MA in Earth Sciences

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) is no longer admitting students to the MA in Earth Sciences. Continuing students should note the stated degree requirements.

The MA in Earth Sciences program is designed for the student with an undergraduate degree in the natural sciences who desires a more fundamental knowledge of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and surface processes. Students apply a range of earth sciences field and laboratory methods toward solving quantitative problems in core disciplinary areas. This program prepares students for further graduate work in the field, or for careers in resource exploration and management, technical consulting, engineering, and environmental sciences, as well as a multitude of different jobs in the private sector and governmental agencies.

Course Requirements

Eight graduate-level courses (32 credits) are required, of which at least four must be earth sciences courses, including at least two non-research earth sciences courses (other than GRS ES 699). Three of the eight required courses can be research courses associated with thesis research.

For a complete list of approved courses, please see the department website. A listing and descriptions of available courses offered at Boston College as part of the Cooperative Program with Boston College may be obtained in the departmental office.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.


A written thesis, approved by at least three members of the department (usually the student’s advisor and two mutually agreed upon second readers), must be submitted to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. All MA candidates must give an oral presentation and defend their research results in a public forum.