M.S. Program

Master of Science in Geological Sciences

M.S. students in the Department of Earth Sciences (ERTH) are united in their interest in understanding the Earth Systems and how they interact to produce changes in environment, evolution, and climate. Our students use a range of geochemical, field, and computational approaches in their work. Research undertaken in the department extends from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from deep inside the planet to the edge of outer space. We add to this the dimension of time, from 4.5 billion years ago when the earth formed, to today, and on into the future.

Program Details

Our growing graduate program consists of 20-30 students. Students come from around the world, though most are from the United States. All are provided with office space and access to faculty research labs. The majority of our students receive multi-year funding through the department, mostly in the form of graduate assistantships. Funding comes in the form of either teaching assistantships that involve undergraduate instruction or research assistantships supported by external grants. Students in our M.S. program involves coursework and completion of a thesis. Along the way, students are trained in all facets of research, from conceptualization and planning, team work, quantitative analysis, and scientific communication. Our aim is to produce future leaders in the global earth science community.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact individual faculty (see People) to learn about their ongoing and planned research, along with other academic opportunities.

*** The GRE is not required! ***

Students on a mountain in Taiwan

Application Requirements

What you need

Students entering the graduate program for both the Ph.D. and M.S. programs are expected to have a strong background in one of the foundation earth sciences (e.g., atmospheric sciences, biology, chemistry, geology, math, physics, statistics).

For admittance with Regular status, you must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and have a 3.0 (B) grade point average in the last two years of your undergraduate education. Your application must include official college transcripts, three (3) letters of recommendation, and a statement of your interests and goals. If English is not your primary language, you may be required to submit evidence of your proficiency in the English language.

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Application Process

All application materials should be submitted directly to the UConn Graduate School. Please visit the graduate school website for all the necessary information about the application process, funding, housing and other resources for prospective graduate students at UConn.

Key Components

Most applications consist of four or five parts:

  1. The formal application form provided by the Graduate School, together with the application fee
  2. Transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions you have attended
  3. Three letters of reference
  4. Your personal essay (~2 pages)
  5. If English is not your primary language, you may be required to submit evidence of your proficiency in the English language.


While most of the application is self-explanatory, you may find the following pointers helpful:

  • Transcripts and test scores: These must be official (certified) copies
  • Letters of recommendation: The individuals who furnish your letters of reference should provide candid evaluations of your aptitude, training, motivation, scholarly promise, teaching talent, and ability to express yourself orally and in writing. Detailed comments are much more useful to the Admissions Committee than broad generalizations.
  • Personal essay: We require all applicants to provide a personal essay. This essay should include your reasons for undertaking graduate study, how that study fits into your short-range and long-range goals, and what specific research areas of projects you would like to undertake as a graduate student. The latter is often enhanced by contacting a specific prospective faculty advisors in our program. Your essay should also highlight your motivation for doing graduate work, any relevant training or professional experiences you have had, and academic honors, scholarships, fellowships or other awards you have received, and aspects about your background that you wish to draw notice to. You may also want to discuss your academic strengths and weaknesses. The objective is to provide as complete a picture of you as an individual as possible to the Admissions Committee, including and stressing information that goes beyond just numbers and scores. Detailed and well-thought-out comments are much more valuable to the Committee than generalizations.


We accept applications for admission at any time. The university application process asks students which semester they would like to be admitted for (Fall or Spring). Please note: Decisions regarding funding (such as whether you will receive funding from the department as TA or RA) will ONLY be made for the Fall admissions cycle. In Earth Sciences, spring admissions is reserved for students that want to consider self-funding their degree.

For Fall admission and funding consideration, submission prior to January 10 is strongly encouraged. Applications submitted after Jan. 10 will not be considered in the first rounds of funding decisions made by the department and may miss opportunities for university fellowships that are administered by the graduate school.

The deadline for spring consideration is October 1.


All entering graduate students are required to take the Graduate Core Course (ERTH 5000), taught every fall semester. The remainder of courses are arranged by the student under the guidance of the advisory committee. Presently, they will be a mix of stand-alone graduate courses in other departments and advanced versions of courses cross-listed with undergraduate students. For the list, consult the graduate catalog.