Online Master of Science (M.S.) in Geology with a Specialization in Petroleum Geology - University of Houston
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Online Master of Science (M.S.) in Geology with a Specialization in Petroleum Geology

This is one of four subplans in EAS that allows a student to obtain an M.S. in Geology or Geophysics with a fully online curriculum. Learn more about our on-campus face-to-face program.

This program differs from other EAS M.S. Geology subplans by having a fixed and set curriculum focused on applied subsurface geology with a specialization in Petroleum Geology. Most classes occur on Friday afternoons and Saturdays to accommodate students that are fully employed. However, students do not have to be employed to be admitted to this subplan.

Each class in the curriculum is taught over 3-4 weekends one at a time in sequence. Thus, students will take a full load each semester with three to four classes that do not overlap with assignments or tests in different subjects on the same day or week.

The intent of this program is to provide students with training in subsurface geosciences for professional petroleum geologist positions. It also provides the education needed to develop other advanced geological backgrounds for academic, educational, governmental, and industrial sectors. Additionally, this degree can further prepare a student currently with a B.S. for admissions to a Ph.D. program in the geosciences.

The UH faculty in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences are internationally recognized for research achievement and teaching. Many of the faculty have significant experience in governmental and industrial geoscience positions in addition to their academic and educational experience.

Admission to the Program

Admission to our graduate program is based on a competitive selection process. Meeting the minimum requirements published does not guarantee admission to our program.

  • Candidates for the Master of Science (M.S.) in Geology are required to have successfully completed a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Geology equivalent to one at the University of Houston.
  • A complete graduate school application must be submitted.
  • Scores from the General GRE examination taken in the last 5 years are optional.
  • Individuals with a lower cumulative GPA from a U.S. institution may be admitted conditionally.
  • Letters of recommendation are also given considerable weight in the evaluation process.
  • Students who did not earn a prior degree from a U.S. institution or a country where English is the medium of instruction (see list in the General Admission Policy) must meet minimum test scores to demonstrate English language proficiency. Visit International Students to learn more.

Prerequisites

Candidates are expected to have the necessary science and mathematics background and should have successfully completed coursework deemed equivalent to that of the B.S. in Geology degree at the University of Houston.

The department will determine what deficiencies, if any, are present, and the acceptable means of removing those deficiencies (e.g., coursework within and/or outside the department, directed study, research papers). Applicants with a few deficiencies can satisfy those requirements while also taking graduate courses at the University of Houston; these requirements will be listed in an offer letter should the student be admitted. It is normally recommended that a student with 6 or more deficiency courses (e.g., those whose bachelor’s degree was in another discipline) work toward a second bachelor’s degree in Geology prior to graduate work.

Degree Requirements Online Plan II Non-Thesis M.S. Option in Geology with a Specialization in Petroleum Geology

Credit Hour Requirements

Students may satisfy the requirements of an Online Non-Thesis M.S. Geology with a Specialization in Petroleum Geology by satisfactorily completing the 39.0 Credit Hours of our fixed curriculum with a 3.0 or greater GPA. The current curriculum, which may change from time to time, is listed below. This curriculum includes core courses required by all M.S. in Geology degree plans and subplans. The curriculum is pre-selected to focus on subsurface geology with a specialization in petroleum geology. This fixed curriculum includes twelve formal Earth & Atmospheric Sciences courses (GEOL) at the 6000 level or higher and a Capstone Research course. This is the only M.S. Geology subplan that requires a Capstone Project.

Fixed Curriculum

  • GEOL 6363 - Carbonate Sedimentology - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 6358 - Terrigenous Depositional Systems - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 6372 - Petroleum Geochemistry - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 6381 - Petroleum Geology - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 6380 - Sequence Stratigraphy - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 6350 - Advanced Structural Geology - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 6395 - Petroleum Seismology - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 6390 - 3D Seismic Exploration I - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 7325 - Petrophysics and Formation Evaluation - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 6393 - Seismic Amplitude Interpretation - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 6379 - Applied Biostratigraphy - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 6351 - Basin Modeling - Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 7301 - Capstone Project - Credit Hours: 3.0

Capstone Requirement

This subplan requires that all students complete a research course as a capstone project with a written report, and an oral presentation.

  • GEOL 7301 - Capstone Project – Credit Hours: 3.0

Approximate Costs for One Graduate Course Online

Online Resident Students

The approximate cost of 3 hours of graduate coursework for a Resident of Texas student (as of spring 2022) is:

  • Tuition and Consolidated Fees (mean): $1,100.00
  • Mandatory Fee – Student Service: $226.00*
  • Online Education Fee: $265.00*
  • Professional M.S. Fee: $1,884.00
  • TOTAL: $3,475.00

Online Non-Resident Students

The approximate cost of 3 hours of graduate coursework for a Non-Resident of Texas student (as of spring 2022) is:

  • Tuition and Consolidated Fees (mean): $2,660.00
  • Mandatory Fee – Student Service: $226.00*
  • Online Education Fee: $265.00*
  • Professional M.S. Fee: $1,884.00
  • TOTAL: $5,035.00

Fees with * only have a small increase per additional credit hours, hence price per course drops with a 3- or 4-course semester load.

For additional information or details, contact Dr. Don Van Nieuwenhuise at donvann@uh.edu.