MS Graduate Program

MS Degree options

The department offers three Earth Sciences Masters degrees:

  • Plan A - requires thesis and final oral examination
  • Plan B - requires a project which may include one to two research papers, coursework, and a final exam (written, oral or both)
  • Plan C - coursework only with an emphasis in hydrogeology and environmental geoscience

MS Plans are designated when student submits graduate degree plan; there is no difference when applying for a Masters degree.

All students must complete ESCI 8001 (Introductory Graduate Seminar) in the first year.

photo of graduate students studying

Degree Requirements

Plan A Masters

(with thesis and final oral exam)

  • Total 30 credits minimum consisting of: at least 14 course credits in the major field and a minimum of 6 course credits in a related field, outside the major, and a minimum of 10 MS thesis credits. Required course and thesis credits should be completed by the end of the fall of the second year.
Plan B Masters

(project with final exam, either oral or written)

  • Total 30 course credits minimum consisting of: at least 14 credits in the major and 8 credits in the supporting program. The remaining 8 can be from either inside or outside the major field.
Plan C Masters

(coursework only; hydrogeology track only)

  • Total 30 course credits minimum consisting of: at least 14 credits in the major and 9 credits in a minor or supporting field. The remaining 7 can be from either inside or outside the major field. This is a coursework only option with emphasis in hydrogeology and environmental science.
  MS Degree Completion:  https://policy.umn.edu/education/masterscompletion