The Geology program offers a curriculum leading to the Master of Science in Geology and a Master of Science in Geology: Professional Geology emphasis. The Geology program at The University of Southern Mississippi emphasizes both the importance of a field-based education and the application of new technologies to geologic investigations. Geology collaborates with the Center for Science and Mathematics Education in programs leading to the M.S., and Ph.D. with an emphasis in earth and environmental education.
Master of Science Program
Admission is based on grade point average (GPA), three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess the applicant’s readiness for graduate study and submission of official results on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Both the overall GPA and a GPA calculated for courses (excluding special problems courses) in geology and other sciences, mathematics, computer science, and statistics will be considered.
Applicants who do not have degrees in geology will be considered for admission but will be required to remedy any deficiencies, including geology field camp, compared to the courses required for the B.S. in geology at The University of Southern Mississippi. Students who are not admitted as regular graduate students may be considered for conditional admission (minimum GPA requirements are in the front section of this Bulletin).
Admission to the Professional Geology emphasis requires three years experience as a geologist or in a closely related position. A letter of support from the applicant’s immediate supervisor is required.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate School by the end of the second semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester there are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
A minimum of thirty (30) graduate hours, with a minimum 3.0 GPA, is required for graduation. The required thirty hours must include 18 hours at the 600 level or higher. The required courses must be geology courses or closely related courses within the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences approved by the department chair. Independent study courses offered as GLY 692 (with a course title) can be used.
Degree candidates will be required to pass both a written and an oral comprehensive exam. The Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) Fundamentals of Geology exam must be passed before taking the comprehensive exam. A portfolio consisting of documents demonstrating the ability to conduct applied geological research and technical writing will be required and can include documents created as part of their employment responsibilities.
The Department of Geology is committed to offering at least two courses each semester during the regular academic year that can be taken by individuals who are employed full time. This will include night courses in Hattiesburg, distance learning courses, fully or partially online courses, and compressed weekend courses.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.