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Graduate Programs in Geology and Geophysics 

The Department of Geology and Geophysics at Texas A&M University strives for a balanced program of research, undergraduate and graduate teaching, and outreach and service. With programs in both geology and geophysics the student has the opportunity to explore the basic principles of geology with a significant focus on research investigations, or to dive into geophysics, an area of scientific inquiry that deals with the physical state of the planets and with the dynamic physical processes that act on and within the planets. 

Degrees in Geology

Graduate work in geology is offered at both the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) levels. Programs are designed to provide the student with an understanding of the fundamentals of geology and related disciplines. Research investigations comprise a significant part of each program. The M.S. degree is normally granted as thesis option only. Opportunities for research at both the M.S. and Ph.D. levels are available in petroleum geology, sedimentology and stratigraphy, structural geology, tectonophysics, deep crust and mantle dynamics, isotope geochemistry, paleoclimates and climate change, paleobiology and paleoecology, hydrogeology and environmental geology and geochemistry.

Degrees in Geophysics

The degrees of Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are also offered in geophysics. Geophysics includes all areas of scientific inquiry that deal with the interpretation of largely indirect observations concerning the physical state of the interior and dynamic physical processes that act within the planets. Sedimentary basins, petroleum systems, tectonically active zones, volcanic regions, the seafloor, the deep interior and the core, and the near-surface critical zone all lie within the province of the geophysicist. To work effectively in any of these areas requires considerable depth and breadth of understanding of both physical and geological principles as well as proficiency in applied mathematics and computational techniques. Thorough undergraduate training in an earth or physical science is ordinarily regarded as a necessary prerequisite for advanced study.

The deadline for applications for fall semester admissions is January 1.

We award fellowships and assistantships on a rolling basis thereafter, which generally means we can inform admitted students of our decision within a few weeks of this date. Likewise, the deadline for applications for spring semester admissions is August 15.

All decisions for fall semester admissions will be made by May 31 and for spring semester admissions by November 30.

Students are strongly encouraged to contact potential faculty advisors in their field of interest. We do not use GRE scores and/or GPA as sole criteria for graduate admission but, rather, we will evaluate your application package in its entirety, including letters of reference and personal essay. For information purposes only, over the past 5 years, the average GRE scores of admitted students have been about 154-verbal and 156-quantitative while the average GPA has been about 3.39.

All accepted applicants will automatically be given full consideration for financial support, including both research and teaching assistantships as well as fellowships. There are no separate applications for assistantships or fellowships. Selected domestic students will be invited to visit the department.

Current Texas A&M graduate students may receive, in addition to the MS and PhD degree upon graduation, a *Petroleum Geosciences Graduate Certificate* for successful completion of a prescribed number of graduate courses and seminars that are of direct relevance to the oil and gas industry. Please contact the department graduate advisor for more details about this program.

Degrees and Degree Requirements

Master of Science

A bachelor’s degree, usually in geology, geophysics, physics, chemistry, mathematics, or engineering, is required. 


A Master of Science is not required to apply as a Ph.D. student. Students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. degree should apply as such.

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