Top 25 U.S. Colleges for a Geology Ph.D.

Where Geology Professors Got Their Degrees

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  • B.A., Earth Sciences, University of New Hampshire

Where did most geology professors get their Ph.D.s? Of the teaching faculty of American universities, a study by the American Geological Institute found that an overwhelming 79 percent earned their geoscience doctoral degree from just 25 institutions. These same schools granted 48 percent of the doctorates held by all faculty at the time of the survey.

Here they are, ranked from first to last, with their current post-graduate degree programs. This is not the only way to rank colleges, but these ones are all top-notch. In some cases, the doctoral program may no longer by offered by the institution.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) offers undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral programs. They have an active professional organization of graduate students, the EAPS Graduate Student Advisory Committee.

2. University of California, Berkeley  Department of Earth and Planetary Science offers Master of Arts and doctoral programs.

3. University of Wisconsin, Madison  Department of Geoscience offers Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees.

4. University of Washington  Department of Earth and Space Sciences offers Master of Science and doctoral programs.

5. Columbia University  Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences offers a Ph.D. in Earth and Enviromental Sciences and a Masters degree in Climate & Society.

6. Stanford University  Department of Geological Sciences offers M.S., Engineer, and Ph.D. degrees.

7. Pennsylvania State University  Department of Geosciences offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees

8. Harvard University  Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences admits students for the Ph.D. degree only.

9. University of California, San Diego  Scripps Institution of Oceanography offers three Ph.D. programs, including Geosciences of the Earth, Oceans, and Planets.

10. University of Michigan  Earth and Environmental Sciences has a Ph.D. program.

11. University of California, Los Angeles  Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences has M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Geochemistry, Geology, and Geophysics & Space Physics.

12. California Institute of Technology  Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences has a doctoral degree program and you may also be awarded a master's degree en route.

12.  University of Illinois (tie) Department of Geology offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees and notes that the oil and gas industry aggressively recruits in Illinois.

14. University of Arizona  Geosciences department offers M.S. and four-year Ph.D. programs that are research-based.

15. University of Minnesota  Department of Earth Sciences - Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth Sciences

16. Cornell University  Earth and Atmospheric Sciences has a Geological Sciences field with Master of Engineering, Master of Science, and doctoral degrees.

17. Yale University  Department of Geology & Geophysics has only a Ph.D. program.

18. University of Colorado  Geological Sciences offers Masters of Science and doctoral degrees.

19. Princeton University  Department of Geosciences offers only a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

20. University of Chicago  Department of the Geophysical Sciences offers a Ph.D. program.

21. Oregon State University  College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.

22. Johns Hopkins University  Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences offers a doctoral program.

23. University of Texas, Austin  Department of Geological Sciences

2 3.  Texas A&M University (tie) Department Geology & Geophysics offers Master of Science and doctoral degrees.

25. Ohio State University : No longer lists a doctoral program, but offers BS and BA in Earth Sciences.

Thanks to the American Geological Institute for this information, reported in Geotimes May 2003.

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M.S. and Ph.D. Programs in Geological Sciences

Our graduate program in geological sciences is designed to give students broad training in the basic sciences as well as field, theoretical, and practical experience through research in their specialty. The program has particular strengths in geophysics, geochemistry and petrology, structural geology, sedimentology, marine ecology, and energy resources. However, the exceptional flexibility of Cornell's graduate program provides ample opportunity for students to work across disciplinary areas. For example, arrangements exist for study of marine ecology, water resources, and various branches of applied geological science. Faculty members in other fields or divisions offer interdisciplinary courses including planetology and extraterrestrial geology, paleobotany, ecology and systematics, biogeochemistry, limnology, soil genesis, soil mineralogy, soil and rock mechanics, remote sensing, environmental fluid mechanics and hydrology, fluid dynamics, elasticity, geotechnical and earthquake engineering, regional planning, hydraulics and hydrology, and materials science and engineering. 

At least one minor subject outside the field is required for the doctoral degree. Before the end of their third semester in residence, all students must take a qualifying examination. This exam, an addition to those required by the Graduate School, determines the candidate's fitness for undertaking advanced studies and enables the student's special committee to plan programs that will make the student familiar with the requisite knowledge in the chosen areas. 

Research and Study Opportunities: 

Research programs are being conducted by the field in such diverse areas as fluid cycling in subduction zones; space-based geodetic studies of faults, volcanoes, and anthropogenic deformation; interaction of tectonics, topography, and climate in major mountain systems; investigation of igneous rocks in arc systems; tectonics, seismology, sedimentation, and geomorphology of the central Andes; planetary science, comparative planetology, and solar system exploration; seismic reflection profiling of the deep crust and upper mantle; mechanics and properties of subduction zone megathrusts and other large faults; induced earthquakes; using seismic signals of earth noise to understand atmospheric and solid-earth phenomena; development and application of earth system models; response of marine ecosystems to climate variability and change; surface responses to extreme precipitation; dynamics and mechanics of the lithosphere and asthenosphere; application of geophysical techniques to environmental and archaeological problems; marine ecological and paleontological studies; sedimentology and diagenesis of mudstones; dynamics of marine ecosystems and organisms from plankton to whales using remote sensing and other tools; volcanic hazard assessment; biogeochemistry, soil development, and dynamics in young volcanic terrains; geochemistry and geophysics of oceanic islands, mid-ocean ridges and island arcs; and remote sensing of seismic and volcanic deformation of the crust.

