For more information on departmental requirements and graduate student support, contact Dr. John Rakovan, 513-529-3245 or via email at

Miami's Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Science offers programs leading to the M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. Qualified students holding a bachelor's degree in geology or related sciences are invited to apply for admission to the graduate program. Deficiencies in background may be made up with the undergraduate credits earned after admission.

M.A. program

The Master of Arts degree is a non-thesis program requiring 30 credit hours of coursework, at least 15 hours of which must be in geology and at least 12 of those hours at the 600 level or above. Students may select up to 15 credit hours of coursework in cognate disciplines, with the approval of their committee. Students must pass an oral examination prior to receipt of the degree.  Of the courses in geology at least 4 must be taken from different faculty. 

Bachelors/M.A. program

The combined Bachelors/M.A. program in Geology introduces students to diverse and contemporary topics within the broad area of Geology and Environmental Earth Science at an advanced level beyond the Bachelors degree. The combined degree program prepares students for careers such as earth science education and environmental consulting or for entry into research-based M.S./Ph.D. programs. The combined program requires 30 hours of graduate coursework of which 9 hours can be double-counted toward both degrees. Of these 30 hours a minimum of 15 must be taken from at least 4 sub-disciplines within Geology and Environmental Earth Science, and a minimum of 12 must be at or above the 600 level. A minimum of 150 hours is required for the combined program; 120 semester hour minimum for a bachelor's degree and 30 hour minimum for a master's degree. Successful completion of an oral comprehensive examination is required for graduation.

M.S. program

The M.S. program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours consisting of 24 hours of course work of which four courses must be taken from different faculty, plus 6 semester hours of credit for thesis. There is no single prescribed curriculum for all graduate students. Course programs are developed by consultation between students and their graduate-study committees in line with the students' needs and interest. All M.S. degree candidates present an oral thesis proposal before the end of the second semester of residence. A final oral defense of thesis research is held after the thesis is completed. There is no language requirement for the M.S. degree.

Ph.D. program

The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of 60 hours beyond the master's degree of which at least 15 are earned through formal course work. English is required. Ph.D. students take written examinations in four sub-disciplines of Geology. Upon successful completion of the written examinations, the student undertakes a dissertation prospectus based on the students' proposed dissertation, arranged by the student in consultation with the graduate study committee as soon as possible after the written and oral exams are passed. A final oral presentation and defense of dissertation research is held after the student has completed the dissertation.