Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Applicants to the Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences must have a GPA of at least 3.00 at both the undergraduate and graduate level for entry to the doctoral program. 

Applicants to the Doctoral program are required to have completed a thesis-based Master’s degree and have a background in one of the departmental emphasis areas. The program does not require specialization in multiple geosciences emphasis areas, though applicants with this expertise are certainly welcome to apply. Applicants from other science disciplines will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All applicants for the Doctoral program must identify a mentor (dissertation supervisor) prior to acceptance into the program. Some mentors may require a qualifying examination prior to acceptance.

The Doctoral program requires a minimum of 36 hours (at least 16 course hours and 20 dissertation hours) beyond the Master’s degree, as well as the completion of a dissertation. Every student's program of study will be determined by their Doctoral committee, and it is anticipated that most will require more than 16 course hours. Written and oral comprehensive examinations are administered at the end of required course work. A dissertation proposal defense is also required.

The Department of Geosciences also has a residency rule for all Ph.D. students that requires all coursework, comprehensive examinations, the dissertation proposal be completed on the Starkville campus.  Please note that the Graduate School requires 24 course hours post-Bachelors degree, so external students applying with a completed M.S. may need to transfer coursework from their M.S. into the Doctoral program to ensure they are compliant with this rule.

The application package must contain the Application of Admission, at least two letters of reference, official transcripts from all colleges previously attended, and a statement of purpose. Visit the Office of the Graduate School to apply online, and remember that the name of the program is Earth & Atmospheric Sciences.

Please contact the graduate coordinator, Andrew Mercer, or a potential faculty mentor, for more information.

Department of Geosciences Graduate Guidelines