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George Mason University
    George Mason University
  Sep 21, 2017
2016-2017 University Catalog

Earth Systems Science, MS (AOES)

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Banner Code: SC-MS-ESSC

College: College of Science  
Departments: Geography and Geoinformation Science  and Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences  

The program addresses the growing demand for trained professionals in the Earth sciences. The degree emphasizes a research-oriented, global systems approach to studying the Earth and its systems- the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the lithosphere, including their interrelationships and interactions with the biosphere. Emphasis is on the observation, measurement, and analysis of Earth’s systems. Most student research projects and theses will relate to geologic and geographic topics, however studies of related topics in Earth science are welcome. Students completing the program are qualified to pursue careers that require knowledge of the basics of Earth systems science and the requisite tools, specifically pertaining to the area of Earth science that they choose to investigate. Students are encouraged to undertake a master’s thesis but may choose a research project. In the latter case, students must pass a comprehensive exam.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admissions standards and Graduate Admission Policies  as specified in the Admissions  section of this catalog. Applicants to the Earth Systems Science, MS  should have earned a BS degree in atmospheric, Earth, environmental, geological, geographical, ocean, or physical science. Previous coursework should include two semesters each of calculus, chemistry, and physics, and one semester of statistics. Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in their undergraduate degree.

To apply, prospective students should complete the George Mason University Graduate Application. Official transcripts from each college and graduate institution attended, a current résumé, and a goals statement are required. Applicants also need three letters of recommendation and an official report of scores obtained on the GRE-GEN. The GRE requirement for admission may be waived if the student holds a master’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. TOEFL scores are required of all international applicants.

Degree Requirements

Candidates must successfully complete 30 credits outlined below, being mindful that 10 of these credits must be GGS courses and 10 of these credits must be GEOL/CLIM courses (“Culminating Experience” credits do not count towards this requirement):

Earth Science Core (9 credits)

Choose one course from each of the following groups:

Techniques (6 credits)

Select two courses from the following:

Electives (10 credits)

Complete 10 credits of other CLIM, GEOL, GGS, or EVPP courses at the 500 to 900-level (excluding 700, 798, and 799 courses).

Culminating Experience (3 credits)

Choose the culminating experience of either a thesis or a project (either must total 3 credits):

Degree Total: 30 credits

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