COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

The MS degree in geological sciences requires 24 units of course work plus at least four thesis units. These restrictions apply: at least 16 units must be 500 level or higher; no more than eight units can be 590 Directed Research; and a maximum of four units, with superior grades, can be transferred from an accredited graduate school. Students are required to have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) in all graduate work. Students are also required to attend a series of departmental seminars.


Students should arrange for the appointment of a thesis adviser and committee after the first semester, or, at the latest, after the first year of graduate work. The thesis committee should consist of the adviser plus two other faculty members, all of whom are generally selected from the department faculty. Once the committee is arranged, the student may make formal application to the Graduate School for the MS degree.

Which department am I in?

USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (24 units of course work plus at least four thesis units)

Tuition fees
US$57,256.00 per year
Start date

Expected January, August 2022


University of Southern California

University Park Campus,



90089, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have a Bachelor degree earned at an institution recognized by the Ministry of Education.

For international students

Applicants must have earned the equivalent of a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree with a competitive GPA.

Applicants to master's programs who have attained an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90, with no less than 20 on each sub-score; or an IELTS score of 6.5, with no less than 6 on each band score.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.