Programs and Duration
The Graduate Fields of Atmospheric Sciences and Geological Sciences both offer two graduate degree programs: the Master of Science (M.S.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The M.S. requires a written thesis; the degree is not awarded for coursework alone or by taking the Admission to Candidacy Exam as part of the Ph.D. program. Of course, the Ph.D. also requires a thesis of substantially different scope. Students seeking an M.S. degree while in the Ph.D. program must generally fulfill all requirements for both degrees, including an M.S. thesis that does not include work in the Ph.D. thesis; this is normally accomplished by transferring from the M.S. to Ph.D. program following completion of the M.S. thesis.
Geological Sciences also offers a one-year non-thesis Masters of Engineering (M.Eng.), which is administered separately and not discussed in this Handbook.
The M.S. requires only two semesters of registered full-time study, but typically takes two years to complete. The M.S. requires the completion of a written thesis. Additional requirements and expectations are developed in conjunction with your Committee. Financial support is generally offered for two years, contingent upon adequate progress of the student and on the availability of funds.
The Ph.D. requires only six semesters of registered full-time study, but typically takes five years to complete. The Ph.D. requires the completion of a written thesis. Coursework, including that required for a minor concentration, is typically an early focus (i.e. years 1-3), with thesis research occupying a progressively larger portion of the student’s time over the course of his or her program. Specific requirements and expectations are developed in conjunction with your Committee. Financial support is generally offered for five years, contingent upon adequate student progress and the availability of funds.
C. Time-to-Degree Limits
Graduate School legislation imposes a time limit on degree programs, counting from the date of the student’s first registration in the program to the awarding of the degree: four years for the M.S. and seven years for the Ph.D. To request an extension, students may, with the approval of the field, petition the Graduate School.
The Graduate Fields of Atmospheric Sciences and Geological Sciences strongly encourages students to complete their degree in a timely manner.