Geological Sciences (PHD, MS)

Program Overview

The graduate program in the Department of Geological Sciences offers Master of Science (MS) and Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) degree programs in geological sciences. Students are trained to conduct research that leads to publishable work, advancing knowledge in one of the following subdisciplines: environmental geosciences, sedimentology and surficial processes, and geochemistry and petrology. As research activities are often diverse and interdisciplinary, students are encouraged to tailor their study to their individual interests with the help of faculty members.

The small size of the department allows students to develop strong relationships with the faculty, and the curriculum is heavily research-based, reflecting industry standards. The program also emphasizes Earth surfaces processes and sedimentology, which is unique in the SUNY system. Funding is available to both MS and PhD students in the form of scholarships and stipends through teaching and research assistantships.

The program also regularly hosts field excursions and seminars held by noted geologists. Recent field trips include Florida, Wyoming, Canada, Chile, East Africa and Mexico.

Degrees Offered

  • PHD in Geological Sciences
  • MS in Geological Sciences

Internships, research opportunities and more

The program aims to not only train students to conduct innovative research, but also to encourage students to claim ownership of their research and submit theses or dissertations as publication-ready manuscripts. The department boasts state-of-the-art laboratory facilities as well as specialized research and analytical equipment to aid students in their academic endeavors. Equipment includes a fluid-inclusion analysis lab, electron microprobe, X-ray diffractometer, recirculating flume, high pressure equipment and 24-channel shallow seismic reflection instruments.

The department is committed to developing interdisciplinary, professional collaborations with research centers such as the University’s Center for Integrated Watershed Studies and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Throughout their course of study, graduate students will establish a solid foundation of research and analytical knowledge, as well as develop a marketable skillset that allows them to move directly into careers in industry after graduation.

After You Graduate

While some remain in academia as researchers or faculty, most program alumni find work in industry as geologists in federal programs such as NASA, the Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Geological Survey. Students have also received positions in private energy, environment and mining companies such as Conoco-Phillips and SECOR International. Graduates work in locations all over the globe, including England, Pakistan, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
  • Personal statement of 2 to 3 pages describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to the graduate admissions committee
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic/Duolingo* scores)
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency for applications to the fall 2020 semester.

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend that you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.

Class Profile

Total Enrollment: 27
International / Non-Citizen Enrollment: 33%


GPA: 3.53


GPA: 3.47

*Score(s) represent the AVERAGE for the most recently admitted class. Scoring lower will not result in automatic rejection of your application, and scoring higher does not guarantee acceptance.


Degree Fall Spring
PHD in Geological SciencesJanuary 30September 15
MS in Geological SciencesJanuary 30September 15

Accelerated/4+1 Degrees

You may also be interested in our accelerated/4+1 degree programs which allow students to complete their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just 5 years: