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.
Research and Scholarly Integrity Education
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RSIE policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page –www.usm.edu/graduate-school. 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 (18 hours at the 600 level), including six (6) hours’ thesis credit (698), with a 3.0 GPA, is required to graduate. The remaining twenty-four (24) hours must be graduate geology courses, excluding GLY 692 - Special Problems in Geology or similar arranged courses, and must include at least 12 hours at the 600 level, excluding thesis credit.
During the first semester of full-time study, the student should identify a general area of thesis research and establish a thesis director and graduate committee. A thesis prospectus should be approved by the graduate committee no later than the end of the second semester. The student must complete an original research project and submit and defend a thesis to receive the M.S. degree in geology. Students must also pass a comprehensive exam. Students who have not already passed the Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) exam are required to take it before completion of the degree program.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.