Geology, MS

Program Description

The Department of Geological Sciences offers a comprehensive graduate program leading to the Master of Science in Geology degree. Thesis or non-thesis tracks with optional concentrations in Petroleum Geology and Hydrogeology are available for the MS degree. A post-baccalaureate Certificate in Hydrogeology is also offered. The program is intended to prepare students for professional positions in the petroleum industry, the environmental and geotechnical consulting industries, government agencies, and for graduate studies at the doctoral level. A broad range of faculty research interests; the proximity of the campus to government regulatory agencies, hydrogeology and environmental firms, the petroleum industry; easy access to diverse geological environments; and a range of modern research facilities permit the student to select from a wide spectrum of research topics.

Research facilities include:

  1. a Hitachi S-3400 variable pressure scanning electron microscope equipped with Oxford Inca energy-dispersive and wavelength-dispersive x-ray spectrometers, iXRF micro-X-Ray fluorescence source and Gatan ChromaCL live-color cathodoluminescence imaging system;
  2. a geochemistry lab with an ICP-MS;
  3. complete facilities for rock-sample cutting and crushing, mineral separation, and sample preparation,
  4. petrographic microscopes including luminescence and epifluorescence;
  5. geophysics equipment;
  6. a PANalytical Empyrean x-ray diffractometer;
  7. a PC lab with ArcGIS software for geographical information systems (GIS) based digital mapping and spatial analysis as well as specialized petroleum industry software and industry-provided datasets for petroleum reservoir modeling;
  8. a sediment core laboratory with a Costech 4010 CNOSH Elemental Analyzer and a Malvern Mastersizer 2000 particle size analyzer;
  9. a refrigerated core storage and sampling laboratory;
  10. a -80 freezer; 
  11. a wide range of field hydrology equipment; and
  12. micropaleontology reference collection  and binocular microscopes for microfossil work, including photography and epifluorescence.

The California Well Core Sample Repository, containing cores and samples from more than 5,000 wells from both on-and-offshore California is located on campus.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Hydrogeology

In addition to the MS degree, the Department of Geological Sciences offers a post-baccalaureate Certificate in Hydrogeology. The certificate is designed primarily to give professionals additional training in Hydrogeology and Hydrogeochemistry.