Master of Science in Geology

Admission Requirements

The applicant must meet the School of Graduate Studies’ current minimum general admission requirement as published in the graduate catalog.

  1. For admission to the geology M.S. program, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in geology from an accredited college or university or otherwise demonstrate sufficient course work, training, or experience in geoscience.
  2. Applicants may be admitted under "provisional" or "qualified" status, but to advance to "approved" status, they must have completed 5 to 6 credit hours of geology field course, or its equivalent, along with satisfactory achievement in supporting sciences and mathematics, as determined by the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering's Graduate Admissions Committee.
  3. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
  4. Applicants are encouraged to submit their GRE score to support their application, especially if they do not have an undergraduate degree in geology.
  5. Applicants must satisfy the School of Graduate Studies' English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
  6. For a Master of Science degree, students must complete 2 semesters of calculus, plus an additional calculus or relevant math, computer programming, or statistical class, while an undergraduate or graduate student.

Students missing any of the above requirements may be admitted under provisional or qualified status, but all admission requirements must be completed, without graduate credit, within one year after beginning graduate work.

Initial decisions for admission and financial aid are made about March 1 for the fall semester and about September 1 for the spring semester.

To encourage undergraduate geology students to extend their studies to include a graduate degree, the College of Engineering and Mines has a Combined Program that permits students to earn both a bachelor's (B.S.) and a master's (M.S.) degree in Geological Engineering. This program allows students to designate two three-credit graduate courses to count for both degrees.  the selected courses must have graduate course standing and be designated when a student requests admission to the program.

Students may be admitted to the Combined Degree Program if they have:

  1. Completed 95 credit hours towards the bachelor's degree.
  2. Completed 30 credit hours of coursework and 8 credit hours of upper division coursework in the geological sciences, including the equivalent of physical and historical geology.
  3. Maintained an overall GPA of at least 3.0 in all geological sciences they took.
  4. Completed an application to the UND Graduate School and been accepted for admission.

Once admitted to the Combined Degree Program, undergraduate students are eligible to take 500-level courses for graduate credit. Students must complete the petition titled, "Graduate Credit as an Undergraduate Student" prior to registering for the courses. Such courses could be included in the 30 credit hours for the degree and could appear in the program of study.

Students in the Combined Degree Program will be admitted to the School of Graduate Studies on completion of 125 credit hours for the bachelor's degree.

The time normally needed to complete the Combined Degree Program is 1 year, plus an additional summer after admission to the Graduate School.

Degree Requirements

Students seeking the Master of Science degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies, as well as the following particular requirements set forth by the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering:

  1. Students must complete a program  of study that includes a minimum of 30 credit hours, including the credits granted for the thesis and the research leading to the thesis.
  2. At least 15 credit hours must be for classes at or above the 500-level.
  3. A maximum of 7 of the credit hours required for the degree may be transferred from another institution.
  4. A minimum of 6 credit hours (undergraduate or graduate) must come from each subject area listed below:
    1. Mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry
    2. Sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleontology, geomorphology
    3. Structural geology, geophysics, hydrogeology
  5. Up to 12 credit hours of 300-400 level coursework in geology may be taken for graduate credit.

The time normally needed to complete the requirements for the master’s degree in geology is about two years of full-time work. Students with graduate teaching or research assistantships may need more time.