Geological Sciences

The Wave, rock formation in Coyote Buttes North Arizona USA
Master of Science

About the Program

When you pursue your Master of Science in Geological Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, you’ll develop a lens for understanding the past so you can better understand our present environment and serve as a guide for the future.

Our flexible yet research-intensive program offers broad opportunities to assist on interdisciplinary faculty projects where you’ll become equipped with the knowledge you need to aid in resource conservation, land-use planning, environmental geochemistry, hydrology, engineering construction works and other environmental concerns. No matter what area you decide to focus on, you’ll find that the geological sciences are integrative—utilizing and incorporating aspects of biology, chemistry, physics and even the social sciences.

What to Expect

A minimum of 30 credit hours at the 300-level or higher are required for this master's degree, of which at least one year must be in full-time residence at Case Western Reserve. Our areas of study include:

  • aquatic systems
  • aquatic and groundwater chemistry
  • environmental geochemistry
  • benthic ecology
  • biostratigraphy and paleontology
  • environmental and urban geology
  • geomorphology and more.

Upon admission, you’ll be assigned an advisor based on your background and interests and will be expected to attend regular seminars on topics related to the earth, environmental and planetary sciences.

Research within our department is primarily supported by funding from federal sources, including the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, and the United States Geological Survey. We also receive funding from state sources including the Ohio Coal Research Consortium.

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Beyond the Classroom

At Case Western Reserve, we’re not just well-known for our collaborative and interdisciplinary research—we’re also known for our high level of student involvement. Many of our students have won awards for their research assistantships, which cover a wide variety of topics that span from the depths of the earth’s core to the far reaches of the solar system. And, many of them have published their results in high-profile international journals.

By the Numbers


current graduate students


hours in coursework

Admission Requirements

Your coursework background will be evaluated at the time of admission; if you have some deficiencies in your academic preparation, admission may be contingent upon completion of background courses.

When reviewing your profile for admission consideration, we require the following:

  • Completed online application
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Resume/CV
  • Non-refundable $50 application fee
  • TOEFL Scores (if applicable)

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