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Graduate Studies Graduate Studies


The Department of Earth Sciences offers one certificate and three graduate program options:

GIS Certificate: Requires completion of 12 credits hours

Master of Arts in Earth Sciences: Requires completion of a professional paper (36 credit hours). Offered only in Geography concentration.

Master of Science in Earth Sciences: Requires completion of a thesis and 32 credit hours. Concentrations are offered in Archeology, Geography, Geology, Geophysics, and Interdisciplinary Studies.

 Doctor of Philosophy in Earth Sciences: Requires completion of a dissertation and 72 total post-Baccalaureate credit hours.


Prospective Students

The details of the application process and degree programs are described in the
DES Graduate Student Handbook

The application process is rolling. However, to be fully considered for a Graduate Assistantship and acceptance to the program, applications must be received by January 15 of each year. Research assistantships and other Fellowship deadlines are set by the offering entity or individual. The decision on graduate assistantships will be made on February 28 of each year.  If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Dr. Andrew Mickelson for help!

Application Process

Part I: All students must apply to the University of Memphis Graduate School.

Submit the following to Graduate School Admissions:

  1. Admission Application
  2. Official Transcripts
  3. Official Test Scores:
    1. GRE Scores

International Students must also include:

    1. TOEFL Scores or IETLS Scores
    2. Must submit an Affidavit of Support and Educational Background Statement.
    3. Foreign university credentials must be evaluated by National Association of Credentials Evaluation Services (

TOEFL: minimum score for Paper-based:550; Computer-based:210; or Internet-based:79 Or IELTS: minimum score of 6.5 overall

 Department Application: M.A., M.S. or Ph.D. Program in Earth Sciences

Submit the following materials to the DES Graduate Coordinator - Andrew Mickelson:

  1. Department Graduate Program Application
  2. Statement of research interests
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV), required for assistantship applicants

Students interested in graduate programs with the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) should also contact the CERI Assistant Director Administration & Finance (Michelle Smith) for further application information.

Center for Earthquake Research and Information
3890 Central Ave.
Memphis, TN 38152
901-678-2007 Office and 901-678-4734 Fax 

Department Application: GIS Certificate

Submit the following materials to Director of the GIS Certificate Program - Dr. Esra Ozdenerol:

  1. GIS Certificate Application Form
  2. Letter of intent
  3. Two letters of recommendation

In addition, submit the required materials as described in Part I for Graduate Admissions.  More information about the GIS Certificate Program can be found at

Top of Page

Student poster presentation, AAG (2009)

Archaeology students surveying at a research site, western Tennessee

Rapid bioassessment of stream water quality, Memphis

Paleoseismic analysis in western Montana

Fan geomorphology, Death Valley

Students examining strata at the K-T boundary, Moscow Landing, Alabama

Coastal Plain stratigraphy, central Mississippi

Student describing features in the wall of a paleoseismic trench in northern Louisiana

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Last Updated: 9/8/14