The field maintains working agreements with institutions worldwide to facilitate research projects in those areas or to work on materials especially accessible there. Current and recent graduate students have carried out field investigations in such diverse places as Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Honduras, Chile, Argentina, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Monterey Bay (California), Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, and Tibet. The Paleontological Research Institution, located near the campus, has world-renowned facilities and collections available to students interested in paleontology.

Major Concentrations:

economic geology engineering geology environmental geophysics general geology geobiology geochemistry and isotope geology geohydrology geomorphology geophysics geotectonics mineralogy ocean science and technology paleontology petroleum geology petrology planetary geology Precambrian geology Quaternary geology rock mechanics sedimentology seismology stratigraphy structural geology

Ph.D. students choose a major advisor representing one of the above concentrations and two or more minor advisors, one of which must represent a minor from a field outside of geological sciences. Astronomy, chemistry, ecology and evolutionary biology, education, and civil engineering are just a few of the examples of typical outside minors. Together, these advisors form the special committee that guides the student's program. The same is true for M.S. students, but they need choose only a single minor advisor. There are no specific course or credit requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees; rather, a student's coursework is determined by the special committee. Generally the last two to three years of the Ph.D. program and last year or more of the M.S. program are devoted entirely to dissertation or thesis research. 

Application and Admission

How to Apply

We strongly recommend that potential applicants contact faculty members with whom they are interesting in studying before applying.

We accept applications online via the  Cornell Graduate School website . You should specify the "field of geological sciences" as there is no graduate field of earth and atmospheric sciences. In your essay, please indicate clearly the discipline(s) within geological sciences in which you are interested (e.g., "active tectonics," "low temperature geochemistry," "global change," etc.). Your essay, and indeed your entire application, will be stronger if you have carefully investigated Cornell's strengths via these webpages and individual faculty pages, the published literature, and have contacted individual faculty with whom you might be interested in working.

Please note that Cornell University expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents, credential services, or other paid professional assistance. The use of such services violates University policy, and may lead to the rejection of application materials, the revocation of an admissions offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the University.

Application deadlines

Fall: January 1st

Spring: Check with field  (we typically don't admit students for the spring term)

Financial Aid

Information on tuition and fees  can be found on the Cornell Graduate School website. There are a variety of forms of financial aid available to graduate students at Cornell. Nearly all our Ph.D. and M.S. students receive financial aid that provides tuition, academic-year stipend and health insurance. Summer support may also be available. This financial aid is generally available for up to five years for Ph.D. students and two years for M.S. students and is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress.

  • Department fellowships—the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences typically has available to it two fellowships, known as the Long Fellowship and the McMullen Fellowship.
  • Cornell Fellowships—the field of geological sciences typically has available to it two Cornell Fellowships , which are awarded to incoming Ph.D. students.
  • Teaching assistantships—students supported on teaching assistantships spend an average of 15 hours a week assisting with the teaching of courses in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. This teaching experience is vital to those wishing to go on to a teaching career and it is likely that many graduate students will be appointed as a teaching assistant at some point during their Cornell career.
  • Graduate research assistantships—most graduate students in geological sciences are supported as graduate research assistants through a faculty member's externally funded research project.
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships —we encourage all applicants and first-year graduate students to apply directly to NSF for these prestigious and competitive graduate fellowships.
  • NASA Fellowships—graduate students commonly apply for these fellowships after their first year, when their research project has become well-defined.
  • Fellowships from international governments, agencies, or companies—graduate students may be sponsored by an agency in their home nation.
  • Other fellowships—we occasionally have students supported on Department of Energy or Department of Defense fellowships.

Contact Information:

Director of Graduate Studies Professor Matthew Pritchard [email protected] 607-255-4870

Assistant Director of Graduate Programs & Course Coordinator Sierra Henry [email protected] 607-255-8737

Geological Sciences, PHD

On this page:.

At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Second Language Requirement: No

Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD Geological Sciences

The PhD program in geological sciences is designed to develop creative scholarship in the terrestrial and planetary geosciences. Students are encouraged to cross subject boundaries and pursue new understandings of Earth and the solar system.

Degree Requirements

84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Required Core (1 credit hour) SES 502 Exploring SESE Research (1)

Electives or Research (70 credit hours)

Other Requirements (1 credit hour) SES 501 SESE Colloquium (1)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours) SES 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information When approved by the student's supervisory committee and the Graduate College, this program allows 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree in a related field to be used for this degree. Substitutions for courses listed as Other Requirements may be made per department approval.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  • graduate admissions application and application fee
  • official transcripts
  • statement of purpose
  • three letters of recommendation
  • proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

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Learn about our programs, apply to a program, visit our campus, application deadlines, career opportunities.

