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Geology Graduate Degree

  • Mars rover collecting samples to search for evidence of ancient liquid water

  • Field work in the swiss Alps

  • Tracking ancient climate change in the Paleozoic using carbonates of the Basin Range in Utah

  • Columnar basalts from a beach on Kaui, Hawaii

  • Ancient loess (dust) deposit to test Fe fertilization in the geologic record from Aspen, Colorado

  • Dredging the ocean floor for igneous rocks and minerals

  • Field work in Hawaii to better understand mantle geochemistry

  • Investigating biogeochemical feedbacks related to glacial melt in Svalbard

  • Graduate student highlight: Aaron Ashley. Click HERE to read more


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to Apply

Application Deadline:
Fall – January 15th
Spring – October 1st


***Important Notice” The university has waived the GRE for MS applicants until further notice. PhD applicants may apply for waiver consideration.***


The Department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Science offers advanced degrees in Geological Sciences at both M.S. and Ph.D. levels. The M.S. is a professional degree. It is expected that students graduating with a M.S. degree in Geological Sciences will have acquired the capability and skills to competently evaluate and pursue graduate level research and will also possess a sufficiently broad background in the science for a professional career. The program of study for the M.S. includes formal course work in several areas within Geological Sciences, and a thesis project. Although an M.S. thesis is less comprehensive than a Ph.D. dissertation, it is complete in the sense that it is well-grounded in the scientific style of thinking and method, contains a clear defensible hypothesis, and involves a rigorous method of analysis. Successful completion of the M.S. program involves a significant commitment of time and energy, and a level of understanding, that goes well beyond the expectations of the baccalaureate degree.

A student usually enters the doctoral program in Geology with a degree in a basic science and should have substantial undergraduate/masters work in at least one of the following or related field: geology, chemistry, or physics. Applicants for graduate study will select an area of specialization in geology based on their undergraduate/masters work.

View Geology Program Brochure


All applications reviewed by the Geology Graduate Admissions Committee are evaluated in the following five categories listed below:

Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose – In this section, prospective applicants can describe their:
• Motivation for the chosen area of research, potential faculty advisor, and future goals;
• Evidence of resilience and adaptability
• Examples of problem-solving and leadership skills;
• Descriptions of additional relevant non-academic experiences and/or self-awareness
Research Potential – Prospective candidates can add/address the following:
• Curriculum Vitae (CV)/Resume that includes prior research experiences in academia/industry or equivalent
• In case of lack of prior research experience/opportunities, evidence of passion for research found in your personal statement and/or letters of recommendations;
•  Evidence of relevant non-academic experiences and/or self-awareness
Academic Preparation– Prospective candidates can add/address the following:
• Provide a full copy of your transcript
• GPA within undergraduate geology major or closely-related discipline/field
• Information found in your letters of recommendation
• GRE waivers
Letters of Recommendations
• Please arrange three letters of recommendation from professors, mentors, and/or employers familiar with your academic preparation/research experiences/potential.
Personal Interview
• A short list of applicants will be contacted, after the application deadline for a brief zoom interview as a part of the admission process
• We strongly encourage all applicants to submit a “GRE waiver form” to the FSU-Graduate School as a part of the application process for graduate admissions in the geology program
• Online GRE Waiver request form can be found at:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)- Geology Graduate Admissions

(1) What do I do if I don’t have prior research experience from an undergraduate program?

Faculty members/admission committee will be interested to know how you have pushed yourself to excel within your set of opportunities or lack thereof, committee will be keen on finding out how you have prepared yourself that distinguishes you from your peers with similar exposure/s.

(2) What do I do if I don’t have a degree in Geology?

We are open to and often do accept students with a background in natural sciences, including but not limited to students with undergraduate degrees/background in backgrounds in chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering. However, we do look for interest in Earth Science-related research projects.

3) As an undergraduate, I have worked in an analytical chemistry lab, can I apply for the Ph.D. program and specialize in Quantitative Hydrology?
We encourage you to find a professor whose research interest excites you. In your research statement, we will be looking at how your prior research experience and the course works that you have taken have prepared you for graduate school. And your willingness to engage in graduate-level courses and dissertation work that prepares you in your newly chosen sub-discipline.

**Prior to submitting an application it is strongly encouraged to contact faculty members with related research interests.** Students are admitted by a vote of the Geology Graduate Admissions Committee.

FSU Office of Graduate Admissions
The Graduate School
Graduate Funding Opportunities
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Geology degree requirements – Current Graduate Handbook

Application Inquiries

Application Checklist
Advisor: Jimmy Pastrano
(EOAS 3008C)
Phone: (850) 644-7443

University deadlines may differ. Please refer to the FSU Office of Graduate Admissions for University deadlines. You are advised to submit your application and supporting materials at least three months in advance of the semester you wish to enter. You may apply later than these department guidelines, but there are less likely to be openings available.