. This school is the third-largest university in the state of Texas. It is home to more than 46,000 students, many of whom are graduate students in the geological sciences degree. It is a public research university. It is classified as an R1: Doctoral University – Very High Research Activity.
That’s quite the designation to hold. Plus, consider that the school offers some of the best interdisciplinary research facilities in the world. The university conducts more than $150 million a year in research. It has 40 research centers and institutes. As a graduate geology student, you’ll have opportunities to participate in this kind of research yourself.
You can choose from several different graduate programs. Many are in an online master’s degree format. These include master’s degrees in:
- atmospheric science
Plus, there are doctoral degrees in geophysics, geology, and atmospheric sciences.
You’ll take most of your classes in conjunction with the department of geosciences. You will need to take core classes such as:
- Structural Geology
- Sedimentary Petrogenesis.
You’ll also be required to participate in a field camp as part of this online master’s degree.
You can choose between a specialization in petroleum geology and one in petroleum geophysics. The latter is designed for students who major in geophysics. You can also choose to add supplemental online certificate options and short courses to your degree. Examples of online certificate options include geographical information systems (GIS), hydrogeology, and petroleum.
30 credit hours are required for the master’s degree. Six of these credits in the geological sciences degree are thesis hours. You can opt not to take the thesis. Keep in mind that you will need to complete 39 credit hours instead.
You will be supported in your studies by your faculty mentor. That’s along with a broad alumni base. The school has an alumni base that is more than 260,000 students strong. At the University of Houston, you will truly become part of a community. You are not just another face in the crowd. This school is ranked as one of the Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
To apply, you must have earned a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. You should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. You will also need GRE scores. You can start in the spring or fall semester for these online master’s degrees. If you plan to attend the geological sciences degree in the fall semester, you have to submit all of your materials no later than January 1.
Master of Science in Geological Sciences
Another university that is well-respected for its high level of research activity is the University of Florida. Here you will find a top masters in geology online. This public university is a public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research institution. It is in Gainesville, FL.
This school was established in 1853. lt is classified as an R1: Doctoral University – Very High Research Activity. It is ranked as the seventh-best public university in the United States. It’s accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is home to numerous Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners.
Choose to major in geology. You’ll have your hands full with all of the hands-on research opportunities you can explore. The Department of Geological Sciences is home to numerous world-class analytical facilities.
The Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida offers a variety of hands-on programs in geology. These are at both the master’s and Ph.D. level. You can focus your studies in a variety of in-demand fields. Examples of environmental geology classes in this online master of science include:
- environmental science and hydrology
- marine and coastal geology
- geological sciences
- seismology and planetary science
- paleoceanography and paleolimnology
You’ll enjoy an up-close-and-personal degree. You can interact with major employers and research organizations. Examples include the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Land Use and Environmental Change Institute.
Curious about the classes you might take? Some of the core courses required for graduate students include:
- Geologic Evolution of North America
- Surface and Groundwater Interactions.
In these online master’s degrees, your learning will extend well beyond the classroom walls. You can participate in an active student body and various student organizations. Some of the most common include:
- the Florida Geophysical Society
- Geoscience Ambassadors
- the Gator AAPG Student Chapter.
Consider getting in touch with some faculty mentors at the university. You can ask any questions you have. You can explore funding opportunities that will make your University of Florida education even more affordable. There are also a range of fellowships and teaching assistantships offered. There’s even funding for students from under-represented groups.
You can submit all application materials online. You will need to supply three letters of recommendation. These should be from individuals who can speak to your potential to succeed as a graduate student. You should also supply a two-page personal essay and official transcripts. GRE scores are not required for admission.
MS in Geology
Missouri University of Science and Technology is best known for its engineering school. But that’s not all that this public land and space grant university in Rolla, MO has to offer. As a member of the University of Missouri System, the university is home to more than 8,000 students. They are studying business, mathematics science, and, of course, engineering. The geology masters degree online here is one of the best.
It was founded in 1870 as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy. So it makes sense that geology would be at the top of the list of programs, too. It is located close to the Southeast Missouri Lead District. This district is known for producing about 70% of the United States’ supply of lead and much of its zinc. The school no longer specializes in that area. But you’ll love what the geology program can do for your career.