Graduates are prepared for academic and professional careers in geological science fields such as geochemistry, field geology, geomorphology, structure and tectonics, mineralogy and petrology, geophysics, planetary geology, hydrology, volcanology, Earth observation and remote sensing, and related areas, including geoscience education.

Professionals with expertise in geological sciences are in high demand across sectors and industries, including remote sensing, natural resource management, data science, environmental consulting, economic geology (oil and mining industries), hazard and risk assessment, geophysics and planetary science. Coding and numerical modeling skills translate across many domains, even beyond geosciences. Skills in the measurement and analysis of data related to the physics, chemistry and structures of earthly and planetary systems are valuable to businesses and institutions that rely on data-driven strategies to interact with the planet and explore beyond Earth. The doctoral degree in geological sciences is required for careers in post-secondary education and research.

Career examples include:

  • data scientist
  • environmental consultant
  • geosciences professor
  • instrument builder
  • planetary scientist
  • program manager
  • research scientist

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.

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Ph.D. in Geology

Build the skills and expertise in independent research that are the foundation for your geology career.

As a Ph.D. candidate, you'll conduct extensive fieldwork and build analytical skills in state-of-the-art labs and facilities. Experienced, accessible faculty are committed to seeing you achieve your research goals as you build skills for professional success.

Why earn a Ph.D. in geology?

*Priority deadline

If you're an international student, refer to the international application process for deadlines.

As a Geology Ph.D. candidate, you'll:

  • Conduct research advancing theoretical and applied science
  • Prepare to teach at the college level or for a career in advanced research

Areas of geology faculty emphasis include:

  • Hydrogeology and environmental geology
  • Economic geology of petroleum, coal and mineral resources
  • Sedimentology, stratigraphy and paleontology
  • Geomorphology and glacial geology
  • Petrology and geochemistry
  • Geophysics and tectonics

And interdisciplinary projects involving topics such as integrated basin analysis, surface mining and reclamation, and underground coal gasification.

Geology Ph.D. Program Requirements

You'll complete:

  • Two consecutive semesters in residence during the first two years of your studies.
  • Complete a qualifying exam (that includes a research proposal)
  • Submit a series of peer-reviewed journal and conference papers
  • Successfully defend a dissertation

UND's Ph.D. in Geology

Access the largest geoscience library in the upper Midwest, which contains 100,000 maps and 50,000 volumes.

We are diverse. Students in UND's Geology program come from around the country, and world.

The Geology program is based in the four-story, 70,000-square-foot Leonard Hall. It's a state-of-the-art facility for research in geophysics, hydrogeology, petroleum engineering, mining and more.

The Wilson M. Laird Core and Sample Library , across from Leonard Hall, contains cores from nearly every oil well drilled in North Dakota and is an invaluable research resource.

Enhance your professional skills at 60+ free workshops offered through the UND School of Graduate Studies. Our goal is to provide you with the workforce skills and job search strategies to succeed.

Study at a Carnegie Doctoral Research Institution ranked #151 by the NSF. Students are an integral part of UND research.

What can I do with a Ph.D. in geology?

Median salary for geoscientists, top 10% earner

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Expected job growth for geoscientists to 2032

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Job Outlook

A geology degree is the gateway to careers in a wide range of fields. Employers include:

  • Environmental and engineering geology companies
  • Federal government
  • Laboratories
  • Mining and mineral industries
  • Oil and gas industry
  • State geological surveys
  • Universities and colleges

Typical careers include:

  • Operations geologist
  • Biostratigrapher
  • Senior geologist
  • Maturation geologist
  • Structural geologist
  • Sedimentologist
  • Stratigrapher

Ph.D. in Geology Courses

GEOL 530. Topics in Physical Hydrogeology. 2 Credits.

Selected topics in groundwater, vadose-zone hydrology, fracture flow, analytical/numerical modeling, GIS and hydrology, and wetland soils/hydrology. Repeatable when topics vary. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Repeatable to 8.00 credits. F,S.

GEOL 511. Advanced Structural Geology. 4 Credits.

Reading and research in special topics in structural geology and geotectonics.

GEOL 523. Topics in Advanced Geomorphology. 1-4 Credits.

Selected topics in geomorphic processes and landforms. Prerequisite: GEOL 311 . Repeatable to 4.00 credits.

GEOL 560. Geothermics I. 3 Credits.

A survey of the methods of geothermal exploration, assessment and production. The course covers the various methods for discovery and characterization of geothermal resources. Methods for assessment of energy in place and determination of recoverable energy are covered in depth. Current technologies for energy extraction and power production are presented with current examples. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Corequisite: Permission of instructor. On demand.

