The Geological Sciences program is a research-oriented department that offers individually designed graduate programs. As such, the department does not have a formal program of rigidly defined courses leading to the MS or PhD in geological sciences but offers the following areas of concentration:

  • Cosmochemistry & Planetary Geology
  • Earth Science Education
  • Economic & Energy Resources
  • Geobiology & Astrobiology
  • Geochemistry
  • Geochronology, Thermochronology, Geologic Time
  • Geodynamics, Geophysics, Remote Sensing
  • Geomorphology & Cryosphere
  • Global Change
  • Hydrology & Hydrogeology
  • Natural Hazards
  • Paleoclimate & Paleoceanography
  • Paleontology & Paleobiology
  • Petrology & Mineralogy
  • Sedimentology & Stratigraphy
  • Structure & Tectonics

Research is global in scope with faculty working on every continent and many ocean basins on Earth. Our department also capitalizes on the proximity of the campus to the natural laboratory of Colorado and the western U.S. A number of research centers and institutes are affiliated with the department, including the Cooperative Institute for Environmental Research (CIRES), the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), the Center for Astrobiology, the Energy and Minerals Applied Research Center (EMARC) and the University Museum. Related areas of study are geography, astrophysical and planetary sciences, atmospheric and oceanic sciences, physics and geophysics, ecology and evolutionary biology and environmental engineering.

Geological Sciences accepts new students in Fall semesters, only. There is no Spring admissions cycle for this program.

Degrees Offered


Test Score Requirements

  1. Submit GRE General Test scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) from exam taken within the last five years, scoring on average in the upper 50th percentile. Institution code: 4841.
  2. International applicants must submit  TOEFL scores from exam taken within the last two years. Minimum TOEFL scores: 537 (paper based)/75 (internet based). Institution code: 4841. The TOEFL requirement may be waived for applicants whose native language is English or for applicants who have completed at least one year of full-time academic study at a U.S. institution (or at an institution in a country where English is the native language) within two years of the desired admission term. The department does not accept IELTS.

Program Information

Department of Geological Sciences Website


Phone: 303-492-2607