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Graduate Studies in the Department of Geological Sciences involve academic course work and independent research. Students are prepared for careers as professional scientists in research, education, or the application of the earth sciences to mineral, energy, and water resources. Programs lead to the M.S., Engineer, and Ph.D. degrees. Course programs in the areas of faculty interest are tailored to the student's needs and interests with the aid of his or her research adviser. Students are encouraged to include in their program courses offered in other departments in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences as well as in other departments in the University. Diplomas designate degrees in Geological and Environmental Sciences or Geological Sciences and may also indicate the following specialized fields of study: Geostatistics and Hydrogeology.
The purpose of the master's program in Geological Sciences is to continue a student's training in one of a broad range of earth science disciplines and to prepare students for either a professional career or doctoral studies.
Practical training (GS 385 Practical Experience in the Geosciences) may be required by some programs, with adviser approval, depending on the background of the student. Additional department requirements include the following:
- A minimum of 45 units of course work at the 100 level or above.
- Half of the courses used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement must be intended as being primarily for graduate students, usually at the 200 level or above.
- No more than 15 units of thesis research may be used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement.
- Some students may be required to make up background deficiencies in addition to these basic requirements.
- By the end of Spring Quarter of their first year in residence, students must complete at least three graduate level courses taught by a minimum of two different GS faculty members.
- Each student must have a research adviser who is a faculty member in the department and is within the student's thesis topic area or specialized area of study.
- Each student must complete a thesis describing his or her research. Thesis research should begin during the first year of study at Stanford and should be completed before the end of the second year of residence.
- Early during the thesis research period, and after consultation with the student, the thesis adviser appoints a second reader for the thesis, who must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies; the thesis adviser is the first reader. The two readers jointly determine whether the thesis is acceptable for the M.S. degree in the department.
- Statement of purpose
- Application fee
- Three letters of recommendation
- Scanned copy of official transcript(s) (upload each transcript as a single pdf file). Do not upload the unofficial transcript printed from your university website. You must obtain an official transcript and make a copy.
- GRE scores
- Two official transcripts must be mailed to Graduate Admissions Committee
- GRE - Only the general GRE test is required. Scores must be from tests taken within the past five years. Scores must be reported directly to Stanford from ETS. The Stanford score recipient number is 4704. To facilitate preliminary review of your application, please note your scores in the electronic form. If you receive your scores after submitting, send your scores to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line of "GRE SCORES - YOUR NAME". If you have previously applied to Stanford (within the past five years), we have your prior test scores. We do not have a minimum GRE score requirement, and we do not track average scores for admitted applicants.
- TOEFL - Applicants whose first language is not English must submit TOEFL scores from a test taken within the last eighteen months. Exemptions are granted for applicants who have earned a U.S. bachelor’s or master’s degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States, or equivalent of either degree from a university of recognized standing in countries where all instruction is provided in English.
To be considered for funding upon admission, simply check the box on the admissions application that indicates that you wish to be considered for financial aid; there are no additional forms or materials to be submitted beyond the regular application.
Almost all graduate students admitted to GES receive substantial financial aid from combinations of departmental fellowships, teaching or research assistantships, and other sources; tuition is generally paid by the department.
The department's funding package covers up to 10 units of tuition and provides a quarterly stipend.
Prospective students are strongly encouraged to apply for external fellowships, such as the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, or Department of Defense fellowships. If the external fellowship is not sufficient to cover the standard department support level, a supplement will be provided by the University, the department or a research advisor. These fellowships strongly enhance your resume for your future career.