Prospective Students

Non-Thesis Degrees and Certificate Programs

Non-thesis programs typically require 2-3 semesters (i.e. 10-12 months) to complete. Graduate certificates require 4 courses taken over 1-2 semesters. Funding is generally not provided to students in these programs, and students are therefore typically self-funded.

Thesis-Based Masters Programs

These programs typically take approximately 2 years to complete and require students to complete extensive coursework as well as original research (thesis). Funding may be available for exceptional students (see application process below).

  • Master of Science (Geology)
    • A Masters program with a wide variety of research and coursework options. Intended for students interested in a career in the earth sciences, including petroleum geology, mineral exploration, geological surveys and academia.
  • Master of Science (Geological Engineering)
    • Intended for students looking to pursue a career as an engineer with geotechnical emphasis; not suitable for students interested in petroleum geology, mineral exploration, etc.

Ph.D. Programs

These programs vary in length, depending on the specific advisor and research project. Following completion of coursework, students are expected to produce a dissertation that advances the state of knowledge in their subject area. Most Ph.D. students are funded by faculty member research projects, and these programs are therefore the most competitive in terms of admissions (see application process below).

GGE Graduate Application Processes for Non-Thesis and Certificate Programs

Please refer to the Mines Graduate Admissions website and The Graduate Admissions FAQ

GGE Graduate Application Process for Thesis-Based Programs

Pursuing your academic journey with the Mines Geology and Geological Engineering (GGE) Department requires developing a dialogue with your future advisor (see faculty list here). For Fall admission, applications to Mines are due December 15 (later applications may be accepted, but applying after this time may decrease your likelihood of receiving funding), and we recommend following the GeoGradApp Timeline to apply. Briefly, this includes:

1. May to August: Update your CV and start thinking about graduate programs
2. August to September: Find prospective advisors and reach out to begin talking about your interests. We recommend sending an email and sharing your CV. Here is an example of what such an email looks like:

Dear Dr. Rocky Blaster,
In the spring of 202X, I am finishing my B.S. in Geosciences at the University of Cool Science Stuff, and I am looking to continue my education in graduate school. I am interested in applying to the Geology program at Mines to work with you because I intend to study [aspects of research that interest you and intersect with the research the faculty member does]. I would like to know more about your [project specifics that you looked up on their website]. Will you be taking PhD students for the fall of 202x?

As a student at the University of Cool Science Stuff, I have [done relevant work and had relevant experiences that you think make you a good fit]. I would enjoy the opportunity to share more about my academic interests as well as learn more about your research projects. I would be available for a phone call or virtual meeting at your convenience.

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

 All the best,

During this time it is also suggested that you reach out to your letter writers and let them know you intend to submit an application to Mines.

3. September to November: Write your personal statement and ask for your letters of recommendation. Some great tips for preparing a personal statement are here.
4. December 15: Submit your application!

For further procedural information regarding the application process and to start your application, please refer to the Mines Graduate Admissions website and The Graduate Admissions FAQ

GGE Graduate Application Fee Waivers

A limited number of application fee waivers for GGE graduate programs are available.  All waiver petitions are considered on an individual basis.  An approved waiver of the application fee does not constitute a guarantee of admission to the program.

Step One:  After you have established a mutual professional dialogue with a potential advisor (see GGE Graduate Application Process), you can inform the faculty member that you desire an application fee waiver.
Step Two:  Waivers can only be requested on your behalf by faculty in the GGE Department.  Additional information may be requested to support your petition.
Step Three:  The faculty member will inform you of the decision of your request.  This process takes time, so please be patient and refrain from sending follow-up emails regarding the status of your request.  The faculty will appreciate it.