University of Texas at El Paso Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

M.S. in Geological Sciences


Geological Sciences is the multidisciplinary department of the College of Sciences, and our research uses mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, statistics, and computer modeling to address some of the most challenging interdisciplinary questions about the past, present and future state of the earth system. Our department is equipped with computer and laboratory facilities for calculation, visualization, and experimentation. A good number of our students are funded by graduate assistant or research assistantships, or teaching assistantships.

Admission Requirements 

In addition to the materials required of all Master's program applicants by the UTEP Graduate School, applicants for the M.S. in Geological Sciences must provide

  1. Three letters of reference
  2. An official transcript, with the four-year baccalaureate degree posted, from the degree-granting institution and copies of transcripts for all other relevant upper-division and graduate work at accredited U.S. institutions or equivalent work and degrees at foreign institutions.
  3. A personal statement/essay explaining the applicant's motivation for pursuing the M.S. in Geological Sciences and their qualifications and preparation for graduate study.
  4. GRE is not a requirement.
  5. Applicants from countries where English is not the first language are required to demonstrate English proficiency. Please consult the graduate school website for required scores.

All admission requirements will be reviewed holistically to assess the potential of the applicant. We strongly encourage applicants to contact Geological Science faculty for research opportunities. 

Degree Requirements 

All University-wide UTEP requirements for Master's degrees and graduate students progress will apply.  Graduate students are required to enroll in the GEOL 5101 Graduate Seminar for four semesters.

Students must complete at least 30 semester hours, including three semester hours each of Thesis I and Thesis II, which may not be taken concurrently.  No more than six semester hours can be in Directed Study coursework and no more than nine semester hours can be in approved undergraduate coursework.


A written thesis, approved by the student's thesis committee, is required for graduation.  The subject of the thesis is to be selected in consultation with the student's thesis advisor, and must be approved by the student's thesis committee.

Before enrolling in Thesis I, and prior to the start of the third full semester, all students must successfully complete a written thesis proposal.  The thesis proposal is successfully defended after it has been signed and approved by their thesis committee and circulated to and approved by the Department of Geological Sciences faculty.  The student's thesis committee shall be approved by the Department of Geological Sciences Graduate Program Committee.

The student is required to successfully defend the thesis in an open meeting under the supervision of his or her thesis committee.  A draft copy of the thesis, approved by the student's thesis advisor, must be submitted to the thesis committee 14 days before the defense.

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 30

MS in Geology (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
GEOL 5101Graduate Seminar (Student must enroll in Graduate Seminar every semester in residence)1
Graduate Course Work:
Select twenty-three hours from the following:23
Graduate Seminar
Selected Topics in Geol Scien
Directed Study in Geology
Selected Topics in Geol Scienc
Directed Study in Geology
Graduate Research in Geol Sci
Computer Appl in Earth Sci
Earth Structure
Earth Materials
Planetary Geology
Mineral Resrcs, Econ & Environ
Intro Entrepreneurial Geosci
Selected Topics-Geological Sci
Petroleum Geology
Environmental Tracers in Water
Introduction to GIST
Advanced GIST
Spat Analysis Earth/Env Sci
Machine Learning in Geoscience
Isotope Geology
Advanced Petrology
Directed Study in Geology
Sandstone Petrography
Sedimentary Depositional Envir
Basin Analysis
Quantit Techniq Geological Sci
Low Temperature Geochemistry
Global Biochemical Cycles
Graduate Research in Geol Sci
Geol/Mineral Resources Mexico
Fundamentals of Earth Science
Fundmtls/Fld Meth in Earth Sci
Directed Study in Geology
Adv Topics in Geological Scien
Directed Study in Geology
Doctoral Research in Geol Sci
Directed Study in Geology
Adv Topics in Geological Scien
GEOL 6320
GEOL 6321
Sandstone Petrography
Carbonate Petrogrph & Dep. Env
Sedimentary Depositional Env
Sequence Stratigraphy
Environmental Tracers in Water
Doctoral Research in Geol Sci
Directed Study in Geophysics
Directed Study in Geophysics
Atmospheric Processes
Digital Image Processing
Geophysical Inverse Theory
Reflection Seismic Data Proces
Topics in Geophysics
Well Logging
Plate Tectonics
Directed Study in Geophysics
Geop App-Digital Signal Proces
Directed Study in Geophysics
Directed Study in Geophysics
Directed Study in Geophysics
Advanced Seismology
Advanced Seismic Methods
GEOL 5398
GEOL 5399
and Thesis
Total Hours30