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: For students wanting to develop further expertise in a specific discipline in the geosciences, where a MS thesis is needed to further a career in industry, government, or non-profit organizations. We strongly recommend that students identify and contact a potential faculty research advisor before applying to this program.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Geosciences: For students planning to pursue a career in high-level and cutting-edge research in industry and academia. We strongly recommend that students identify and contact a potential faculty research advisor before applying to this program.
  • Graduate Certificate in Hydrogeology: For students wanting to further their careers in hydrogeology. This program emphasizes learning how to collect environmental field data, water and sediment sampling techniques, the principles and 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: For students seeking a comprehensive understanding of the available geophysical and remote sensing sensors mounted on UAVs, and training on their applications in addressing geological and environmental problems.

Admission requirements

Please note that the department has suspended the GRE requirement for admission to our MS and PhD programs for students applying for entry in the Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022 semesters. Students applying for program admission for these terms are not required to submit GRE scores.

The GRE will no longer be required for graduate program admission for entry in the Fall 2022 semester onward. Prospective MS Geosciences and PhD Geosciences students are strongly encouraged to identify and contact a potential faculty research advisor, who may request optional GRE scores.

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, it is highly recommended that applicants submit completed applications no later than six weeks before the semester for which they are applying. This allows sufficient time for your required documents to be mailed, 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. All of this must happen ahead of semester deadlines. As such, applications submitted without sufficient time will be considered for the following semester.

IMPORTANT: The department has rolling admissions. However, if you are applying for the M.S. in geosciences or the Ph.D. in geosciences and wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship, you must complete your application no later than Feb. 15. For more information about teaching assistantships, how to apply or access the application form, please visit our teaching assistantships page.

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