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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.

Application Procedures

To be considered for admission, applicants to the Masters or Doctorate of Geology must upload the following documentation within the graduate application (located at

● Resume

● 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 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 ( for more information about the application process.

*International applicants will not be reviewed with unofficial transcripts.

About Geology

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 2022. 

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 of State. 

MS in Geology   PhD in Geology  

Career Opportunities

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 as well. 

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