McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences

Master's Degrees

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Geology is an interdisciplinary science that emphasizes the study of major Earth systems and how they are connected.  The Department of Geology has strong research groups in paleontology (paleontology and evolutionary paleoecology; our program is ranked 6th in the nation), Quaternary geology and geomorphology (glacial geology, Quaternary geochronology, fluvial and slope processes, desert geomorphology, and tectonic geomorphology), sedimentology and stratigraphy (sequence stratigraphy, geology of shales, and geochemical records of Earth history), tectonics (mountain building and volcanism), environmental geology (groundwater studies and landslide and seismic hazard mitigation), and biogeochemistry and global change (carbon cycling, isotope geochemistry, and impacts of climate change). 

The goal of the Department of Geology is to produce well-rounded graduate students who not only take part in advanced research, but also gain extensive field, laboratory, and teaching experience. The department and the University of Cincinnati provide financial support on an academic year and summer basis for most graduate students in the form of Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, tuition scholarships, endowed fellowships, and external grants to aid students in achieving their goals.


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Optional teaching experience, Research


2 years


Main Campus


McMicken College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati
500 Geology Physics Building
Cincinnati,OH  45221-0013
Krista Smilek
Phone: 513-556-7169

Career Possibilities

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

Graduate students have the opportunity to gain extensive laboratory experience. The department has research equipment for X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, cosmogenic nuclide and optically stimulated luminescence dating, advanced image analysis, infrared-spectroscopy, gas chromatography, greenhouse gas analysis, and elemental analysis. Available in collaborating departments are instruments for environmental scanning electron microscopy and atomic absorption spectrophotometry.

Research in the department is also largely field-based and funding is available to support field work. Many research projects require national and international travel to locations such as the Himalayas, South America, Bahamas, Iceland, Alaska, and California, as well as here in Cincinnati.


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Admission Requirements

An application must include:

  • Online application for admission.
  • Official GRE scores (UC's ETS code is 1833)
  • Official TOEFL scores (for international students whose native language is not English; UC's ETS code is 1833)
  • 3 letters of recommendation.  Recommenders are notified once the online application is submitted.  Recommenders upload letters directly to the online application.
  • Unofficial transcripts from major universities attended.  Unofficial transcripts are to be downloaded to the online application.  Official transcripts are necessary only if accepted into the program. 

Application Deadlines

To apply to the Geology Masters program, please visit the Graduate School Admissions website.  The application deadline to receive University and Departmental funding is January 15.  Unofficial transcripts, GRE and TOEFL scores, and letters of recommendation need to be received by the application deadline or very soon after.  Failure to submit application materials in a timely manner can result in the application not being considered during the first round of applicant review. 

If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact Krista Smilek, the Academic Director at or 513-556-7169.


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.