Coastal Plain Geology field trip Marsh studies GPR studies on Wrightsville Beach






Program Overview

The Department of Geography and Geology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington offers a program of study leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in geoscience. The general focus of the program is the development of professionals capable of conducting research in geoscience through broadly-based study of modern Earth and ocean processes and their ancient analogs.

The program includes both a thesis and non-thesis option, both of which provide a foundation for employment in the geological, geospatial technology, and environmental fields, mineral and energy industries, and government agencies. In addition, the thesis option prepares students for advanced study leading to the doctoral degree while the non-thesis option provides a foundation for employment as entry-level professional geoscientists. Completion of the non-thesis option with a geology concentration assists students toward professional licensure in geology.

Specific goals of the program are to provide advanced research and educational opportunities in the geosciences, and to prepare geoscientists for solving contemporary problems in Earth, ocean and environmental science. Specific objectives are: 1) to develop research competence in geoscience; 2) to develop professional competence in the assessment of water, energy and mineral resource potentials through the integrated analysis of geological and geographical data using advanced technologies; 3) to develop a level of research competence in geoscience that encourages continued effort towards the doctoral degree; and, 4) to provide the scientific community with meaningful geologic, geographic, and oceanographic data.

The Department offers teaching assistantships on a competitive basis. The majority of students awarded assistantships also receive out-of-state tuition remissions. To be considered for assistantship funding applications should be submitted prior to January 31st (midnight EST). Assistantship funds for students entering the program in the spring semester are rarely available. Application deadlines for the fall and spring semester are April 15(midnight EST) and October 15(midnight EST), respectively.

Graduate Student Handbook

Program Video


For further information contact:

Dr. Joanne Halls, Graduate Program Coordinator, 910 962-7614,
Dr. Lynn Leonard, Department Chair, 910 962-2338,


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