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Industrial environmental science alumnus standing in the library

Geology B.S./M.S.

Offered by: Department of Earth Sciences The B.S./M.S. program combines the undergraduate B.S. program with the M.S. program in geology, leading to the award of an Indiana University bachelor’s and master’s degree with completion of the M.S. thesis.

Why choose this program?

The Department of Earth Sciences at IUPUI teaches the importance, application, and relevance of earth sciences in modern society and has a strong research program. The faculty and staff of the department provide an environment where students at all levels can explore, discover, and learn earth sciences through coursework and research.

Undergraduates in the department benefit from a variety of on-campus resources that other disciplines cannot offer; we have many opportunities to integrate undergraduates into research through scholarships, internships, and other funding sources. Our research faculty provide a wide range of diversity across the geosciences not available at many other state and private institutions. Most importantly, our Center for Earth and Environmental Science brings together campus, industry, and government stakeholders to conduct research and outreach related to environmental issues in Indiana.

IUPUI's program has the added benefit of being located in the largest job market in Indiana and located within 2 hours of the Cincinnati and Louisville area. Located blocks from the state capitol and on a campus with engineering, law, medical, and dental schools, we have used our location to build partnerships with other researchers, government leaders, and private industry.

What will you learn?

The B.S./M.S. program combines the undergraduate B.S. program with the M.S. program in geology, leading to the award of an Indiana University bachelor's and master's degree with completion of the M.S. thesis.

The departmental graduate advisory committee administers the B.S./M.S. program. This program provides well-qualified students with the opportunity for an accelerated program in earth sciences research and instruction. 

The BS/MS program blends the undergraduate BS program with the MS program in Geology, leading to joint award of BS and MS degrees upon completion of the MS thesis. Students will apply to the Earth Sciences graduate program in early spring of the junior year of the undergraduate program.

Upon acceptance into the program, the student will prepare an MS research and course plan in consultation with a BS/MS academic advisor, or will elect to complete a non-thesis (coursework) MS degree.

Research reading and data collection begins in the summer prior to the senior year of undergraduate study, and will be completed in the following summer. The fifth year of study is devoted to graduate course work and completion of the MS thesis research, or MS non-thesis coursework.

Why study earth sciences?

Earth sciences encompasses the study of earth material (rocks, sediment, soil, petroleum), water (oceans, groundwater, water quality), and the atmosphere (climate change, air quality), as well as the relationships between material, water, air, their interaction with biologic life, and their changes through time.

 

Earth science (which includes geology and environmental science among other sub-disciplines) is a great field to study because:

  • It combines the strengths of biology, geography, physics, chemistry, and biology and applies them to our knowledge of the Earth.
  • The career opportunities are very diverse. Some geologists spend most of their time outdoors, others spend their entire time in the laboratory, and many spend a mixture of time outside, in the lab, and at their desk.
  • As a smaller discipline of study, faculty and advisors can give one on one attention to each and every student.
  • Employment opportunities are spread evenly across the U.S., both in rural and urban areas, with the highest concentration in large metro areas like Indianapolis.
  • Students can easily advance to the graduate level and earn a Masters or PhD degree.

The faculty research in our department speaks of the diversity. Several faculty are researching climate change and global warming, which has involved trips on ocean research ships and Antarctica. Other faculty are researching water quality issues and behavior in Central Indiana, while another faculty member researches the geologic history of mountain building in southern California. Some faculty do their research entirely in the laboratory or by computer, but most require some field work to collect samples that are then processed in our laboratories.

What's the difference between Geology & Environmental Science?

What kind of jobs are available?

The job market provides a good balance between the number of earth science graduates and the number of job openings in earth science, and many graduates have the exciting possibility of continuing on in graduate school to earn a Masters degree or Ph.D. Across the U.S. most earth science graduates who perform well as undergraduates can attend any one of hundreds of graduate programs across the US that typically offer tuition waivers and a stipend of $12-$18K.

The common perception of a geologist is someone who hunts for oil or gold. While petroleum and mining geologists are the highest paid and most recognized field within geology, they are outweighed by the many geologists and environmental scientists employed in business, industry, and education across the U.S. Mean salaries are $45,000 to $60,000 depending on the employer, the type of specialization, and whether you have a Masters degree--an environmental consultant may pay a starting salary of $35,000 while a petroleum exploration company may pay starting at $60,000. Many earth scientists work in county, state, and federal government to conduct research in earth sciences or to implement and manage environmental regulations and public policy.

Learn more about career possibilities and employers of IUPUI Earth Sciences grads.

Degree requirements

The BSMS curriculum includes the core undergraduate courses that are currently required for the BS in Geology, and all the graduate courses that are currently required for the MS in Geology.

  • The total credit hours for this integrated degree program will be 138 credit hours for a thesis MS, and 147 credit hours for a non-thesis MS.
  • Research reading and data collection begins in the summer prior to the senior year of undergraduate study, and will be completed in the following summer.
  • The fifth year of study is devoted to graduate course work and completion of the M.S. thesis.

The link below includes a degree checksheet and a sample degree map illustrating a semester-by-semester plan of study. A separate degree map is included for a thesis MS and a non-thesis MS, with overlapping course credit indicated.

Undergraduate students admitted to the program will be assigned a three person provisional advisory committee at the completion of the third year or 90 credits of undergraduate work.

  • The provisional committee will prescribe an academic program of study for the MS program and assist the student in developing a research plan, in consultation with the principal research advisor.
  • A B (3.0 GPA) average must be maintained in the fourth year of study to continue in the BSMS program.

At the beginning of the student's fourth year or 90 credits of undergraduate work, the student will submit an official graduate school application, statement of interests and career plans, official GRE scores, and letters of recommendation to the graduate committee of the Department of Earth Sciences.

  • Following admission, all rules and regulations of the Indiana University MS program in Geology at IUPUI will be applicable to completion of the student's research thesis and program of study. 
  • Interested students should meet wth the undergraduate academic advisor to discuss their intent to complete the BSMS degree, and to complete an internal application to the degree program.

Admission requirements

Prospective students should have completed three years of an undergraduate degree program in geology, with a minimum B (3.0 GPA) average. Interested students should meet wth the undergraduate academic advisor to discuss their intent to complete the BSMS degree, and to complete an internal application to the degree program.

Undergrad brings learning to life

Kira Wiseman Environmental Science, Undergraduate