Skip over navigation

Course Requirements

Graduate Studies Brochure

Course work requirements are flexible and depend on the track chosen. An important part of graduate education arises from independent research and from informal discussions with faculty and fellow students.  Course work in other departments that strengthens backgrounds in mathematics, physics, chemistry or engineering sciences is strongly encouraged.  You are expected to have completed 8 courses by the end of the semester in which you take the General Exam.

The multidisciplinary nature of our graduate program is reflected in the degree requirements.  Graduate students may choose among tracks with different course requirements, needed to establish sufficient academic progress by the time of the General Exam: 

Solid Earth Geoscience 

Environmental Geoscience and Geochemistry

Atmosphere and Ocean Sciences (AOS)

and there is also a cross-division option. 

Each of these tracks supports the multidisciplinary approach in different ways.  Whereas the AOS program emphasizes formal training in the first two-years for both the oceanic and the meteorologic component, the other tracks will confront you early on with the realities of research in a modern geoscience environment; they have therefore fewer formal course requirements.

A "B average" will in general be considered sufficient progress. For advanced students (e.g. those coming in with a MSc or a degree from a foreign university), courses may be waived if similar courses have been completed elsewhere.  Waivers should be proposed by the student's advisory committee for approval by the graduate work committee.  Reading courses may be designed to satisfy specific needs not covered by regular courses.