2006 - 2007 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Geology, M.S.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: February 1                            [December 15 for international applicants]

Spring: October 1                                 [August 1 for international applicants]

Applications are evaluated together, after the deadline has passed.  Program admissions are limited and competitive.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic competence.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Applicants are required to have taken at least five courses in geology and one year of college-level chemistry, calculus, and physics or biology.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree, whether a B.A. or a B.S., with a major in geology or a related program in science or mathematics is required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should include the following elements: your specific interest in Temple's program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. Scores are typically in the 50 percentile or higher in the quantitative, verbal, and analytical areas.

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 620 paper-based, 260 computer-based, or 105 internet-based.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 24

Required Courses:

Severn Geology courses to be chosen from:

410, 421, 454, 461, 462, 600, 602, 700, 725, 801

Also, one elective, chosen in consultation with an advisor.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Comprehensive Examination:

The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge in the concepts of geological sciences. The exam has written and oral sections. The subject areas are general geology in the written portion and discussion of a potential thesis topic and other general geology concepts in the oral portion. The examination is taken when the student completes approximately 20 credits.

The Graduate Faculty in the Geology program write the questions. Faculty members from each area of specialization participate. The Graduate Faculty members who write the questions also evaluate the answers. The written examination is evaluated for content and understanding of core concepts. The oral examination is evaluated on the basis of clarity of the thesis proposal presentation and other general geology concepts. The oral examination is evaluated by the student's advisor and at least two other faculty members. The combined results of the written and oral examinations determine whether a student has qualified.

Comprehensive examinations are generally administered once annually in April. The written examination runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is proctored by a faculty member.


The Department of Geology requires an original research thesis as the culminating project in its master's degree program. The purpose is to involve each degree candidate in a field or laboratory research project in which the student gains experience in designing a project, specifying hypotheses to be tested, carrying out sampling procedures, and determining analyses results. The project is then presented in written form (typically 75-150 pages) with title page, abstract, introduction, methods, data, interpretation, tables, figures, plates, and references. Students are required to defend their theses publicly to the academic community. The defense is scheduled two weeks after the student's advisor and committee have approved the thesis document. The thesis is evaluated by a committee of two faculty members and the thesis advisor. The thesis is evaluated for both scientific content and writing style.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Geology

303 Beury Hall (016-00)

1901 North 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6081



Department Contacts:


Shelah Cox


Program Coordinator:

George H. Myer, Ph.D.


Graduate Chairperson:

George H. Myer, Ph.D.



David E. Grandstaff, Ph.D.


About the Program

The Department of Geology offers a two-year M.S. program that includes graduate courses in geology, weekly graduate seminars, qualifying exams, and research leading to a master's thesis.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location:

Main Campus

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Full-time status is expected.  Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m.

Department Information:

Dept. of Geology

303 Beury Hall (016-00)

1901 North 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6081



Interdisciplinary Study:

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

Advanced courses and research opportunities are available in cyclic stratigraphy, environmental geology, geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology, mineral science, paleopedology and modern soils, petrology, and sedimentology.

Job Placement:

Our graduates secure positions in industry and government and are accepted into doctoral programs.


Licensure is recommended after three years' on-the-job training. The Pennsylvania Professional Geologist Licensing Examination is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG).

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are allowed to take up to 9 credits.

Financing Opportunities

The responsibilities of the Teaching Assistant are to teach introductory geology labs and attend weekly seminars. Graduate students in our program are usually given a Teaching Assistantship, which carries a stipend and full-tuition remission (up to 12 credits per semester).

Updated 3.10.06