GEOL 551. Heat Flow. 3 Credits.

An exploration of Earth's thermal structure, thermal history and heat sources. The course begins with the theory of heat transfer within and through the surface of terrestrial planets. Methods of observation and modeling provide hands-on experience in field and laboratory activities. Applications of heat flow in tectonics, petrology, thermal maturity of kerogen, hydrogeology, geothermics and climate change are presented with current examples. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Corequisite: Permission of instructor. On demand.

GEOL 540. Water Sampling and Analysis. 3 Credits.

Techniques of water and sediment sampling and analysis using equipment in the UND Water Quality Laboratory. Results are interpreted in the context of the natural systems from which the samples are taken. Enrollment is limited to eight students per section. A laboratory fee is required. Prerequisite: CHEM 121 .

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With hands-on learning guided by experienced professionals, you'll conduct ground breaking research at UND.

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Check out the faculty you'll work with at UND or discover additional education opportunities. 

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Geology graduate school programs include classroom-based courses as well as field work, which often means students will travel to locations around the world to study. These are the best earth sciences schools for geology. Read the methodology »

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  • Geology Graduate PhD

Doctoral students can specialize in any area where the faculty has sufficient expertise, including sedimentology, paleontology, tectonics, geobiology, glaciology, geophysics and hydrogeology.  The MS degree is  not  a prerequisite for admission to the doctoral program, and doctoral students are subject to the same initial requirements as master’s students.  A student that is initially admitted to the MS program but performs exceptionally well during the first two semesters may be invited to proceed directly toward the doctorate. Upon admission to the PhD program, the new student is classified as a PhD aspirant.  Once the student has completed coursework, completed a satisfactory PhD dissertation proposal, and passed oral comprehensive exams, the student is advanced to candidacy and classified as a PhD candidate.This degree program, usually completed in five years, requires coursework, publications and a dissertation.

Required credit hours for the PhD degree:

  • There are no formal credit hours requirements for the PhD degree, although all PhD students are required to fulfill requirements for Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship (see below). 
  • The actual program of study will be developed by the advisory committee in consultation with the student and designed to meet the needs of the students research and career interests.

Required courses for the PhD degree:

  • GEOL 701: Graduate Student Professional Skills and Ethics
  • GEOL 999: Doctoral Dissertation*

*  Doctoral aspirants can enroll in GEOL 999 beginning the semester they intend to take their Oral Comprehensive Exam, or after they have passed the Oral Exam and they have been advanced to candidacy.  Exceptions should be made only through consultation with the Graduate Academic Advisor and/or the Director of Graduate Studies.

All doctoral students must meet the  Research Skills  and Responsible Scholarship* requirement before proceeding to comprehensive exams. The requirement must include at least 2 components:

  • Every doctoral student is required to obtain research skills pertinent to the doctoral level of research in their field(s).
  • Every doctoral student is required to have training in responsible scholarship pertinent to the field of research.

*The University requires that all PhD students receive “training in responsible scholarship relative to the field of study.”  The Department of Geology offers a 2-credit hour course to meet this requirement,  GEOL 701: Graduate Student Professional Skills and Ethics , during the fall semester of each year.  Topics include but are not limited to human subjects, data management, conflicts of interest, appropriate research conduct, collaborative research, authorship of research articles and grant applications, citation ethics, plagiarism, copyright, peer review, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, mentor/student responsibilities, classroom behavior and ethics, and professional liability. The format will consist of readings, policy reviews and resources, short presentations, case studies, and discussion.

Applications to the Geology PhD program can be submitted through Graduate Admissions . 

Geology Degrees

  • Geology Undergraduate BA
  • Geology Undergraduate BS
  • Geology Undergraduate Minor
  • Geology Graduate MS
  • Environmental Geology PSM and Environmental Geology Certificate
  • Geology Graduate NDS


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PHD, Geology

As the terminal degree in Geology, the Ph.D. is the starting point of an academic career in the Earth and Planetary Sciences. It is also sought-after by public- and private-sector organizations focused on natural resources development and regulation.

Degree Type: Doctoral

Degree Program Code: PHD_GEOL

Degree Program Summary:

The Department of Geology offers M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs across a diverse array of specializations, including environmental geology and surficial processes, structural and planetary geology, paleobiology and stratigraphy, petrology and volcanology, geophysics, and geoarchaeology. Depending on the area of specialization, research may include field work, laboratory studies, and computational analyses. The Department has a wide array of instrumentation, and additional instrumentation is available across campus.

Graduate students in Geology are supported by teaching assistantships as well as research assistantships, which are funded through grants and industry sources. The Department of Geology has several internal grants programs that support research and travel by graduate students, and we mentor students in seeking external funding. Graduate students are admitted to work with individual faculty members, and the Department places a strong emphasis on mentoring students and developing individualized plans of instruction. M.S. students typically complete their degree requirements in two years, and Ph.D. students typically complete theirs in four years.

