Penn LPS Coronavirus COVID-19 Update
The College of Liberal and Professional Studies staff is working remotely to comply with University protocols as we navigate the COVID-19 virus. Penn is committed to maintaining a safe campus and workplace for faculty, students, staff, and visitors. While we are not onsite, we are still available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. by phone and online in case you need support: (215) 898-7326 or

Visit, the University's dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 web page, for the latest updates.
close alert box button

Master of Science in Applied Geosciences

You are here


Advance your career with a master's degree in the geosciences

Whether you’re an experienced geoscientist or are preparing to enter the field, Penn’s rigorous Master of Science in Applied Geosciences (MSAG) is a highly practical program that helps you build on your experience and prepare for your next professional move. Housed in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Earth & Environmental Science, the Master of Science in Applied Geosciences connects you with the world-class resources of an Ivy League institution and provides you with experience and expertise in geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology, and engineering geology. You also hone essential project management skills necessary for leadership in environmental remediation and pollution prevention. While you’re completing your studies, our program facilitates your preparation for professional licensure and certification processes. 

An advanced degree in geology or hydrology prepares you to take on a range of pressing environmental problems in a field where you can make a real, measurable difference. Master approaches to mitigating soil and water contamination, solving waste disposal challenges, and responding to human-induced natural disasters such as landslides and floods. With a faculty of leading academic researchers and experienced government and industry experts, we know what you need to move forward in your career, and we’ve designed a practical graduate program for your success.

Discover what makes the MSAG exceptional

Penn’s Master of Science in Applied Geosciences offers you an opportunity to gain expert insight and technical know-how for a career in geology. Hear from our Program Director, Yvette Bordeaux, PhD as well as students, alumni, and faculty to learn about our program’s concentrations, Ivy League academics, professional advancement opportunities, and more.

If you are having trouble viewing this video, you can watch it on YouTube.

Fast facts

Number of professional concentrations offered through MSAG
Number of graduate-level courses required to earn the degree
Percentage of students studying part time
Average number of years to earn a degree while studying full time

Courses and curriculum

The Master of Science in Applied Geosciences core courses provide you with foundational knowledge of geochemistry, engineering geology, ground-water hydrology, computational geoscience, and geomechanics—so you are equipped with an array of scientific tools to address complex environmental challenges in the real world. Students may then develop an individualized curriculum in collaboration with their advisors, or focus their studies with a concentration in engineering geology, hydrogeology, or environmental geology.

All MSAG program courses are offered in the evening, so you can take advantage of internship and research opportunities during the academic year or pursue your graduate education without interrupting your career.

Learn more about courses and curriculum >

Program opportunities

In addition to coursework in hydrology, geomechanics, and engineering geology, MSAG students have opportunities to learn and work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), groundwater modeling, site characterization, and green infrastructure monitoring. Courses are designed to prepare you for professional licensure in geology. OSHA’s Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) certification is also available. When you complete the master’s degree, the Geologist In Training work requirement for Professional Geologist (PG) licensure is shortened from five years to four.

MSAG students have the opportunity to work in collaboration with many research institutions and groups both on and off campus, including The Water Center at Penn, Stroud Water Research Center, the Global Water Alliance, the Philadelphia Field Station-USFS, and the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership. Students can also acquire experience working with a peer-reviewed academic journal: wH2O: The Journal of Gender and Water, an online, open-access publication managed by Penn faculty and students that focuses on the intersection of water and gender.

Learn more about program opportunities >

Prepare for a career in the geosciences

Graduates of the MSAG program become engineering geologists, researchers, and consultants in a wide range of organizations. Some students enter the program as working professionals who wish to accelerate their licensure or expand their skill set to approach pressing environmental issues. Others find their pathway into a career during the program, making the most of the University’s Ivy League resources and industry connections.

The culminating project for the program is the year-long project design exercise or capstone, for which students apply their theoretical and technical expertise to real-world environmental challenges such as soil contamination, stormwater management, and water quality. The project may showcase your professional specialization and interests or be applied directly to your workplace.

See what MSAG students and alumni have achieved >

Apply Now

Application information

You may apply to begin the Master of Science in Applied Geosciences (MSAG) degree during the fall or spring terms.

Apply now >

A degree for your professional aspirations

See how our curriculum prepares you for action in the field.

See Courses and Curriculum >

MSAG information session

Meet our team and learn about program features, full- and part-time schedules, the application process, and more.

View info session video >

LPS News

  • Association for Psychological Science spotlights Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences alumna
    Sakshi Ghai, Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences ’18, is on the cover of the Observer for her research collaboration with MBDS Founding Director Dr. Cristina Bicchieri. View Story
  • Fall 2020 events and information sessions announced
    The faculty and staff of the College of Liberal and Professional Studies invite you to join us for our fall 2020 virtual information sessions.  View Story


College of Liberal and Professional Studies Office

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326
(215) 573-2053


Ready to apply to LPS?

Want more information about one of our programs?

Penn LPS

The lifelong learning division of Penn Arts & Sciences

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326