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Welcome to the Graduate Program

at the Dept. of Geology & Geophysics

The Department of Geology and Geophysics is a highly ranked earth science department offering graduate degrees in three programs: Geology (M.S./Ph.D.), Geophysics (M.S./Ph.D.), and Geological Engineering (M.S./M.S.Eng./Ph.D.). The department will consider applicants to all programs who have previously completed either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in geoscience or a related field. Although completion of a master’s degree is not required for admission, competitive applicants to our Ph.D. program will be able to demonstrate previous research experience at the bachelor’s or master’s level.

Within the department, areas of research specialization include structural geology and tectonics, stable isotope geochemistry, metamorphic petrology, geochronology, stratigraphy, sedimentology, petroleum geology, paleontology, environmental geology, paleoclimatology, geothermics, ground water and surface water hydrology, igneous petrology, aqueous geochemistry, economic geology, exploration seismology, earthquake seismology, and electromagnetics.You can find out more about specific research areas by scanning the research interests of faculty members listed in the Research Themes & Programs section. By selecting individual faculty from the list, you can read about the details of their research programs and see a list of selected recent publications. We encourage you to contact potential advisors in advance of your application, to find out about research and funding opportunities.

Graduate Application Deadline: January 15 for Fall Semester Admission and September 15 for Spring Semester Admission

Application for Graduate Admission


An applicant for admission to the graduate programs is expected to have met the following requirements:

  1. An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, based on all undergraduate work or the last last 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of the undergraduate work.
  2. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  3. The core course requirements for a B.S. degree in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah. Students who are admitted to the graduate program without this basic background may be expected to make up any course deficiencies. Courses that are taken to make up for undergraduate deficiencies will not be counted as credit for the graduate degree.


All applicants are required to submit their application using the Apply Yourself system. Below is a list of materials you will need to complete the process.

  • Academic Transcripts. A copy of your transcript from each college or university you have attended should be uploaded in the Apply Yourself system. If you are selected for admission to the graduate program, official, sealed copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent at that time to the university admissions office. More information can be found here.
  • GRE Scores. Applicants must complete the General Test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Applicants should self-report their test scores in Apply Yourself. An official report of GRE test scores should be sent directly by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the Admissions Office. Use the institutional code for the University of Utah, 4853.
  • TOEFL scores (For international students only). An official report of scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required and should be directly sent to the Admissions Office. You will need to use code 4853 for the International Admissions Office.
  • Letters of Reference. Names and contact information for three references will be requested in Apply Yourself. At least three letters of personal reference are required, preferably from current or former professors and research supervisors who are directly familiar with your abilities and performance. The recommenders will be contacted by email and may upload their recommendations using the Apply Yourselfonline system.
  • CV or resume
  • Statement of Purpose. A two-page personal statement outlining your background, research interests (including possible faculty research advisors), goals, and reasons for applying to our graduate program.
  • Payment. Credit card for application fee

Application materials will be reviewed by the Department’s Graduate Affairs Committee, who makes recommendations for admission to the University. The final decision on admission is made by the University Admissions Office. All applicants will be notified of their acceptance or non-acceptance into the program after the review process is complete.

Financial Assistance

Qualified full-time graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships and Graduate Fellowships. The stipends for Teaching and Research Assistants are approximately $9,200 per semester for 2017-2018. Applicants who have indicated in ApplyYourself that they require financial support will automatically be considered for support by the Graduate Affairs committee. No separate application is required.

Tuition Benefit

The Tuition Benefit Program (TBP) provides tuition payment for eligible graduate students. A graduate tuition benefit is available only to matriculated graduate students compensated through the University of Utah. The TBP covers general graduate tuition and mandatory fees. More information is available here.

Health Insurance

A Subsidized Student Health Insurance Policy is offered to Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs). More information is available here.

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

The University of Utah is fully committed to policies of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity, and vigorously pursues affirmative action in all programs, activities, and employment with regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a handicapped individual. Religion, sexual orientation, and status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era also are protected under nondiscrimination and equal opportunity employment policies. Evidence of practices not consistent with these policies should be reported to the Office of the President of the University, 581-8365.

We look forward to receiving your application.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Admission
    • January 15
  • Spring Admission
    • September 15

For Questions/Concerns Contact:

Dr. Paul Brooks
Director of Graduate Studies and Professor, Geology & Geophysics




Last Updated: 8/9/17