To earn the online geology masters degree at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, you will need to complete at least 30 hours of study. That’s beyond your bachelor’s degree. 15 of these credit hours should be at the 8000 or 9000 level. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available.
You’ll be partnered with a faculty mentor. He or she will monitor your progress and help as you take your courses and prepare your thesis. You will develop a personalized plan of study. It will be customized to your personal and professional goals. You will work closely with an advisor even for a non thesis program too.
Sample classes for this online master in environmental geology (both thesis and non thesis program options) include:
- Plate Tectonics
- Solar System Science
- Geological Sciences
- Research in Geological Sciences
- Hydrological Processes
- Continental Tectonics.
Your courses will prepare you for in-depth research. That’s along with high-profile careers in geology, environmental risk assessment, STEM teaching, public policy, and more.
Your degree will take you to new places both inside and outside the classroom. You’ll be able to participate in a variety of hands-on activities.
You will need to apply by January 31 if you intend to apply for financial aid. You should have a Bachelor of Science degree either in geology or a similar related scientific field.
You should plan on supplying official transcripts, GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. You will also need to submit a personal statement. This should underscore your interest in graduate study at Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Plan on applying for financial aid? Smart. At Missouri University of Science and Technology, you will be considered for financial aid like grants and loans. You’ll also be considered for geological sciences departmental aid like sponsorships and fellowships. You can pursue graduate teaching or research assistantships as well.
Geology and Geological Engineering MS
If you’re going to study geology, you might as well do it where your studies will matter the most. You’ll find one of the best geology masters programs online at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
Here, you’ll benefit from a campus that’s set right in the heart of the Black Hills. It is adjacent to the magnificent Great Plains. Learners have access to a phenomenal and unique outdoor classroom. It’s a living laboratory, in fact.
Scientists from all over the world travel to this area to study its unique geology. If you choose to study geology on-campus, you can expect to spend a lot of time outdoors or conducting research. This might be in affiliated facilities like:
- the Engineering Mining Experiment Station
- the James E. Martin Paleontology Laboratory
- the Sanford Underground Research Facility.
The campus even has its own on-campus Museum of Geology!
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology also operates the Black Hills Natural Sciences Field Station. This is one of the largest summer field camp stations in the United States. It offers learners opportunities to study in:
- the Black Hills
- the Bahamas
- New Zealand
- Death Valley
You will benefit from exemplary faculty attention as part of the geological sciences and earth science programs. There’s also the complex, diverse geology of the Black Hills region. You can choose from several majors as part of the online master of science. These include:
- a Master of Science in paleontology
- a Master of Science in geology and geological engineering
- a Ph.D. in geology, geological engineering, and mining engineering.
This program is offered by the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. You can pursue a specialization in either geology or geological engineering. Both are similar in their quality and structure. They have a few different course requirements.
You’ll be able to explore a variety of research areas. That includes those in:
- energy and mineral resources
- groundwater and environment
- petroleum data management
- scientific communication
- structure and tectonics.
There is even a separate master’s degree here. It’s for students who are interested in specializing in paleontology.
There is an accelerated Master of Science, too. This is ideal if you want to streamline your coursework. You can hasten your progress toward a degree.
You’ll take about 30 credit hours of study. Six of these are dedicated to thesis research. If you choose the geological engineering specialization, you’ll be able to focus on one of three areas:
- energy and mineral resources
- groundwater/environmental geology.
MS in Geology
You will find another top geoscience online degree at the University of South Florida. It is the fourth-largest public university in the state of Florida. The University of South Florida opened only in 1956. This school has three campus locations. There is one in St. Petersburg, one in Tampa, and one in Sarasota-Manatee. You can always choose to study online here, too.
You will appreciate the high level of research activity that any program in the sciences will allow. The school offers more than 180 different bachelor’s degree and graduate-level degree programs. But those that involve extensive amounts of research are some of the most impressive. According to figures released by the National Science Foundation, the University of South Florida spent more than $581 million on research and development in 2018 alone.
The University of South Florida offers a superior education in geology online that prepares students to work in a variety of environmental and natural resources-related fields. Faculty here are some of the best. They lead the academic community as they explore a range of global earth science questions and concerns.