Geology graduate students have consistently had a high employment rate in the discipline, with careers in environmental geology, the petroleum and mining industries, government, and academia. The Department maintains close ties with its alumni, who financially support departmental programs and make available internships and employment opportunities.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact faculty in their area of interest as well as the Graduate Coordinator. Students are typically admitted only for Fall Semester.

Locations Offered:

Athens (Main Campus)

College / School:

Franklin College of Arts & Sciences

346 Brooks Hall Athens, GA 30602



Graduate Coordinator(s):

Steven Holland

Phone Number:


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Ph.D. Geology

Program description.

Ph.D. research in Geology focuses on fundamental questions in the Earth Science Sciences ranging from how Earth formed, how it has evolved through time, and how it operates and is changing today.

The Ph.D. in Geology often involves extensive fieldwork and prepares students for both academic and other professional careers in a broad variety of geoscience fields including geomorphology, field geology, groundwater and hydrogeology, sedimentology, geochemistry and geophysics, mineralogy and petrology, plate tectonics, volcanology, and the geospatial exploration of Earth and other planetary bodies.

Our geologists and geoscientists leverage NASA and NSF-funded research to explore both terrestrial and planetary geosciences using our in-house, cutting-edge analytical laboratories (see: Radiogenic Isotope & Geochronology Laboratory  and the Peter Hooper GeoAnalytical Lab ).

Specializations are offered in:

  • Sedimentology-Stratigraphy
  • Structural geology – Tectonics
  • Mineralogy-Petrology-Geochemistry
  • Hydrogeology-biochemistry
  • Geophysics-Geodynamics

If you are interested in pursuing an Ph.D. in Geology in SoE and being mentored by one of our faculty members, begin by first visiting their website  and contacting them directly.

By working and training with these leading geologists and Earth scientists, the Ph.D. in Geology will:

  • result in a dissertation that will be a significant contribution to the science of geology and the broad geosciences
  • be worthy of publication in referred international journals

Program requirements 

  • 15 hours minimum of graded course work at 500 level if student has an M.S. Or 17 hours minimum of graded 500-level coursework if student has only a B.S.
  • 9 hours maximum non-graduate 300/400 level graded course
  • 20 hours minimum of SOE 800 – 1 credit during each semester enrolled except summer
  • Courses taken for audit or courses graded Pass/Fail may not be used on the program of study.
  • Preliminary exam
  • Dissertation
  • Final oral exam
  • Dissertation defense

Preliminary Qualifying Exam

Each student is required to pass a preliminary examination to become a candidate for the Ph.D. degree. This examination will be taken after most of the required coursework has been completed, as determined by the dissertation committee, and upon submission of a dissertation research proposal, usually after the second year in the program. It will consist of a written exam followed by an oral defense, the format of which will be determined by the individual committee. Both will focus on the student’s major area of competency, courses taken, and the subject matter of the proposed research.

If the student fails to pass the examination after the allowed number of attempts, SOE will recommend to the graduate school that the student be disenrolled from the program.

Developing a Program of Study

Each student will develop a program of study in cooperation with a Supervisory Committee that includes their Faculty Advisor as Chair. The program of study is a plan for your classwork and research credits throughout the rest of your program.

The program of study form is an official form with due dates (see below). You may find the form here .

Pullman, Puyallup, and Tri Cities Students : Programs of study are due by a specific date in your third semester of study. These dates are October 1st if your third semester is during the fall, and March 1st if your third semester is during the spring.  These are firm deadlines, set in place by the Graduate School. 

Vancouver Students : Your program of study is due at the end of your 2nd semester.

As preparation for a Preliminary Examination, a core curriculum must be completed through preceding and/or new coursework that will yield competencies in areas determined by their faculty advisor in accordance with program bylaws and the most recent graduate student handbook.

[Photo credits: Banner photo: View of the Earth from orbit on the International Space Station. Source: Wikipedia . Author: Alexander Gerst (Geophysicist – ESA Astronaut)  License: CC BY-SA 2.0 ]

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Ph.d. in geology.

The Ph.D. degree in Geology is a research-oriented interdisciplinary program. Students participate in high-impact research and scholarship to develop, apply, and disseminate scientific knowledge about Earth and planetary systems and their evolution in space and time. Research areas within the geology program span a wide range of sub-disciplines and geographic locations.    Students design their specific curriculum of high-quality, skills-based geology courses with their major professor and advisory committee. This flexibility enables students to tailor their degree to support their research interests and career goals.  

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PhD in Geology

The Ph.D. in Geology is an advanced degree with a program made up of coursework, comprehensive exams and a major research investigation. Students are expected to be grounded in one or more of the geology program’s key areas of specialization: Earth’s systems interactions, energy resources, environmental geology and geochemistry, and planetary geoscience. 

In the doctoral program, we seek a close alignment between an applicant’s proposed area of investigation and faculty expertise. Applicants are strongly encouraged to  contact faculty  in their proposed area of specialization before applying. The Ph.D. requires 9 hours of academic credit and typically takes four years of full-time study. 

