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Graduate Study

USF Professional Science Master's Degree in Geology

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The USF Professional Science Master's Degree in Geology is a non-thesis M.S. degree option that culminates with internship experience with local companies or agencies in the environmental field. This program is appropriate for professionals already working for geoscience companies in the region, and for students interested in pursuing careers in environmental/water science fields. The program requires 27 hours of structured coursework, including a course titled Introduction to Professional Geology, and a 3-credit internship project.

Internship projects can focus on professional geology assignments in coastal management, environmental geophysics, environmental geochemistry or hydrogeology. The internship project is typically supervised by a Professional Geologist (PG) and must receive prior approval by the internship coordinator. The curriculum requires a comprehensive exit exam based on coursework and the internship project. Before completing an exit exam, the student must submit an Internship Project Report approved by the supervising PG. The Environmental Geoscience internship committee determines the format of the exam. Normally, the exam format is an oral examination following the student’s presentation of the results of the internship project to their committee.

Internship students are expected to present the results of their projects at an evening public meeting hosted by the Geology Alumni Society at the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) Tampa office.

For more information about the USF Professional Science Master's Degree in Geology contact our Program Specialist Jessica Wilson at (813) 974-8188, or by email


A minimum of 30 credit hours is required. All courses are for 3 graduate credit hours unless otherwise noted.

Recommended Core Courses: 12 hours
GLY 5932 Physical Principles of Groundwater Flow (online)
GLY 6836 Numerical Modeling of Hydrogeologic Systems (online)
GLY 6355 Water Resources Applications of GIS

Take one of the following two (the other may be approved on a case-by-case basis):
GLY 6246 General Geochemistry
GLY 6828 Ecohydrology (online)

Additional required courses:
GLY 6492 Professional Internship Research Project
GLY 6739: Introduction to Professional Geology

Suggested Tracks with Recommended Courses

GLY 5932 Physical Principals of Groundwater Flow
GLY 6828 Groundwater Geochemistry

Environmental Geochemistry:
GLY 6255 Tracer Geochemistry
GLY 6828 Groundwater Geochemistry

Environmental Geophysics:
GLY 6475 C Principles of Applied Geophysics (4 credits)
and / or GLY 6739 Topics in Environmental Geophysics
and / or GLY 6739 Waves or GLY 6739 Potential Fields

Coastal Geosciences:
GLY 6575C: Coastal Sedimentation
One additional 6000 level course in Marine or Sedimentary Processes

Recommended Electives
GIS 5049: GIS for Non-Majors
GIS 6100: Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Civil Engineering:
CWR 6305: Urban Hydrology
CWR 6533: Water Quality Modeling
CWR 6535: Hydrologic Models

Courses already counted toward a BS degree cannot be counted again for the MS degree.


Degree Requirements

  • Complete at least 27 hours of structured coursework including the course, GLY 6739: Introduction to Professional Geology
  • Complete, publicly present, and defend an approved Internship Research Project (3 credits) under the supervision of a Licensed Professional Geologist (or other approved mentor)
  • Successfully pass a Comprehensive Examination administrated by the internship MS faculty Committee (to be constituted by the Internship Program Coordinator from among the participating program faculty)

Department policy: A student’s final roster of courses must show a B (3.0) average and include no courses with a grade lower than C. A student will be placed on probation if his/her GPA drops below a 3.0 and will be dropped from the program if another C, or lower, grade is received during this probation period.


Recommended Path to Degree

Duration: 2 years, this includes an intensive first year of course work

Year 1:  18-24 credit hours, 9-12 hrs/semester
Complete coursework in geosciences and allied disciplines
Participate in MS cohort activities
Interview for internship positions
Internship placement begins (3-6 hrs coursework)

Year 2:  6-9 credit hours
Complete coursework
GLY 6492: Professional Internship Research Project


Admission Requirements

  • a 3.0 GPA or better (or its equivalent)
  • previous courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry
  • a GRE score of 1000 (verbal plus quatitative) is recommended

For students who do not meet the above criteria, a conditional admission will be recommended. The admission conditions will be individually designated based on individual deficiencies.

Admission to the program is open for both the Spring and Fall semesters