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Prospective Students

Students USF has an active and competitive graduate program in Volcanology. We offer Doctoral (PhD) and Master's (MS) degrees in Geology or Geography with a concentration in volcanology. At the doctoral level, our graduates usually go on to postdoctoral fellowships and eventually faculty positions. We have also had doctoral students graduate to work with government organizations (GNS New Zealand, INETER, Nicaragua) and corporations (Exxon). Our M.S. students have most often gone on to doctoral graduate programs or to work in industry (often as geophysicists).

Graduate student projects are quite varied and involve field work on volcanoes (recent projects at Concepcion, Masaya, Telica, and Cerro Negro volcanoes, Nicaragua, Puluahaua volcano, Ecuador, San Rafael volcanic field, UT, Rattlesnake crater, AZ). Most projects involve a component of geophysics (seismology, geodesy, gravity, magnetics), geocomputational methods for modeling data and hazard assessment, and more. We are anxious for graduate students to find the project best for them within the framework of diverse activites going on in the volcano group. We are also anxious for graduate students to acquire expertise that makes them marketable upon graduation, including in geophysics and computational methods in the geosciences.


Admission to our program is competitive. You will apply to Geology or Geography degree programs within the School of Geosciences. Maximize your chances of admission by keeping your GPA high, especially in the last 60 hours, practice for the GRE, especially the quantitative section, write a personal statement that explains your academic interests and goals in volcanology clearly. Be sure to engage in research at your current institution and get letters of reference from Faculty who know about your research. Most students are admitted to begin in Fall term (August start date). The Fall admissions process is usually completed by February.

Students To become a USF volcanology graduate student, we recommend you take the following steps:

  1. Contact the Faculty who are associated with your area of interest
  2. Review the entrance requirements carefully:
  3. Complete a USF Admissions Application
  4. Complete the specific Geology Program admission/application procedures.

Consider visiting USF and the volcano group to talk to current graduate students and faculty about your interests and the program.

If you have questions at any point during the process of applying to Graduate School in Geosciences at USF,
please e-mail the Academic Services Administrator: Mandy K. Stuck or the Geology Graduate Program Director: Dr. Bogdan Onac or the School of Geosciences Chairman: Dr. Mark Rains.