Students participate in firsthand research as they pursue topics in the online master of science like:
- atmospheric sciences
- earth sciences
- karst studies
…and more. The department offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs.
The Master of Science in geology includes advanced study of the fundamentals of:
- earth sciences
You will complete 30 credit hours. Six of these consist of core requirements. Six of them are for a thesis. The remainder of them are dedicated to electives.
You can choose from a variety of interesting and hands-on courses here. Common options include:
- General Geochemistry
- Analytical Techniques in Geology
- Topics in Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology.
For a thesis, you can choose between a standard thesis pathway or a professional science master’s. The professional science master’s will allow you to take one of two tracks. You can engage in a professional geologist-led internship or a faculty-led internship. All of these experiences will bring together the knowledge you acquired throughout the duration of your internship.
You’ll have access to a long list of resources and activities. You will benefit from resources specifically for online learners. You can also join student organizations like:
- the Geoscience Graduate Student Organization
- Gamma Theta Upsilon
- the Student Environmental Association.
You can apply by submitting an application form, three letters of recommendation, and a resume or CV. You will also need to supply a writing sample, a personal statement, and current GRE scores. Of course, you will also need to submit official transcripts.
MS in Geology
You’ll find another great online geophysics degree at the University of Wyoming. The University of Wyoming offers some of the best and most hands-on classes to distance learners. This school is headquartered in Laramie, WY. It has more than 41 different degree, online certificate, and endorsement programs. The online master of science degrees are available for distance learners in Wyoming and beyond.
This school opened in 1887. The University of Wyoming is one of the best places for studies in more than 120 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. These are delivered through online and video conferencing classes. The outreach school also has nine additional regional centers. Many of these are on community college campuses.
This program helps students plan and perform research at the cutting edge of geological sciences. You will hone your skills in scientific communication. You will also gain key technical skills. These are necessary for Ph.D. programs all around the country.
You can choose between majors in geology or in geophysics.You will complete around 26 semester hours of credit at the 4000 level or above. You will also complete an oral examination and a final thesis project.
Sample classes include:
- Groundwater Flow/Transport
- Metamorphic Petrology
- Petroleum Geology
- Integrated Science and Geological Data
- Space Sciences
- Geographic Information Systems
- Vertebrate Morphology and Evolution.
Faculty who teach in this program pride themselves on working closely with students to provide one-on-one interaction. They help students develop the skills necessary to be research scientists.
You will learn the laboratory and field methodologies for data collection. There are research locations available all over the world, including Africa, Antarctica, and Greenland. You’ll also learn how to analyze the data you collect.
All students must participate in a distinguished lecture series, a fundamentals of research course, and a Rocky Mountain field trip. The latter is a six-day trip taken during the first week of the first semester. The skills you acquire will enhance your job prospects upon graduation.
You will be able to expand your learning outside of the classroom. You can work with faculty who are working hard to address some of the most significant problems in geology today.
Submit your application before January for admission the following fall. Contact a professor in your intended area of interest to discover student research opportunities. Many of these are funded to make the degree more affordable.
You will need to submit an online application along with three letters of recommendation. You will also be asked to submit a curriculum vitae that details your academic accomplishments, qualifications, and other relevant information. You will also need a two-page statement of interest in graduate research.
Master of Geoscience
Become an Aggie when you enroll at Texas A&M University in the engineering geology masters! You will join a community of more than 500,000 current students and proud alumni.
This school is located in College Station, TX. It opened in 1876 as the flagship university of the Texas A&M University System. It has the largest student body in the United States. It is the only university in the state of Texas to hold all three designations of land, sea, and space grant intuition.
You’ll have lots of opportunities to get involved in research here. The school has a number of ongoing research projects. These are funded by top organizations like:
- the National Institutes of Health
- the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- the Office of Naval Research
- the National Science Foundation.
You can explore a variety of new, evolving areas in geoscience as part of this online master of science. Examples include:
- petroleum data management
- ocean data science
- geographic information science and technology.
- integrated science
- geological data
- land and space sciences
- Geographic Information Systems
The program’s curriculum is structured to teach value-added skills. These are for petroleum professionals. However, they could be useful for anybody at any stage of his or her career.
