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Division of Academic Affairs
Graduate Catalog 2012-13


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Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geological Sciences


Stephen J. Culver, Chair, 101 Graham Building
Terri L. Woods, Director of Graduate Studies, 103 Graham Building

MS in Geology

The department offers a master of science in geology with both a thesis and non-thesis option. In the non-thesis option, a major paper is substituted for the thesis and 3 s.h. additional course work is required. Course prerequisites listed are for ECU courses; equivalent courses from other schools will be accepted. The Department of Geological Sciences is a participating department in the East Carolina University Institute for Coastal Science and Policy and in the coastal resources management PhD program. The degree requires a minimum of 30-33 s.h. of credit as follows.

Thesis option requirements are as follows:

  1. Equivalent of the East Carolina University BS degree in geology or progress toward elimination of deficiencies defined at the time of entrance into the Graduate School.
  2. Passing a graduate qualifying examination.
  3. A total of 30 s.h. of course work, of which a maximum of 6 s.h. may be from outside the department. At least 15 s.h. must be above the 5999-level.
  4. Completion of a 6 s.h. research skills option is required. The research skills option consists of GEOL 6900, 7000. (GEOL 7000 may be repeated, but a maximum of 6 s.h. can be counted toward degree.)
Non-thesis option requirements are as follows:

  1. Equivalent of the East Carolina University BS degree in geology or progress toward elimination of deficiencies defined at the time of entrance into the Graduate School.
  2. Passing a graduate qualifying examination. (See geology MS degree guidelines, available from the office of the Department of Geological Sciences.)
  3. A total of 33 s.h. of course work, of which a maximum of 6 s.h. may be from outside the department. At least 17 s.h. must be above the 5999-level.
  4. GEOL 5400, 5401.
  5. Choose one sequence from GEOL 6040, 6041; GEOL 6020, 6021; GEOL 6200, 6201.
  6. Completion of a 6 s.h. research skills option is required. The research skills option consists of GEOL 6900, 6998.

Certificate in Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology

The certificate in hydrogeology and environmental geology prepares students for employment and future studies in the environmental field. This post-baccalaureate program provides students with experience in water and soil sampling techniques, hydrologic measurement techniques, chemical analyses, scientific writing, data presentation, and data analysis. Trained environmental professionals are necessary to solve problems concerning drinking water supplies, wastewater treatment, water resources availability, subsurface contaminant transport, stream habitat and water quality assessment, the effects of climate and land-use change on water and wetland resources, and many other environmental issues. Employment opportunities may include work dealing with: environmental regulations, hydrogeologic investigation, wetland mitigation, flood prediction, pollution abatement and bioremediation, and environmental site audits.

Coursework includes a minimum of 15 s.h. in the geological sciences. The certificate requires completion of 9 s.h. in hydrogeology and environmental geology (3 of the following courses: GEOL 5150, 5700, 5710, 7710, 7711, 7920), 3 s.h. in geochemical processes (GEOL 5450 or 7930), and 3 s.h. in geological characterization and quantitative analysis (GEOL 6250, 6550, 6705, 6950, 7910 or a 3 s.h. elective). A list of the appropriate courses is available from the certificate coordinator. The certificate is open to degree and nondegree graduate students.