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The Master of Science in Geosciences

Course Requirements for the Master's Degree: 30 units

Continuous enrollment is required. A maximum of 9 semester units of transfer and/or CSU Chico Open University coursework may be applied toward the degree.

Graduate Time Limit:

All requirements for the degree are to be completed within five years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree. See Master's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

The MS degree in Geosciences is available for advanced study in any aspect of Geosciences including geology and hydrology. Prospective students should discuss their interests and goals with the department Graduate Coordinator.

Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:

1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Admission Requirements in the University Catalog.

2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Studies.

3. An acceptable baccalaureate in one of the natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics from an accredited institution, or an equivalent approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. The prospective student must have sufficient background to undertake a graduate program in the Geosciences. (The Option in Hydrology/Hydrogeology requires a year of college chemistry, mathematics, and physics.)

4. A one-page "Statement of Purpose".

Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test with a minimum combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative portions.

2. Formation of a graduate advisory committee.

3. Development of an approved program in consultation with the graduate advisory committee.

Advancement to Candidacy:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

Students must have classified graduate standing and must have completed at least 9 units of the proposed program at the University.

Requirements for the MS in Geosciences:

Completion of all requirements as established by the graduate advisory committee, and the Office of Graduate Studies, to include:

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 30 units of 400/500/600-level courses as follows:

(a) At least 18 units in geosciences, which must include GEOS 600, GEOS 601, GEOS 630, GEOS 640, and GEOS 699T. The Option in Hydrology/Hydrogeology also requires GEOS 621 and GEOS 660.

(b) Graduate courses from geosciences or other areas (e.g., mathematics, engineering, chemistry, or biological sciences) may be selected to constitute the remaining 12 units, with the approval of the graduate advisory committee and the Graduate Coordinator. Substitutions for required courses must be taken at Chico and must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator.

(c) At least 18 of the units required for the degree in 600-level courses.

(d) Not more than 9 semester units of transfer and/or extension credit (correspondence courses and U.C. extension course work are not acceptable).

(e) Not more than 15 units taken before admission to classified status.

(f) At least 9 units completed after advancement to candidacy.

(g) Not more than 10 units of Independent Study (697) and Master's Thesis (699T); not more than 6 units of Master's Thesis (699T).

2. Completion and final approval of a thesis as specified by the student's graduate advisory committee.

3. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive final examination (written and/or oral) in the field of study.

4. Approval by the graduate advisory committee and the Graduate Council on behalf of the faculty of the University.

Course Requirements for the MS in Geosciences

11 units required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Presentation and discussion of reports on current literature and special studies in geosciences. 1 hour seminar. (004177)
Presentation and discussion of reports on current literature and special studies in geosciences. 1 hour seminar. (004178)
You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. Discussions and library research into selected topics; may include some lab or field work. Different topics presented each semester. May be repeated for credit, with permission of instructor. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 9.0 units. (004180)
Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
Geological and geophysical characteristics of the geomorphic provinces of California. Formation of surficial features, such as mountain ranges, drainage networks, and valleys as a response to active tectonic processes. Detailed geologic and physiographic framework of Northern California as a setting for field-based studies in the geosciences. 3 hours lecture. (004185)
Prerequisites: CHEM 111, CHEM 112. Recommended: GEOS 565.
Origins and sources of chemical constituents of natural waters, including water-rock interactions, equilibrium aqueous speciation, reaction-path modeling, oxidation-reduction reactions, mineral solubility relations, geochemical transport, reaction kinetics, and aqueous isotopic systems. 3 hours seminar. (004186)

2-3 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Survey of environmental monitoring for air quality, water quality, pollution, waste disposal, environmental resources, etc., including field and laboratory observations and exercises. An individual term project in environmental monitoring is required and may involve collection of field data, interpretation of field data, development of analytical capabilities, or other subjects pertinent to the student's research interests. 1 hour discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (004187)
Prerequisites: MATH 120.
Survey and implementation of common numerical techniques in use in geoscientific data analysis, including multivariate data analysis, geostatistics, finite difference and finite element analyses, time-series analysis, and fractal geometry. 3 hours lecture. (004188)

1-6 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course is a master's thesis offered for 1.0-6.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 3 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (004194)

At least 1 unit of Master's Thesis is required.

10-16 units selected from:

Select 10-16 units of courses approved by the graduate advisory committee.

The Option in Hydrology/Hydrogeology

11 units required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Presentation and discussion of reports on current literature and special studies in geosciences. 1 hour seminar. (004177)
Presentation and discussion of reports on current literature and special studies in geosciences. 1 hour seminar. (004178)
You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. Discussions and library research into selected topics; may include some lab work. Different topics presented each semester. May be repeated for credit, with permission of instructor. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 9.0 units. (004182)
Prerequisites: CHEM 111, CHEM 112. Recommended: GEOS 565.
Origins and sources of chemical constituents of natural waters, including water-rock interactions, equilibrium aqueous speciation, reaction-path modeling, oxidation-reduction reactions, mineral solubility relations, geochemical transport, reaction kinetics, and aqueous isotopic systems. 3 hours seminar. (004186)
Prerequisites: MATH 120.
Survey and implementation of common numerical techniques in use in geoscientific data analysis, including multivariate data analysis, geostatistics, finite difference and finite element analyses, time-series analysis, and fractal geometry. 3 hours lecture. (004188)

2-3 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
Geological and geophysical characteristics of the geomorphic provinces of California. Formation of surficial features, such as mountain ranges, drainage networks, and valleys as a response to active tectonic processes. Detailed geologic and physiographic framework of Northern California as a setting for field-based studies in the geosciences. 3 hours lecture. (004185)
Survey of environmental monitoring for air quality, water quality, pollution, waste disposal, environmental resources, etc., including field and laboratory observations and exercises. An individual term project in environmental monitoring is required and may involve collection of field data, interpretation of field data, development of analytical capabilities, or other subjects pertinent to the student's research interests. 1 hour discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (004187)

1-6 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course is a master's thesis offered for 1.0-6.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 3 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (004194)

At least 1 unit of Master's Thesis is required.

10-16 units selected from:

Select from courses approved by the graduate advisory committee.

Graduate Requirement in Writing Proficiency:

Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.

Geosciences students will normally demonstrate their writing proficiency through successful completion of GEOS 600 and GEOS 601, Geosciences Seminar, or approved substitute.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study - 697, Comprehensive Examination - 696, Master's Project - 699P, and Master's Thesis - 699T) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (400/500-level courses), AB/No Credit (600-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only. A maximum of 10 units combined of ABC/No Credit, AB/No Credit, and Credit/No Credit grades may be used on the approved program (including 697, 696, 699P, 699T and courses outside the major). While grading standards are determined by individual programs and instructors, it is also the policy of the University that unsatisfactory grades may be given when work fails to reflect achievement of the high standards, including high writing standards, expected of students pursuing graduate study.

Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average in each of the following three categories: all course work taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master's program; all course work taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses on the approved master's degree program.

Graduate Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for new and readmitted students in the master's program in Geosciences. Consult the Graduate Coordinator for specifics.

Catalog Cycle:12