The Master of Science in Applied Geosciences (MSAG) degree requires the completion of 12 course units (c.u.s) as follows:
- 7 Foundation courses
- 3 Electives in a Professional Concentration
- Project Management
- Project Design Thesis
- GEOL 420-Introduction to Geophysics
- GEOL 651-Geocomputations I
- GEOL 653-Introduction to Hydrology
- GEOL 654-Geomechanics: Solids
One course must be taken in each of the following three Foundation areas
- GEOL 418 Geochemistry
- GEOL 421 Elemental Cycling in Global Systems
- GEOL 528 Aqueous Geochemistry
- GEOL 618 Fundamentals of Air Pollution
- GEOL 670 Engineering Geology: Rock Mechanics
- GEOL 665 Engineering Geology & Geotechnics
- GEOL 602 Geotechnics: Intro to Geotechnical Eng
Students choose three elective courses within their area of professional concentration. The professional concentration courses allow the student to acquire the skills and the critical perspective necessary to pursue the final Project Design exercise. These courses may be chosen from a specific list of courses selected by the Faculty. Students may choose from the following concentrations:
Whether students plan to work in the consulting field, the government, or go on for a PhD, the skills learned in a Project Management course are useful for the next steps after graduation.
Toward the end of the program, students undertake the Project Design, a semester-long professional exercise that demonstrates mastery of a particular area of applied geoscience. The subject of this project is related to the professional concentration the student chose and may be selected to complement or further develop a student’s work-related interests. The Project Design documents the student’s ability to:
- Identify a geotechnical, hydrologic, or environmental problem or issue that would be encountered in professional practice
- Design a protocol to address this question
- Acquire the data necessary to clarify, if not resolve, the question
- Critically assess the quality of the data acquired
- Draw defensible conclusions from those data
- Communicate this process and conclusions to professional colleagues with clarity and precision
Each student in the MSAG program will work with a faculty advisor who will act as supervisor for the student’s thesis research. These faculty are drawn from the Department of Earth & Environmental Science and members of the Institute for Environmental Studies at Penn.
Field trips and site visits are incorporated within the curriculum. Students in the program also have access to other earth science research projects within the Department of Earth & Environmental Science, which require field participation and training.
Admitted students may attend on either a part-time or full-time basis. Full-time students can complete the program in two years, including summers. Part-time students must complete their work in no more than four years.