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WGS 84 coordinate reference system is the latest revision of the World Geodetic System, which is used in mapping and navigation, including GPS satellite navigation system (the Global Positioning System).

Geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) define a position on the Earth’s surface. Coordinates are angular units. The canonical form of latitude and longitude representation uses degrees (°), minutes (′), and seconds (″). GPS systems widely use coordinates in degrees and decimal minutes, or in decimal degrees.

Latitude varies from −90° to 90°. The latitude of the Equator is 0°; the latitude of the South Pole is −90°; the latitude of the North Pole is 90°. Positive latitude values correspond to the geographic locations north of the Equator (abbrev. N). Negative latitude values correspond to the geographic locations south of the Equator (abbrev. S).

Longitude is counted from the prime meridian ( IERS Reference Meridian for WGS 84) and varies from −180° to 180°. Positive longitude values correspond to the geographic locations east of the prime meridian (abbrev. E). Negative longitude values correspond to the geographic locations west of the prime meridian (abbrev. W).

UTM or Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system divides the Earth’s surface into 60 longitudinal zones. The coordinates of a location within each zone are defined as a planar coordinate pair related to the intersection of the equator and the zone’s central meridian, and measured in meters.

Elevation above sea level is a measure of a geographic location’s height. We are using the global digital elevation model GTOPO30 .

Elektrostal , Moscow Oblast, Russia

N.J. Quintuplets Make History as They Graduate from Montclair State University

Graduate Spotlight Times Five: The Povolo quints follow their own paths yet all earn their degrees in four years

Posted in: Business , Education , Homepage News , Humanities and Social Sciences , Science and Technology , Uncategorized , University

The Povolo quintuplets in graduation gowns stand in front of a large Red Hawk statue.

Update: Since Montclair shared their story on May 6, 2024 the Povolos’ achievements have been shared by media outlets throughout the country. Read more about them locally in NJ Monthly and watch them on ABC News 7 and  News 12 New Jersey . 

Being a quintuplet is exceptionally rare. Rarer still is all five attending the same college and graduating on the same day. But that’s what the Povolo quintuplets – Victoria, Ludovico, Ashley, Michael and Marcus – have accomplished at Montclair State University. On Monday, May 13, they will make history at the University’s Commencement when they walk across the platform to receive their degrees one after the other.

The milestone at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, is believed to be the first time quints have simultaneously graduated from a New Jersey higher ed institution, with the Povolos joining just a handful of other multiple siblings in the nation who celebrated their “quintessential” college experience by graduating from the same college in the same academic year.

From Montclair, the Povolos will earn degrees in five different majors:

  • Victoria Povolo, Biochemistry; minor Italian
  • Ludovico Povolo, Political Science, minor Pre-Law, Business
  • Ashley Povolo, English, Teacher Education Program, certification in P-12
  • Michael Povolo, Nutrition and Food Science, concentration Dietetics
  • Marcus Povolo, Business Administration, concentration International Business

“Montclair helped us be together, but also helped us to become our own people, with our own majors, our own interests, our own friend groups,” Victoria says. “We customized our own paths, but we got to the finish line together.”

The siblings credit their parents, Paolo Povolo, a building engineer for Cushman & Wakefield, and Silvia Povolo, assistant housekeeping supervisor for the University, for encouraging them to follow their dreams and instilling both a strong work ethic and the importance of education.

“The support that they have for us, obviously, there’s a reason why we made it this far,” Victoria says. “Our parents always encourage us to do our best, and the best doesn’t look the same for everyone, which I think is also something we learned growing up and explains why we’re all doing different things.”

The Povolo quintuplets pose before a white building

Marcus Povolo has landed a job with the financial giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. He’s the only sibling to live on campus, a move he made so that he could easily access the campus train station to commute to Jersey City for work and have a quiet place to study. To stay on track to graduate in four years, he took courses during the summer and winter breaks, asynchronous classes and expedited classes.

“This definitely wasn’t easy, managing full-time school and work,” Marcus says. “There were times where I figured doing one would be a lot easier. I just had to push myself through.”

Victoria plans to take a year off to work and save money for medical school to study forensic medicine. She’s held several undergraduate research positions in Montclair’s science labs , opportunities she shared in the Amazon-series The College Tour . She’s currently researching personality disorders and interning in a morgue.

Michael Povolo, a student athlete, will continue at Montclair next fall to complete a 4+1 program, meaning after five years he will have earned both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nutrition. He’s a defensive midfielder on the Red Hawks lacrosse team, interns at an assisted living community, and coaches youth lacrosse.

Ludovico Povolo, a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, is known by his college friends and at the restaurant where he works by his nickname, Vico. Before college he went by his middle name, Masha. His academic interests have also seen changes. While he once saw himself headed to a career in law, a professor pointed out that with his gregarious nature he might want to consider business. He found it a better fit with his evolving interests. He’ll shortly begin work as a sales and marketing representative for Techtronic Industries in northern New Jersey.

