Geological Sciences


Cormier, Robbins, Thorson

Associate Professor

Bush, Byrne, Crespi, Liu

Assistant Professors

Dupraz, Ouimet, Hren

Programs leading to M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in the Geological Sciences are offered.

Programs are designed to provide each student with a broad background in the physical sciences and with the specialization necessary for careers in geology, geophysics, and environmental geoscience.

Research opportunities are available in most of the traditional subdisciplines, including hydrogeology, geochemistry, marine geology, sedimentation, exploration geophysics, geomorphology, glacial geology, structural geology, mineralogy, petrology, geobiology, biogeochemistry, seismology, paleontology, and others.

Graduate research is often supported by the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, and other government agencies. Students also benefit from program collaborations with the Center for Environmental Science and Engineeering (CESE), the Electron Microscopy Center, the Institute of Water Resources, Marine Sciences Institute, Institute of Materials Science, the Center for Environmental Health, and the Transportation Research Institute, among others. Scientists from outside the University frequently serve on graduate student advisory committees. Most graduate students in residence receive financial support. As Graduate Assistants, they either help support the teaching mission or assist with faculty research that is supported by external funds.

In addition to applicants with a bachelor’s degree in geoscience, applicants with undergraduate degrees in related disciplines are encouraged to apply, provided that they have a broad undergraduate background in the physical and life sciences or engineering. Students with degrees in the agricultural sciences, environmental management, and science education also are encouraged to apply. Students with an undergraduate degree in mathematics may wish to apply for admission to pursue study in geophysics.

Students working toward an M.S. degree have the option of following either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis). Together with their graduate advisory committee, each student develops an individualized plan of study that is tailored to meet their needs and objectives. Students pursuing the Plan B option may do so either full-time or part-time.

Special Facilities

Equipment and facilities available for graduate student research include: fully automated electron microprobe, automated X-ray fluorescence equipment, optical emission and infrared absorption spectrographic instruments, gas chromatograph, single crystal and powder X-ray diffraction equipment, high pressure-high temperature experimental petrology laboratory, sedimentation laboratory, power auger, water-level monitoring gauges, field gas chromatograph, field flame ionization and photoionization detectors, full range of equipment for field water quality sample collection and analysis; geophysical equipment including a three component broadband digital seismograph, magnetometer, gravimeter, refraction seismograph, electrical resistivity unit, terrain conductivity meter, global positioning system, electronic total station, and extensive computing facilities including SUN workstations. The facilities of the Marine Sciences Institute (research vessels, ultra clean analytical chemistry laboratory), the Institute of Materials Science (transmission electron microscope, automated single-crystal x-ray diffractometer), the Center for Environmental Science and Engineering (Analytical Chemistry Laboratory), and the Computer Applications and Research Center also are available to graduate student research.

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