The Master of Science degree in Geoscience is designed to prepare students for a broad range of challenging careers in government service, private consulting, and industry. This thesis-based degree program also serves as a stepping-stone for those students who wish to pursue further graduate studies at the Doctoral level. Working closely with their advisor, students focus on original research in one of several areas of specialization, including: petrology, volcanology, economic geology, structural geology, sedimentary geology, geochemistry, hydrology, soil science, climate change, petroleum geology, and paleontology. Students are expected to develop original research suitable for submission to a refereed scientific journal. Students are expected to have strong content knowledge in their area of emphasis, which is tested during the culminating defense of their thesis research.


For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation for scientific inquiry/scientific method.
  • Demonstrate the ability to define a research problem by identifying questions and formulating tests of hypotheses.
  • Demonstrate the ability to search existing scientific literature for work relevant to a specific problem.
  • Demonstrate the ability to execute problem-specific skills at an advanced level.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design and carry out a substantial independent research project through to completion.
  • Demonstrate the ability to successfully present the results of a scientific inquiry in both oral and written formats.

Career Possibilities


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Master of Science - Geoscience


Department of Geoscience

Geoscience is an all-encompassing term used to refer to the earth sciences. The Department of Geosciences offers programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels where students can learn about topics such as earth processes; the origin and evolution of our planet; the chemical and physical properties of minerals, rocks, and fluids; the structure of our mobile crust; the history of life; and the human adaptation to earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and floods.


College of Sciences

The School of Life Sciences offers programs that meet the needs of students intending to enter the workforce or pursue advanced training in the sciences, medicine, and other professional and technical fields. We provide a well-rounded foundation in natural, physical, and mathematical sciences that can set students up for successful careers and professional programs.