This geology online degree is a non-thesis program. You’ll take 36 credit hours of study covering all aspects of geoscience. It’s offered online in a unique carousel model. You can complete your studies in as little as 18 months.
You can choose from multiple emphases. Examples of courses include:
- Geographic Information Science and Technology
- Remote Sensing for Geographical Analysis
- GIS in Land Management
- Data Management for Geosciences
- Petroleum Geology.
You’ll start your courses at one of five times throughout the year in this online learning option. You can also be admitted at three different times for the master’s degree in geological sciences.
Set your own pace with this program for maximum flexibility. You will complete a total of ten courses. Each lasts eight weeks in a fast-paced format. The only exception to this is the capstone course. The capstone course in geological and geophysical engineering is a natural part of this advanced degree. You will work with your academic advisor to plan out how to best display your technical expertise. The capstone course is offered as a 16-week class during the fall and spring semesters.
You will need to demonstrate that you have the motivation and dedication necessary to complete a degree in an online format. You should also be able to balance this challenging degree with your personal commitments and career responsibilities.
Provide evidence of two years of professional work experience. This should be in energy or geosciences. You should also submit an official transcript. It should show that you have completed an undergraduate degree.
This degree features tuition starting at just $800 per credit hour for Texas residents. Financial aid is available for most students as well.
Master of Science in Geology
Do you have what it takes to succeed in the Master of Science in geology at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology? More than likely! This online geoscience degree program is competitive and challenging. But it also features dedicated instruction from attentive instructors. They want nothing more than to see their students succeed.
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is also known as New Mexico Tech. It was once known as the New Mexico School of Mines. It is a public university located in Socorro, NM. This school has more than 30 different bachelor’s degrees. Plus there are graduate degrees (both master’s and doctoral levels).
It is ranked as one of the best public institutions by a National Science Foundation study of Baccalaureate Origins of S&E Doctorate Recipients. This school is small and close-knit. It is home to just 1,412 students. You will gain technical expertise in this online master’s degree. The online master of science focuses on research and teaching in the areas of:
- atmospheric physics
- information technology
- earth science
- petroleum recovery
This one of the best geology masters programs online is offered by the Department of Earth and Environmental Science. The Master of Science has with two options. There is an option with or without a thesis. You will complete 30 credit hours of study. You’ll enjoy a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 12:1.
You can also specialize in a variety of concentrations in the online master degree. There are:
In addition to your major, you may also want to pursue a minor in a field like:
- petroleum geology
- mineral resources
- earth science.
The department is home to 14 faculty members and more than 40 affiliated adjunct and research faculty. The Department of Earth and Environmental Science at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is quite prestigious. Many of the faculty here are also staff scientists at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. The department also has close connections with the EarthScope USArray Operations Facility and the IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center. Both of these are major NSF-funded seismological facilities.
You’ll benefit from strong interdisciplinary research opportunities. You will have access to all kinds of research computing laboratories and facilities.
To apply, you will need to submit a standardized online application. Submit unofficial transcripts from any universities attended. Also supply three letters of recommendation, GRE test scores, and a statement of purpose. You will also need to submit a resume that provides evidence of your work experience.
This affordable program is offered online. This can reduce your cost of attendance. You can complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) after applying. You may qualify for financial aid, like fellowships, assistantships, work-study, and scholarships through the university.
Geological Sciences M.S. (Earth Sciences MS)
One of the best online geoscience degrees can be found at the University of Minnesota. There are 16 bachelor’s degrees in 87 different majors. The University of Minnesota-Duluth is a good first stopping point on your way to a rewarding career. You don’t have to quit after you finish your bachelor’s. This school is located in Duluth, MN. It is also a great place to earn a graduate degree.
It first opened as a school for teachers. The school soon became known for its attention to student success. Now it is best known for its medical programs and other science-focused degrees.
This university is home to a number of centers, institutes, and research labs. They provide students with some of the best hands-on experiences. You’ll enjoy access to facilities like the Center for Water and Environment and the Center for Community and Regional Research.