Ashley Povolo, a future teacher, is completing her clinical experience as a high school advanced placement English teacher. She works as a University Fellow and studied abroad in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, which she says took her outside the comfort zone of being part of a big family as she navigated the experience on her own. Ashley wrote a poem about how their birth order (Victoria, the oldest, Vico, Ashley, Michael and Marcus, the youngest by minutes) has shaped their lives.

“They’re my best friends,” Ashley says. “We’ve grown up together and literally know everything about each other. So it did hit me the other day that graduation is the last big thing that I’m going to experience with them at the same time.”

The siblings frequently meet on campus for coffee and meals, and share rides to and from school. “I do need that closeness and seeing them all the time and being around them all the time,” Victoria says. “It completes what I need, and the others for sure think the same. We always regroup, no matter how far we’ve been, no matter where we’ve gone, we always come back and regroup.”

The Povolo quintuplets when they were toddlers

The Povolo quintuplets captured the public’s attention when they were born on the Fourth of July, 2002, and dubbed by a local newspaper “Five Little Firecrackers” on their first birthday.

As they’ve grown, the siblings, now 21, say they’ve enjoyed the curiosity that comes with the rarity of being a quint.

“Personally, I love the attention,” says Vico. “I love talking about it. It’s unique and refreshing.”

College graduation promises to put them in the spotlight again. The University, which will hold two Commencements for students based on their college or school, has made accommodations so the Povolos can receive their diplomas together at the morning ceremony on May 13.

“We’ll need a tissue box for my mom,” Michael says. “She’s definitely going to cry.”

The Povolo quintuplets wearing Montclair State University sweatshirts jump together in front of a high school building.

Graduation for five, let alone college for five wasn’t a given for the Povolo quintuplets. “I remember our senior year [at Passaic Valley High School],” says Michael. “We were sitting down and asking, ‘What are we going to do for school?’ We talked about community college, jobs and training programs. Each of us wanted very different things in terms of majors. But the one thing we shared was applying to Montclair.”

The University was close enough to their home in Totowa, New Jersey, that the money they saved by commuting might just make college accessible. All five were accepted and Victoria reached out to the University’s financial aid office to ask about scholarships or loans they might qualify for.

“I was very aware of the financial situation of my family,” Victoria says. “If it had been too much, I would have bowed out and just not gone to college because I didn’t want to put that on my parents, and I didn’t want to put that on myself financially.”

But, as Victoria would learn, each of the Povolos qualified for Presidential Scholarships for high-achieving students, and also qualified for need-based grants and small merit scholarships that in total amounted to a tuition-free four years for the family.

At a meeting with high school guidance counselors in February 2020 – supposedly to “explore ways to pay for college” – Montclair staff presented the family with a giant replica check made payable for five higher educations.

The Povolo quintuplets in graduation gowns surround and hug a smiling woman.

Just the week prior, their parents had looked into refinancing their home. “ And then Montclair pulls up and gives us a great deal,” Michael recalls. Times five, the scholarships and financial assistance made what seemed impossible, possible.

“It’s so big we can’t even put words to it,” says their mother, Silvia Povolo, recalling that moment and what it has since meant to the family. “I always sit down with them and say, ‘You had four years of college that came to your table and you had the chance to take it with no cost. Whatever you learned in these four years, it’s a blessing… it’s a key to open a golden door.’”

A few weeks before graduation, they were still deciding how to celebrate but leaning toward a backyard party.

“It’s a gigantic moment for them and for us,” says their father, Paolo. “So basically, we’ve been saying, ‘when one door closes another one opens.’ In the sense that college is coming to an end, we have to think of the future, we have to think of what’s next … and that is in the making.”

Story by Staff Writer Marilyn Joyce Lehren . Photos by University Photographer Mike Peters.

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From Childhood Tragedy to Commencement Triumph  


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Elektrostal Localisation : Country Russia , Oblast Moscow Oblast . Available Information : Geographical coordinates , Population, Area, Altitude, Weather and Hotel . Nearby cities and villages : Noginsk , Pavlovsky Posad and Staraya Kupavna .


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Zombie colleges roam the internet, here's how to spot a legitimate, living university

find a phd geology

A USA TODAY investigation has exposed websites set up for closed universities posing as viable colleges.

Whoever is behind the copycat sites has been collecting application fees and personal student identity information. Once USA TODAY reached out to them for comment, some of the sites and their application links came down.

The investigation also found a network of fictitious colleges claiming to be accredited, generally the gold standard of legitimate universities in the U.S., however, those accreditors appear to be fabricated as well.  (Do you know more about these colleges, tell us. )

Investigation: Zombie colleges? These universities are living another life online, and no one can say why

So how can prospective students know which schools actually offer an education and which may be fronts for something else?  Luckily, there are telltale signs.  But it may take some sleuthing. 

Is it accredited?  

If a university wants to offer federal student aid, it has to be:

◾ Approved by a college accreditor.

