Ohio University

Professional geologists at work

Advanced, Applied Training for Geology Workforce

Online M.S. in Geological Sciences

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  • Designed for working professionals and teachers
  • Convenient online, 7-week courses
  • No Thesis
  • 30 credits—in as little as three semesters
  • No GRE

About the Non-Thesis M.S. in Geological Sciences

The online M.S. in Geological Sciences at Ohio University is a non-thesis program for geoscientists, earth science teachers, and working professionals.

The non-thesis M.S. degree requires that students take seven letter-graded courses and 2 credits of colloquium (30 semester hours) in geology or other approved disciplines and pass a Research and Technical Skills Portfolio evaluation designed to assess synthesis of knowledge and acquaintance of skills developed during the course of study.

Program Overview

The online Master of Science in Geological Sciences non-thesis program provides geology graduates and those from related STEM disciplines with advanced, applied training and experiences through a wide range of topics in earth sciences. The mission of the program is to enhance graduates' marketability as the next generation of practicing geoscientists, earth science educators, and allied professionals.

Career Opportunities

These flexible and convenient online courses are applicable to working professionals and science teachers.

The M.S. in Geological Sciences is the degree-level most often sought by employers in geological sciences. Excellent opportunities can be found in energy and environmental fields as well as careers within or related to geology, including education, government, scientific communication, and consulting.

Complete the M.S. in One Year

Time to Degree: Students normally complete the program in three semesters.

Why Pursue an M.S. in Geological Sciences at Ohio University?

Graduate school is a challenging but rewarding period of any scientist's life. Earning a non-thesis M.S. in Geological Sciences degree should be an intellectually stimulating and demanding experience. Faculty encourage students to develop into independent scientists while earning the skills necessary to pursue their career aspirations.

Ohio University is a state-assisted, research extensive institution with an enrollment of more than 20,000 students at the Athens Campus, including about 4,500 graduate students. Athens is centrally located between Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati, situated in the rolling unglaciated hills of southeastern Ohio, on the western edge of the Appalachian Plateau.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition and fees are assessed based on the number of credit hours of enrollment, Ohio residency and program. See "Graduate Programs with Differential Tuition" on the Tuition and Fee Rates webpage. The 2019-20 Ohio resident cost (tuition and fees) is $512 per credit hour; the non-Ohio resident cost per credit hour is $531.

Admissions for the Online M.S. in Geological Sciences

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Program Code: MS3325

For more information, contact Dr. Xizhen "Jenny" Schenk.

Application Deadlines

Students can start any semester.

  • The spring deadline for submitting applications is Nov. 15.
  • The summer deadline is April 15.
  • The fall deadline is July 15.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's Degree: Applicants are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in geology, earth or space sciences, integrated science, physical science, science education, or a related degree from an accredited institution or equivalent.
  • GRE: Not required.
  • A curriculum vitae or resume: a one- to two-page statement that describes your interest in both the field of geological sciences and OHIO's graduate program.
  • Personal References: Three letters of recommendation are required. They can be from former employers, instructors, advisers, or persons otherwise having had a professional or academic experience with you.
  • English Language Testing: iBT – 70 Composite, Writing 17, all other Section Scores of 15; or IELTS – 6.0 Composite, all Bands 6.0
  • International Students: This online program is open to students globally; however, I-20 cannot be issued based on admission to this program due to the nonresidential nature of the program. The Athens campus based M.S. in Geological Sciences (MS3321) may issue an I-20 based on admission. 

Graduation Requirements

The following minimum requirements must be satisfied to graduate.

  1. Earn a minimum of 30 semester hours.
  2. Students must complete a minimum of seven letter-graded courses, totaling at least 28 credit hours. At least five letter-graded courses must be completed in GEOL. The remaining two letter-graded courses may be from other departments but must be approved by the student’s academic committee.
  3. Complete 2 credits of colloquium (GEOL 6921).
  4. Maintain a GPA at or above 3.00.
  5. Successfully pass a Research and Technical Skills Portfolio evaluation designed to assess synthesis of knowledge and acquaintance of skills developed during the course of study.

Culminating Experience: Successfully pass a Research and Technical Skills Portfolio evaluation designed to assess synthesis of knowledge and acquaintance of skills developed during the course of study.

Program Mission

The mission of the Geological Sciences Department is to provide students with an introduction to problem solving, critical thinking, and basic concepts using the earth sciences and to show how modern observations can be extended into deep time. We prepare our undergraduate majors with a solid foundation in the discipline for use in their subsequent life, work, or advanced studies and impart to our graduate students a high level of knowledge, skills, and professionalism that enable them to advance their careers by integrating courses with forefront research into the processes that formed and now modify the Earth.

Program Learning Objectives 

Graduates will be able to:

  • Interpret, analyze, discuss, and critique scientific papers about geological problems and research techniques.
  • Identify geological problems, formulate hypotheses to address geologic problems, and generate high quality written proposals for investigating geologic questions.
  • Apply different geological methods to collect data and solve geological problems.
  • Analyze, discuss and formulate conclusions about geologic data to solve geological research questions.
  • Produce high quality analyses of data, results, interpretations, and conclusions in written and oral scientific formats.