Graduate study in the Department of Geology and Planetary Science provides students with a strong foundation in various aspects of the geosciences. Areas of specialization may include environmental and isotope geochemistry, applied geophysics and tectonics, paleoclimatology, planetary science, remote sensing and GIS, volcanology, and human-environmental interactions. The department offers degree programs which lead to an MS or PhD in geology and planetary science, as well as a professional Master of Science degree in geographic information systems and remote sensing.
The Doctor of Philosophy degree requires completion of 72 credits, of which 36 must be formal lecture and laboratory courses. Completion of a preliminary assessment examination by the beginning of the second year is required in order to guide selection of remaining courses.
After selecting a research focus, each student takes a comprehensive exam. Each student must write and present a dissertation embodying an extended original investigation of a problem of significance in his or her field of specialization. The dissertation must add to the general body of knowledge or understanding in its field and be of sufficient importance to merit publication. The student gives an oral defense of his or her dissertation as well as a formal departmental seminar presentation. All PhD dissertations shall serve as sources of published material.
Students are encouraged to contact individual faculty members in their research areas of interest for additional information about opportunities.
Download the Full PhD Requirements.
Department of Geology & Planetary Science
University of Pittsburgh
4107 O'Hara Street
SRCC, Room 200
Pittsburgh PA 15260-3332