Geology Graduate Program
The geology program offers two graduate degrees: Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The MS degree has two tracks: A more traditional Research Track and a non-thesis Professional Studies Track. Details of both programs can be found in on the Geology Masters tab in the WVU Graduate Catalog. The PhD degree is primarily a research degree. Program requirements can be found on the Geology Doctoral tab in the WVU Graduate Catalog.
Deadline for Fall Semester Admission: February 1st
Deadline for Spring Semester Admission: October 1st
While the academic year begins with the Fall semester, we sometimes accept a few students to start in Spring. Please contact the department for more information if you are interested.
To be considered for admission, applicants to the Masters or Doctorate of Geology must upload the following documentation within the graduate application (located at https://graduateadmissions.wvu.edu/how-to-apply):
● Personal statement
● Writing sample (optional)
● Names and contact details of 2-3 recommenders
You will not be able to submit your application until the above documents are uploaded and your recommender(s) name and email are provided.
In addition to the above documentation, applicants must submit official GRE scores. Have official GRE scores sent from ETS directly to WVU—institution code 5904.
International applicants who did not complete their bachelor's degree at a US, UK, Australian, Canadian, or New Zealand institution must submit an English proficiency test score. Acceptable scores are an academic IELTS overall band score of at least 6.5 OR A TOEFL iBT total score of at least 79.
Applicants are encouraged to submit their application with unofficial transcripts from all previously attended institutions. Submitting unofficial transcripts speeds up the application review process as most graduate programs make admission decisions using unofficial transcripts*
If you are offered acceptance, you are required to submit official transcripts from all previously attended institutions to be fully admitted into your intended graduate program. You will not be able to register for classes until the official transcripts are received.
Once the application is submitted, letters of recommendation, test scores, and unofficial/official* transcripts are received, your application will be reviewed for an admission decision.
Graduate degree-seeking applicants must send their official transcript from the undergraduate institution that granted the bachelor’s degree. It is preferred that official transcripts be sent via an online, secure service such as eScrip-Safe, National Student Clearinghouse, or Parchment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, sealed, untampered, physical official transcripts can be sent to:
WVU Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
1 Waterfront Place 2nd Floor Morgantown, WV 26505
Please contact Hope Stewart (email@example.com) for more information about the application process.
*International applicants will not be reviewed with unofficial transcripts.
Geology is key to addressing critical issues of our time: natural hazards, land and
resource management and the impacts of societal demands and climate change. According
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of geoscientists is expected to grow
14 percent faster than the average over this decade. It is expected that demand
will increase in energy, environmental protection and resource management. The
American Geosciences Institute predicts a shortage of 135,000 geoscientists by
Interaction with professional geologists inside and outside the classroom broadens
your professional network and prepares you for advancement in the geoscience workforce.
Our program has partnerships with regional government, research and professional
organizations in industry, government and academia. The program has led the
development of the first-of-its-kind industry-academia research collaboration shale
gas test well site (Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory) and an international
shale education platform (International Forum on Unconventional Gas Sustainability
and the Environment) with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and Department
MS in Geology
PhD in Geology
We are a scientific research center with an applied focus. The job market for
WVU geologists remains strong, primarily in the petroleum industry and the environmental
and hydrogeology fields. Our MS graduates are well prepared to deal with job-market
trends, finding virtually 100% job placement in technical fields over the last
25 years. Our PhD alumni teach and do research at colleges and universities
across the country.
We believe that the diversity in professional fields requires a diverse geoscience
education and that research problems we study in West Virginia provide valuable
experience. West Virginia spans nearly the entire width of the Appalachian basin
including the Appalachian fold-and-thrust belt and high plateau. The state is ideal
for regional structural and stratigraphic analysis. Recent discovery of the largest
gas field in the continental U.S. -- Marcellus shale -- has created an exploration
and employment boom which translates into unprecedented research and work opportunities
for our students, not only in energy fields but also in water and environmental.
The mountainous nature of West Virginia creates great scenic beauty, as well as
spectacular geologic hazards (e.g. floods and landslides) that are fertile ground
for applied environmental research. Research opportunities also abound in applied
hydrogeologic and geochemical problems related to water supply, coal mining, and
acid-mine drainage. West Virginia is the second largest coal producer in the country
and has a wide variety of environmental problems studied by WVU geoscientists.
Our geography graduate program (within the same department) stresses GIS applications
that complement geology research initiatives, including economic planning for resource
utilization and environmental studies. Both programs rely heavily on
state-of-the-art computer facilities as research tools, not only in quantitative
fields such as geophysics and hydrogeology but in the more traditional disciplines