This is a shared program between the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences and the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science.
The program addresses the growing demand for trained professionals in the Earth sciences. The degree emphasizes a research-oriented, global systems approach to studying the Earth and its systems- the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the lithosphere, including their interrelationships and interactions with the biosphere. Emphasis is on the observation, measurement, and analysis of Earth's systems.
Most student research projects and theses will relate to geologic and geographic topics, however studies of related topics in Earth science are welcome. Students completing the program are qualified to pursue careers that require knowledge of the basics of Earth systems science and the requisite tools, specifically pertaining to the area of Earth science that they choose to investigate. Students are encouraged to undertake a master's thesis but may choose a research project. In the latter case, students must pass a comprehensive exam.
University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Graduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.
To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.
Applicants should have earned a BS degree in atmospheric, Earth, environmental, geological, geographical, ocean, or physical science. Previous coursework should include two semesters each of calculus, chemistry, and physics, and one semester of statistics. Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in their undergraduate degree.
Official transcripts from each college and graduate institution attended, a current résumé, and a goals statement are required. Applicants also need three letters of recommendation and an official report of scores obtained on the GRE-GEN. The GRE requirement for admission may be waived if the student holds a master's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. TOEFL scores are required of all international applicants.
For policies governing all graduate programs, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.
Total credits: 30
Students should refer to the Admissions & Policies tab for specific policies related to this program.
Candidates must complete 10 credits of GGS courses and 10 credits of GEOL/CLIM courses towards their requirements. ("Culminating Experience" credits do not count towards this requirement).
Earth Science Core
|Select one course from each of the following groups:||9|
|Introduction to Physical Climate System|
|Introduction to Atmosphere and Weather|
|Atmospheric Physics I|
|Physical and Dynamical Oceanography|
or GEOL 601
|Select two courses from the following:||6|
|Geographic Information Systems|
|Earth Image Processing|
|Earth Science Data and Advanced Data Analysis|
Courses can be substituted with advisor approval
|GGS 900||Geography and Geoinformation Science Colloquium||1|
|Select one from the following:||1|
|Seminar in Earth Systems Science, Geology, Earth Science|
|Climate Dynamics Seminar|
|Select 10 credits of courses at the 500 to 900-level (excluding 700, 798, and 799 courses)||10|
Choose the culminating experience of either a thesis or a project (either must total 3 credits):
|Select 3 credits from the following:||3|
|Master's Thesis in Earth Systems Science|
|Master's Thesis in Climate|
|Select one from the following:||1|
|Climate Comprehensive Exam|
|Select one from the following:||2|
|Research Project in Earth Systems Science|
|Master's Research Project in Earth Systems Science|
|Master's Climate Research Project|