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The Master of Science in Geosciences

Course Requirements for the Master’s Degree: 30 units

Continuous enrollment is required. A maximum of 9 semester units of transfer credit may be applied toward the degree.
Graduate Time Limit: All requirements for the degree are to be completed within five years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree. See “Graduate Education” in The University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

The MS degree in Geosciences is available for advanced study in any aspect of Geosciences including Astronomy, Environmental Science, Geology, Hydrology, and Meteorology. Prospective students should discuss their interests and goals with the department graduate coordinator.

Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:

1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in “Admission to Master’s Degree Programs” in The University Catalog.

2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Programs.

3. An acceptable baccalaureate in one of the natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics from an accredited institution, or an equivalent approved by the Office of Graduate Programs. The prospective student must have sufficient background to undertake a graduate program in the Geosciences. (The Option in Hydrology/Hydrogeology requires a year of college chemistry, mathematics, physics, and a course in organic chemistry).

Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test with a minimum combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative portions.

2. Formation of a graduate advisory committee.

3. Development of an approved program in consultation with the graduate advisory committee.

Advancement to Candidacy:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

Students must have classified graduate standing and must have completed at least 9 units of the proposed program at the university.

Requirements for the MS in Geosciences:

Completion of all requirements as established by the graduate advisory committee, and the Office of Graduate Programs, to include:

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 30 units of 200/300-level courses as follows:
(a) At least 18 units in geosciences, which must include GEOS 300, GEOS 301, GEOS 240, GEOS 360, and GEOS 330 or GEOS 350, and GEOS 399. The Optionin Hydrology/Dydrogeology also requires GEOS 321.
(b) Graduate courses from geosciences or other areas (e.g., mathematics, engineering, chemistry, or biological sceinces) may be selected to constitute the remaining 12 units, with the approval of the graduate advisory committee. Substitutions for required courses must be taken at Chico and must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator.
(c) At least 18 of the units required for the degree in 300-level courses.
(d) Not more than 9 semester units of transfer and/or extension credit (correspondence courses and U.C. extension course work are not acceptable).
(e) Not more than 15 units taken before admission to classified status.
(f) At least 9 units completed after advancement to candidacy.
(g) Not more than 10 units of Independent Study (398) and Master’s Thesis (399); not more than 6 units of Master’s Thesis (399).

2. Completion and final approval of a thesis as specified by the student’s graduate advisory committee.

3. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive final examination (written and/or oral) in the field of study.

4. Approval by the departmental graduate committee and the Graduate Coordinators Committee on behalf of the faculty of the university.

Course Requirements for the MS in Geosciences

13 units required:

GEOS    300    Geosciences Seminar I    1.0    FA

GEOS    301    Geosciences Seminar II    1.0    SP

GEOS    330    Geotectonic Development of Calif    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

GEOS    340    Hydrogeochemistry    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: CHEM 037, CHEM 038.

GEOS    350    Environmental Monitoring    2.0    FA

Prerequisites: CHEM 255 is recommended.

GEOS    360    Numerical Analysis    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: MATH 007A.

1-6 units selected from:

GEOS    399    Master’s Study    1.0-6.0    FS

At least 1 unit of Master’s Study is required.

11-16 units selected from:

Select 11-16 units of courses approved by the graduate committee.

THE OPTION IN HYDROLOGY/HYDROGEOLOGY

11 units required:

GEOS    300    Geosciences Seminar I    1.0    FA

GEOS    301    Geosciences Seminar II    1.0    SP

GEOS    321    Advanced Topics in Hydrology    3.0    FS

GEOS    340    Hydrogeochemistry    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: CHEM 037, CHEM 038.

GEOS    360    Numerical Analysis    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: MATH 007A.

2-3 units selected from:

GEOS    330    Geotectonic Development of Calif    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

GEOS    350    Environmental Monitoring    2.0    FA

Prerequisites: CHEM 255 is recommended.

1-6 units selected from:

GEOS    399    Master’s Study    1.0-6.0    FS

At least 1 unit of Master’s Study is required.

10-16 units selected from:

Select from courses approved by the graduate committee.

Graduate Literacy Requirement:

Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.

Geosciences students will normally demonstrate their writing competence through successful completion of GEOS 300 and GEOS 301, Geosciences Seminar, or approved substitute.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study-398 and Master’s Study-399) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (200-level courses), AB/No Credit (300-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only. A maximum of 10 units combined of ABC/No Credit, AB/No Credit, and Credit/No Credit grades may be used on the approved program (including 398, 399, and courses outside the major). While grading standards are determined by individual programs and instructors, it is also the policy of the university that unsatisfactory grades may be given when work fails to reflect achievement of the high standards, including high writing standards, expected of students pursuing graduate study.

Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all course work on the approved master’s degree program as well as in all course work taken subsequent to admission to conditionally classified status.

Graduate Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for new and readmitted students in the master’s program in Geosciences. Consult the Graduate Coordinator for specifics.