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Columbia Campus    
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
  Feb 23, 2024
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

Earth and Ocean Sciences

George Voulgaris, Chair


The Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences offers programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geological sciences. Faculty research covers all aspects of earth and ocean sciences and is divided into three thematic areas: Environmental Geoscience’s geologic aspects of coastal and terrestrial environmental sciences, including coastal physical and chemical processes, hydrology, aqueous geochemistry, sediment and contaminant transport, environmental geophysics; Evolution of Orogenic Systems-an understanding of the physical and chemical processes controlling the formation and evolution of the planet Earth is critical to many issues of fundamental and societal importance, including identification and mitigation of geologic hazards and the maintenance of a sufficient supply of natural resources; and Global Climate Change’s understanding of and adjustment to geological, geochemical, and geophysical influences on global climate change is of critical concern for the coming decades. Available fields of research include coastal processes, environmental geosciences, geochemistry, geophysics, global climate change, hydrocarbon exploration, oceanography, paleoceanography, paleoclimatology, petrology, remote sensing, sedimentology, seismology, structural geology, and tectonics. Students interested in pursuing degrees in geoscience education are referred to the Master of Arts in Teaching in science (earth science option) and the Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Science (earth science option) programs available through the College of Education.


Admission to the program of graduate study in geological sciences is obtained by application to The Graduate School. Requirements are satisfactory scores on the GRE (normally a minimum total verbal and quantitative GRE score of 1000), with a minimum quantitative score of 550. GRE scores expire after 5 years. However, for admission to the PhD program, students will not be required to retake the GRE if: 1) they have taken the exam and received a minimum total verbal and quantitative score of 1000, with a minimum quantitative score of 550, and 2) they have a Master of Science Degree from an accredited U.S. institution with an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher, and 3) recommendations from qualified referees. Applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 80 (internet-based). The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5. The Department of Geological Sciences does not have a specific set of required undergraduate courses but bases its admission mainly on demonstrated ability to do academic work and interest in the field of earth and ocean sciences. Questions concerning admission should be submitted to the director of graduate studies in geological sciences.

Programs and Courses



    Environmental StudiesGeological Sciences