The Earth Sciences Master of Science was once known as the Geological Sciences Master of Science, at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. It is one of the most outstanding of its kind. You will have the opportunity to partner with faculty members in a variety of hands-on research programs. You can pursue studies in things like:
- basin analysis
- geographic information systems
Duluth has one of the best environments for students who wish to explore the region’s geology. The master’s degree in geological sciences collaborates with the Natural Resources Research Institute, the Precambrian Research Center, and the Large Lakes Observatory. You will be prepared for all manner of work. That might be in education, industry, government, or further training. Graduate students in geological sciences could work as one of the best earth science educators, in project management, or in resource management. Earth science educators are in demand everywhere, as are many of these other roles. Even government administration or work in energy systems is a smart choice with an online master’s. These master’s degrees are versatile!
The master’s degree is designed to be completed in two years or less. That’s even if you hold a graduate assistantship. You can select a research area of focus when you enroll in this geology degree.
You will need to take 31 credit hours in the master’s degree in geological sciences. Sample classes include:
- Professional Issues in Earth and Environmental Science
- Well Hydraulics
- Advances in Paleoclimatology
- Environmental Protection
- Glacial and Quaternary Geology.
A final thesis project is also required as part of this master’s degree in geology.
To apply, you must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in geology. It could also be in a related field in science, mathematics, or engineering. You should have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher. All materials can be completed and submitted online. This includes the application itself. No GRE scores are required for admission to this master’s degree in geology, even if you are interested in geological science education.
After submitting your application, be sure to take the time to explore the many financial aid opportunities offered here. You can pursue a range of programs to help you close the financial gap. These include assistantships, scholarships, and more. Both teaching and research assistantships are available. There is some support for travel to meetings and thesis research.
Earth Science M.S. with a track in Geology
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a public research university in the Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, MN. It has the sixth largest student body of any college in the United States.
You’ll enjoy hands-on classes and dedicated attention from your faculty. It is considered a “Public Ivy” university for its attention to individual students’ success. It also has a high academic quality. The school is designated as an R1 Doctoral University-Very High Research Activity. It spends more than $954 million in research and development each year, on average.
As an aspiring geology major, you’ll find everything you’re looking for here.
The school has roots tracing all the way back to 1872. The study of geology at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities has always been a priority. It has graduated thousands of students. It is home to numerous departments and sub-institutes. The courses as part of the master’s degree in geology include:
- the Limnological Research Center
- the Minnesota Geological Survey
- the Institute for Rock Magnetism.
The master’s degree in geology department is home to more than 350 faculty, 30 research labs, 20 teaching labs, and many other valuable resources for on-campus and online learners alike. In the master’s degree in geological sciences, you’ll enjoy a close-knit, attentive learning environment. Here, each faculty advisor is assigned no more than three to five students.
You can choose between multiple different master’s degrees in earth science as part of this online program. Your science education will include:
- responsible land management
You can also choose three different degree completion plans as part of this master’s degree in geology. One online program requires you to complete a thesis and final oral exam. Another allows you to complete a project and final exam. The third online program option requires coursework only. It is only available for the hydrogeology online program.
Each of these three master’s degree in geological sciences options requires 30 course credit hours. There are 14 credit hours in the online program major and others taken outside, either in a minor or some other supporting field. Each track is a great pathway for candidates interested in pursuing an eventual Ph.D.
These degrees are offered by a diverse department. It is made up of students from throughout the United States as well as many other countries. There is a strong connection between the department and program alumni. Many of them are well-established in their careers. They continue to support faculty and current students in their research endeavors.
This program is easy to apply to. It’s also affordable. The department offers generous financial aid. It can support 10 to 12 new students each year via assistantships and fellowships. Financial aid guarantees 50% support for two years of a master’s program. You can apply for assistantships and research stipends.
For students who wish to pursue summer research opportunities, there is even summer support available. You can receive financial assistance to travel to professional meetings or engage in other valuable professional development opportunities.
OTHER NOTABLE PROGRAMS
#11. Brigham Young University
Location: Provo, UT
Degree: Geology MS
Net Price: $7,555
#12. University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Location: Norman, OK
Degree: Master of Science in Geology
Net Price: $21,158
#13. Western Michigan University
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Degree: Master of Science in Geosciences
Net Price: $15,219