We also strongly encourage you to contact prospective advisors to discuss potential research projects and whether they are admitting new students into their research program – please see our website of department faculty here.
The Department of Geoscience offers two graduate degrees:
The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Geoscience is designed to prepare students for demanding research-oriented careers in academia, government service, private consulting, and industry. Working closely with their advisor, students focus on original research in one of three field of Geoscience: geology, hydrology, or soil science. Research expectations are high; students are expected to develop original lines of research that will lead to three or more original manuscripts that are suitable for submission to a refereed scientific journal. Students are expected to have strong content knowledge in their area of specialization and three additional sub-disciplines of the geologic sciences. Fundamental knowledge levels are tested first in a diagnostic interview that is used to guide coursework taken by the student, and then later in a comprehensive exam.
Students who complete the PhD in Geology are suited for academic faculty positions, research, or management-level jobs in environmental consulting, energy exploration, mining, state or federal government agencies. The specialization that occurs in the PhD process often determines the range of careers available to a graduate. Working on cutting-edge science in a university, government agency, or teaching at the university level requires a PhD.
The Masters of Science degree in Geoscience is designed to prepare students for a broad range of challenging careers in government service, private consulting, and industry. This thesis-based degree program also serves as a stepping-stone for those students who wish to pursue further graduate studies at the Doctoral level. Working closely with their advisor, students focus on original research in one of several areas of specialization, including: petrology, volcanology, economic geology, structural geology, sedimentology, geochemistry, hydrology, soil science, climate change, petroleum geology, and paleontology. Students are expected to develop original research suitable for submission to a refereed scientific journal. Students are expected to have strong content knowledge in their area of specialization, which is tested during the culminating defense of their thesis research.
Students who complete the MS in Geology are ideally suited for mid to management-level jobs in environmental consulting, energy exploration, mining, state or federal government agencies. The MS is the professional degree for geoscientists, and the salary for this level is the highest across all sub-disciplines. The jobs for MS-level geologists can range from field-based work such as geologic mapping, to computer modeling, to corporate management. Industries and agencies often provide additional training to MS-level geologists that allows them to perform specialized work, but the educational experience students gain with an MS is sufficient for immediately entering the workforce at mid to high-level positions. Most employers who hire at this level are looking for some amount of specialization (e.g. hydrologist, geophysicist, geochemist, structural geologist), although possessing a well-rounded geoscience education is often attractive for most industries/agencies.
Geoscience Graduate Student Guidelines
For more information regarding Graduate College forms and deadlines, visit:http://graduatecollege.unlv.edu/forms.
Nevada is an amazing place to earn an undergraduate degree in Geology. Besides Nevada’s (and the region’s) amazing scenery and natural resources, UNLV’s Geoscience Department is one of the top Geoscience programs in the West.
We cooperate with numerous local, state, and federal agencies in Nevada, California, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. We also work in several nations overseas. And Las Vegas is pretty cool too!
Within an hour of the campus you can hike, raft, kayak, backpack, camp, attend music festivals, eat amazing food, be in 3 different states, and 2 different deserts. We are 2 hours from Death Valley National Park, 4 hours from Grand Canyon National Park, 2 hours from Zion National Park, 3 hours from Bryce Canyon National Park, 30 minutes from Lake Mead National Recreation Area, 30 minutes from Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, and 55 minutes from Valley of Fire State Park. We also have this little 3,632 m (11,918 ft) mountain next to town that has a ski area.