Department of Earth Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth Sciences


Degree Requirements

Information for Prospective Graduate Students

Application deadline is DECEMBER 15 for admission for the fall semester of the following year.

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MASTERS DEGREES

The table below shows the credit/course requirements and exams necessary to complete a Masters degree.  More detailed information is available at http://www.catalogs.umn.edu/grad/gen/masters.html.

Plan A Masters

(with thesis and final oral exam)

  • Total 30 credits minimum consisting of: at least 14 course credits in the major field and a minimum of 6 course credits in a related field, outside the major, and a minimum of 10 MS thesis credits. Required course and thesis credits should be completed by the end of the fall of the second year.
Plan B Masters

(project with final exam, either oral or written)

  • Total 30 course credits minimum consisting of: at least 14 credits in the major and 8 credits in the supporting program. The remaining 8 can be from either inside or outside the major field.
Plan C Masters

(coursework only; hydrogeology track only)

  • Total 30 course credits minimum consisting of: at least 14 credits in the major and 9 credits in a minor or supporting field. The remaining 7 can be from either inside or outside the major field. This is a coursework only option with emphasis in hydrogeology and environmental science.
MS students are strongly encouraged to choose one of the four tracks in the Earth Sciences program (Geology, Geophysics, Biogeology or Hydrogeology). Tracks carry coursework requirements which are part of the student's course compact. All students must complete ESCI8001 (Introductory Graduate Seminar), preferably in the first year.

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PhD DEGREE

The table below shows the credit/course requirements and exams necessary to complete a Ph.D. degree.  More detailed information is available at http://www.catalogs.umn.edu/grad/gen/phd.html.

Ph.D.
  • At least 12 credits in the minor or supporting field
  • Up to 40% of the credits can be transferred from other graduate institutions. The transfer is arranged by entering the courses/credits to be transferred onto the Official Degree Program form, which is submitted to the Graduate School for final approval.
  • Although the Graduate Education Office will allow A, B, C, and S grades on a Degree Program, A/F coursework must be completed with an average grade of B or better.
  • Only credits taken at the 4xxx and 5xxx levels, with several formal courses to be included at the 8xxx level count toward graduate requirements.
  • Minimum of 24 thesis credits are required.
  • Ph.D. students are strongly encouraged to choose one of the four tracks in the Earth Sciences program (Geology, Geophysics, Biogeology or Hydrogeology). Tracks carry coursework requirements (see Appendix A) which are part of the student's course compact. All students must complete ESCI8001 (Introductory Graduate Seminar), preferably in their first year.
  • Transfer credits for PhD students entering with a Master's degree: students are required by the University to complete at least 60 percent of the coursework for their official degree programs (excluding thesis credits) as registered University of Minnesota Graduate Students.  With the approval of the advisor, the director of graduate studies, and the Graduate Education Office, the transfer of up to 40 percent of the degree program coursework can be transfered. For more information, please refer to the Graduate School catalog.