◾ Approved by the state it resides in.

◾ Certified by the U.S. Department of Education, based, in part, on the first two.

Oversight of a school’s academic offerings falls to the accreditor, who is expected to review curriculums regularly. These accrediting agencies also visit schools in person.  

Prospective students can see if a school is truly accredited by looking it up on the federal government’s consumer guide to schools, the College Scorecard . Universities also often list their accreditors on their websites, which students can check against the accreditors’ own lists. Many states maintain a list of schools they have authorized as well. 

Check the web address 

It can be as simple as just checking the end of the university’s web address. 

Generally, only accredited colleges can use a .edu domain in their URL. Domains ending in .college, .education, or .university aren’t restricted to educational institutions, though. The website backed by former staffers at Marymount California University is whereas the imposter website is at  

Or pick up your phone and try to reach someone in college admissions. Legitimate colleges have entire staffs eager to talk to prospective students. It’s their job.

Some of the questions to ask: 

◾ When is the next application deadline?

◾ What do you need for the application? An essay? Test scores? Do you accept the Common Application , a form used by hundreds of colleges?

◾ How much does your program cost? Do you offer federal financial aid?

How do I tell if a college accreditor is real?  

Some of the imposter websites appeared to have created their own accreditors. Skeptical applicants can verify an accreditor's legitimacy by checking the Education Department’s list of approved agencies .

Note: Some accreditors are set up to approve only specific academic programs. Look instead for institutional accreditation, i.e., approval of all of the schools’ operations.  

Pay close attention to accreditors’ names too. Some counterfeit schools claimed accreditation by the “United States Higher Learning Commission.” That is close to the actual accrediting organization known as “The Higher Learning Commission.”   

Does the school have an address? Google it 

Some of the counterfeit universities claim strange addresses. The original Stratford University, for example, was in Virginia, but the imposter says the university is in Kentucky. In that case, a Google Street View search of the Kentucky address reveals no signage for a university.  

Many of the fictitious universities on the website of the Ministry of Higher Education Commission, one of the made-up accreditors, list unusual physical addresses too. The address for “Dakota Hill University,” for example, is actually home to Black Hills State University, a school that is accredited. USA TODAY found other schools with addresses that showed up on Google as nondescript office buildings, even parking garages. 

Be aware of the university’s size too. Some legitimate and smaller schools focused on career skills can be in office parks. But such a location would be unusual for large state or private colleges.  

Has anyone else attended this college? Who teaches there?  

Try to find past students. With LinkedIn, it’s easy to locate graduates of any college. Some schools also have alumni associations where prospective students may be able to learn more about the institution.  

Be wary of student testimonials that live solely on a college’s website because those could be fabricated by the operators of the university. Apply the same skepticism to sites that gather anonymous reviews such as Yelp – or even the reviews you might find on Google or Facebook.   

University professors should also have a web presence. Legitimate colleges often have individual web pages for their faculty members. Some college websites also feature past course catalogs. The new Stratford website, in contrast, listed only broad descriptions of its degree offerings and did not indicate who would be teaching those courses. That also was true of other zombie sites.  

Chris Quintana is a reporter on the USA TODAY investigations team with a background in higher education and student loans. Contact him at  [email protected] , @CquintanaDC on Instagram and X, or by Signal at 202-308-9021.   


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  19. Moscow Oblast

    Geology and minerals Geology Dolomite Gneiss. Moscow Oblast is located in the central part of the East European craton. Like all cratons, the latter is composed of the crystalline basement and sedimentary cover. The basement consists of Archaean and Proterozoic rocks and the cover is deposited in the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras.

  20. Elektrostal

    In 1938, it was granted town status. [citation needed]Administrative and municipal status. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is incorporated as Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction is incorporated as Elektrostal Urban Okrug.

  21. Geographic coordinates of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia

    Find out what time it is in Elektrostal right now Find out the distance between Elektrostal and other cities Find out the distance between Elektrostal and the North Pole, the South Pole, the Equator, the Tropic of Cancer, the Tropic of Capricorn, the Arctic Circle, the Antarctic Circle Elektrostal's weather

  22. N.J. Quintuplets Make History as They Graduate from Montclair State

    To stay on track to graduate in four years, he took courses during the summer and winter breaks, asynchronous classes and expedited classes. "This definitely wasn't easy, managing full-time school and work," Marcus says. "There were times where I figured doing one would be a lot easier. I just had to push myself through."

  23. Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia

    Elektrostal Geography. Geographic Information regarding City of Elektrostal. Elektrostal Geographical coordinates. Latitude: 55.8, Longitude: 38.45. 55° 48′ 0″ North, 38° 27′ 0″ East. Elektrostal Area. 4,951 hectares. 49.51 km² (19.12 sq mi) Elektrostal Altitude.

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    Approved by a college accreditor. Approved by the state it resides in. Certified by the U.S. Department of Education, based, in part, on the first two.