Graduate Degree Programs in Earth Sciences


The Department offers programs of graduate study leading to the M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. Minimum requirements for each degree are an average GPA of 3.0 in major subjects and an overall average of 2.8. 

Students who wish to continue graduate study toward a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences following a master’s degree must submit a Syracuse University Graduate School application form, including letters of reference, to the Department.


Thirty course credits are required. At least 15 of these course credits must be at or above the 600 level. The student is required to pass a comprehensive written examination, but no thesis is required.


Thirty credits are required. Six of the credits are in thesis credit and 24 credits are for graduate course work. M.S. candidates must pass an oral defense of their thesis.


72 total graduate credit hours are required.

Ph.D. students coming to the program with a M.S. may receive credit for up to 30 hours. An additional 42 credit hours are required. At least 12 of those 42 credit hours must be in graduate coursework, with the balance made up by thesis credits.

Ph.D. students coming to the program without a M.S. must take at least 36 credits in graduate course work (the equivalent of 24 M.S. course work credits plus 12 Ph.D. course work credits). The balance of the 72 credits will be made up in thesis credits.

Most students can satisfy the requirements within four years after completing the master's degree. The Ph.D. candidate must pass an oral qualifying examination and must give an oral defense of the dissertation.

Contact Us

Department of Earth Sciences
204 Heroy GL
Ph: 315-443-2672
Fx: 315-443-3363