Graduate Programs

Graduate programs in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Western Michigan University are designed for students with bachelor's degrees seeking to further their expertise in the field.

  • Master of Science in Geosciences: This program combines coursework and a MS thesis for students wanting to develop further expertise in a specific discipline in the geosciences, where an advanced thesis-based degree is needed to further a career in industry, government, or non-profit organizations. Prospective students must identify a potential faculty research advisor before applying to this program.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Geosciences: A research-based degree for students planning to pursue an academic faculty career or a research-focused career in government or industry. Prospective students must identify a potential faculty research advisor before applying to this program.
  • Graduate Certificate in Hydrogeology: A coursework-based program for students wanting to further their careers in hydrogeology, emphasizing the collection of environmental field data, water and sediment sampling techniques, practices of near-surface geophysics, drilling and water well installation methods, environmental assessment and hydrogeologic measurement techniques, field geochemistry, scientific writing, data presentation, data analysis and problem-solving skills.
  • Graduate Certificate in UAVs Applications: A coursework-based program for students seeking training on the applications of drone (UAV - unoccupied aerial vehicle) based geophysical and remote sensing techniques for addressing geological and environmental problems.

Admission requirements

The GRE is not required for graduate program admission. Prospective MS Geosciences and PhD Geosciences students are strongly encouraged to contact a potential faculty research advisor, who may request to view GRE scores. Prospective students must identify a potential advisor before applying to these programs.

The department does not have the ability to waive application fees.  

Note: Applicants are encouraged to bookmark the appropriate page of information for quick reference while working through the graduate application process.

Application deadlines

The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences has rolling admissions. As such, students may submit a graduate application at any time. However, applicants must submit completed materials a minimum of six weeks before the semester in which they intend to start their program of study. This allows sufficient time for the required documents to be received, processed and uploaded to your application; for the committee to review your application and reach an admission decision; for the department and university to process the decision; for you to consult with your graduate advisor and, finally, enroll in courses. Applications submitted without sufficient processing time will be considered for the following semester.

IMPORTANT: Students applying for the M.S. in geosciences or the Ph.D. in geosciences who wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship, must complete an application no later than Feb. 15. For more information about teaching assistantships, how to apply or to access the application form, please visit our teaching assistantships page.

What's next?