Geological Sciences (PhD)

Academic Programs / Graduate Degrees / Geological Sciences (PhD)

Rocks, geology, minerals, organic

Program Description
Degree Awarded: PHD  Geological Sciences

The PhD program in geological sciences is designed to develop creative scholarship and to prepare students for professional careers in geological science fields such as geochemistry, geology, geophysics, planetary geology and related areas.

At a Glance
Degree Requirements

84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Students may be admitted into the program with a bachelor's degree or master's degree in a related field. Up to 30 credit hours of master's degree-level work in a related field can be accepted toward the fulfillment of the doctoral requirements.

The plan of study for the doctorate program is selected with the recommendation of the student's supervisory committee. Each plan of study must include 12 credit hours of dissertation and 25 hours of course work. All students in the School of Earth and Space Exploration are also required to take two seminars:

GLG 500 SESE Colloquium (1)
GLG 591 Faculty Research Seminar (1)

ASU Graduate Education policies and procedures must also be met for admission into the program and for fulfilling the degree requirements.

Comprehensive Examination: Doctoral candidacy is earned on the basis of a written component and an oral component. The written examination is in the form of two written research projects. The oral exam consists of an oral defense of the two projects.

Dissertation Requirements: A dissertation is required that is based on original work demonstrating creativity in research and scholarly proficiency in the subject area.

Final Examination: A final oral examination in defense of the dissertation is required.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must submit:

  1. online graduate admission application
  2. scores on the GRE
  3. statement of purpose
  4. three letters of recommendation

Please see the program website for application deadlines.

An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Division of Graduate Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Contact Information

What are Accelerated Degrees?
The accelerated bachelor's and master's degrees are designed by the academic programs to provide selected high-achieving undergraduate students with the opportunity to combine advanced undergraduate course work with graduate course work to accelerate graduate degree completion. These programs allow accelerated students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree within five years. Accelerated programs are not offered at Lake Havasu.
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Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

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ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See for more information.
What is WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education)?
WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education) allows master’s, graduate certificate, and doctoral students who are residents of western states to enroll in high-quality programs at participating institutions outside of their home state and pay resident tuition. See more information and eligibility requirements by visiting