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Graduate Program Requirements

Students enter the GPS graduate program with diverse undergraduate backgrounds; there are those who majored in geochemistry, geology, or geophysics, and others who majored in anything from chemistry or biology to physics, mathematics, or astronomy. Graduate study and research within the division are equally diverse, with students having the option to pursue interdisciplinary fields and areas of interest within GPS, as well as across the other academic divisions on campus.

The graduate program aims not only to provide students with a depth of competence and experience in their major field, but also to offer a broad training in the basic sciences. This training will allow students to continue self-education long after their formal education has been completed, and will keep them in the forefront of their fields throughout their careers.

Learning Outcomes in the GPS Division

The expectation for graduate students in the earth, planetary and environmental sciences in the GPS Division is that they will:

  1. have a working knowledge of the geological, physical, chemical, and biological  principles and observations in a particular aspect of this science,
  2. have conducted basic research in this science from conceptualization to conclusions,
  3. presented their work in the form of a thesis and published papers, and
  4. have developed the ability to communicate their work to peers and the general public.

Basic Divisional Course Requirements

During the first year, each graduate student will take two of seven basic introductory courses—Ge 101, Ge 102, Ge 103, Ge 104, ESE 101, ESE 102, or ESE 103—choosing from those areas in which he or she has not had substantial training. Additional course and exam prerequisites for master's and doctoral candidacy can be found on the master's degree and doctoral degree pages.

Throughout their graduate career, students are expected to attend departmental seminars, as well as seminar courses led by visiting scientists.

Course Requirements by Option

In addition to the general Institute requirements (outlined in the catalog) and basic division requirements (outlined above) for graduate students, candidates for a doctoral degree must also complete coursework in their individual options. The course requirements by option can be found on the pages linked to below.