PhD Graduate Program

PhD in Earth Sciences

It is not a requirement for students entering our PhD program to have a Masters degree. 


students working in a science lab

PhD Degree Requirements

  • At least 12 credits in the minor or supporting field
  • Up to 40% of the credits can be transferred from other graduate institutions. The transfer is arranged by entering the courses/credits to be transferred onto the Graduate Degree Program form, which is submitted to the Graduate School for final approval.
  • Although the Graduate Education Office will allow A, B, C, and S grades on a Degree Program, A/F coursework must be completed with an average grade of B or better.
  • Only credits taken at the 4xxx and 5xxx levels, with several formal courses to be included at the 8xxx level count toward graduate requirements.
  • Minimum of 24 thesis credits are required.
  • Written Prelim
  • Oral Prelim
  • Written Thesis
  • Final thesis defense exam.

Doctoral Degree Completion Policy:

  • All students must complete ESCI 8001 (Introductory Graduate Seminar) in their first year.
  • Transfer credits for PhD students entering with a Master's degree: students are required by the University to complete at least 60 percent of the coursework for their official degree programs (excluding thesis credits) as registered University of Minnesota Graduate Students.  With the approval of the advisor, the director of graduate studies, and the Graduate Education Office, the transfer of up to 40 percent of the degree program coursework can be transferred. For more information, please refer to the Graduate School catalog.