Master of Science (MS) Degree in the field of Earth Science

Program Learning Outcomes for the MS Degree in the field of Earth Science

Upon completing the MS degree in the field of Earth Science, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the structure and composition of the Earth and Planets, their evolution, and how the Earth changes over time.
  2. Use appropriate computational or analytical techniques in the conduct of research investigations.
  3. Demonstrate significant skills in scientific communication, written and oral.
  4. Develop the ability to contribute to the peer-reviewed literature.

Requirements for the MS Degree in the field of Earth Science

The MS degree is a thesis master's degree. For general university requirements, please see Thesis Master’s Degrees. For additional requirements, regulations, and procedures for all graduate programs, please see All Graduate Students. All incoming students should have a strong background in physics, chemistry, and mathematics and should have, or should acquire, a broad grounding in fundamental earth science. The department encourages applications from well-qualified students with degrees in the other sciences, mathematics, or engineering. The requirements for the MS and PhD in earth science are similar, but the PhD demands a significantly higher level of knowledge, research skills, and scholarly independence. Most students need at least 2 years beyond the bachelor’s degree to complete the MS or 4 years beyond the bachelor’s degree to complete the PhD.

Candidates determine, with their major professor and thesis committee, a course of study following the Guidelines for Advanced Degrees in the Department of Earth Science handbook, distributed to all incoming students. For both degrees, candidates must:

  • Complete 20 semester hours of coursework at the 500-level or above (or other approved courses), not including research hours
  • Pass a written preliminary exam
  • Maintain a grade point average of 3.00 (B) or better
  • Prepare a written thesis comprised of peer-reviewed publication(s) that represent an original contribution to science
  • Defend the research and conclusions of the thesis in an oral examination

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the MS Degree in the field of Earth Science30

Policies for the MS Degree in the field of Earth Science 

Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science Graduate Program Handbook

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. As an additional resource for students, the department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science publishes a graduate program handbook, which can be found here: https://gradhandbooks.rice.edu/2019_20/EEPS_Graduate_Handbook.pdf

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities.

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science website: 
https://earthscience.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the MS Degree in the field of Earth Science

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science website: 
https://earthscience.rice.edu/