Advance your career through in-depth study of the environment in small classes and direct research with professors.
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Geoenvironmental Science & Sustainability, M.S.

The Master of Science in Geoenvironmental Studies and Sustainability program is designed to provide graduate students the opportunity to create a program of study specific to the student’s interests and career objectives.

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What Will I Learn?

You can expect to develop research methods of proper field and lab data collection, data analysis and communication skills. You will further enhance geotechnical skills (e.g. GIS), continue the mastery of environmental knowledge related to the geosciences and acquire an understanding of professional conduct and responsibility.

After an introductory course in research methods, students can concentrate on surficial geologic processes, hydrology and water resources, land use planning, applied climatology and geographic information systems science.

What are the requirements for this degree?

Prospective students should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 2.75. The graduate record exam (GRE) is required if a student’s GPA is less than 2.75. Students should have successfully completed at least one course in the geological sciences, atmospheric sciences, hydrology and GIS to be considered ready for admission. Students having an academic background other than geoscience may be admitted conditionally with the understanding that course deficiencies must be completed in a timely manner.


Geoenvironmental Science & Sustainability, M.S. Degree Plan

Full-Time (30 Credits)

First Year

Fall Semester: 9 Credits


Spring Semester: 9 Credits

  • GEO 4XX or 5XX - Elective Credits: 3 
  • GEO 5XX - Elective Credits: 3
  • GEO 5XX - Elective Credits: 3


Summer Semester: 3 Credits


Second Year

Fall Semester: 9 Credits


Planning Notes for all students:

  1. 30 total credits required
  2. Students must take a minimum of 18 credits at the 500 level, including GEO 503 
  3. Students may take a maximum of 12 credits at the 400-level for credit toward the M.S. degree.
  4. Students must take a minimum of 3 credits of geotechniques courses at either the 400 or 500 levels.
  5. Students must complete a thesis (6 credits) OR a one semester research project (3 credits) and internship (3 credits)
  6. Students must take and pass the departmental practical exam upon earning 18 credits.
  7. Students can being in any semester or term, including, fall, spring, winter or summer.

What Types of Careers Could I Get With This Degree?

Geoenvironmental studies and sustainability graduates enter jobs in the public and private sectors. Careers in state and federal government agencies often include departments of environmental protection and conservation, geological surveys and county and township planning agencies. In the private sector, graduates find employment with geotechnical engineering firms and land use planning and development companies. Some students pursue a more academic route by applying to a Ph.D. program and furthering their education.

The department has a long history, with a far-reaching alumni network, that provides graduates with a greater opportunity for employment upon graduation.

What Career Outcomes Do Alumni Have With This Degree?

A list of of the top job titles for Geoenvironmental Studies alumni
The estimated salary for Geoenvironmental Studies alumni

What Kinds of Experiences Could I Have on Campus?

You will be exposed to more in-depth study of the environment through smaller class sizes and direct research with a professor. You can participate in local and regional field trips, as well conduct field research with state-of-the art technology involving stream discharge, shallow geophysics, weather stations, data loggers, GPS units and drones. Graduate students also have the opportunity to join Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU), the International Geography Honor Society which often involves additional activities outside of the regular course structure.

Contact the Geography & Earth Science Department

104 Shearer Hall, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1685 Fax: (717) 477-4029