Applied Geological Sciences M.S.

  • Students participating in an outdoor field experience

    Applied Geological Sciences M.S.

    Apply advanced concepts in the geosciences to prepare for a variety of career opportunities in Alaska and across the country. UAA is the only place in the country where you can drive nearby to see calving glaciers, active volcanoes, plate tectonic boundary processes and North America’s highest mountain, Denali.

Explore the applied geological sciences master’s degree program at the University of Alaska Anchorage

Enhance your understanding of the fundamentals of geological sciences to develop a deep, broad foundation of technical knowledge and skills that strengthen your job marketability.

Applied geological sciences scholarships and financial aid
Apply for grants, scholarships and awards that help pay for graduate school and research projects. Teaching and research assistantships include tuition, health insurance and a stipend in exchange for work with faculty in their classrooms and research labs. Learn more from the UAA Office of Financial Aid.

Connecting with local industry
UAA’s geology program is supported by the professional community in Anchorage and across Alaska. From guest speakers and field placements to program donations and more, local businesses provide a variety of resources and opportunities to enhance your learning. UAA is also guided by a board of UAA geology alumni, multiple state and federal agencies and Alaska Native Corporations that understand the changing needs of the industry.

Geologic and geographic location
Access many field locations less than an hour away. Explore the effects of the 1964 Great Alaska earthquake and other natural events. Observe features that have developed over the past several hundred million years along the Pacific/North American collisional plate boundary. Allof this and more can be available to you as a graduate student at UAA.

Flexible program options
The UAA Geological Sciences department offers a growing number of video-conference and online classes that fulfill program requirements and help you earn your degree.

Student clubs and activities
Get involved on campus with the student-run Geology Club or UAA’s student chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, as well as other activities that fit your interests. You may also be able to attend the Alaska Geological Society Spring Technical Conference, the Alaska Miners Association annual conference in Anchorage and other industry events in the area. The department also competes in the international Imperial Barrel Award annually, organized by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Applied Geological Sciences M.S.

Degree Type:

  • Master

Program Length: Two years

Availability:Anchorage campus

Other program options: Thesis and non-thesis

Did you know..

Prospective employers from across Alaska come to campus regularly to share job opportunities, conduct interviews and network with graduate students in geoscience. Additional professional development is made possible through the Annual Spring Geology Career Fair.

What can you do with an applied geology degree from UAA?

Prepare for higher entry-level careers or Ph.D. research programs in geosciences.

Geological sciences graduate programs
UAA alumni have been accepted into prestigious geoscience programs such as the No. 1-ranked University of Texas at Austin, as well as the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and the University of Utah. You can also continue your education in the geological sciences doctoral degree program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Geological sciences careers
Work for public, private or governmental entities in the following industries:

  • Environmental geology or environmental sciences
  • Oil and gas
  • Minerals and mining
  • Geotechnical engineering

By the numbers..

The number of companies operating out of Anchorage and throughout Alaska who hire employees with graduate-level degrees in the geosciences.
UAA Department of Geological Sciences
Anchorage’s ranking among the best U.S. cities for geology major jobs.
UAA Department of Geological Sciences

Applied geological sciences master’s degree program highlights

Classroom, laboratory and field work combine to offer hands-on training and experience that prepare you for high-impact jobs in geoscience.

  • Lead graduate research and professional projects. With support from a faculty mentor, you can publish your findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals while developing studies in one or more specialized focus areas.
  • Enhance classroom-based learning with field experience. Rigorous instruction and opportunities to develop job skills in the field prepare you for doctoral programs and careers in geoscience. These experiences include field trips around Alaska as well as to locations in California, Nevada and Utah.
  • Study under internationally recognized instructors who boast a breadth of experience. Program faculty include published authors and active researchers with national and local research funding, and many present at national conferences. They include two editorial board members of the world-renowned Geology journal and elected Fellow in both the Geological Society of America and the Society of Economic Geologists.
  • Gain access to advanced research equipment and resources. With 20 Windows-based workstations, the ConocoPhillips Computational Lab houses more than $100M worth of state-of-the-art software used by professional geoscientists for subsurface visualization and data analysis. This rare facility will equip you with the experience and skills you need to be exceptionally competitive in the geoscience job market. UAA also offers an on-campus stable isotope facility; the Applied Science Engineering and Technology Lab in geochemical analytical facilities; and a dedicated facility for rock sample preparation with a shatter box, trim saw, disk mill, oil saw, jaw crusher and a heavy liquids lab that features a magnetic separator for zircon extraction.

Amazing stories from applied geological sciences graduate students

Like many students at UAA, I am not a traditional student and am working full time while earning my graduate degree part time. The flexibility of the MSAGS program and the industry knowledge of the staff has not only helped me advance my education but has enabled me to develop a deeper understanding within specific projects I am working on and has provided me the skills necessary to do my job better. The symbiotic relationship between the Department of Geological Sciences and industry has been the key to my success.

Veronica Jones
M.S. Applied Geological Sciences '19, Geologist, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation
A collection of various types of rocks

The UAA Geology Club meets every two weeks to arrange geology-themed events, field trips, special seminars, and the annual on-campus Earth Sciences Career Fair, in which prospective employers come from across Alaska to provide students with job opportunities.

UAA Geology Club
A researcher gestures toward a graphic being projected

This regular event brings researchers from Alaska and the rest of the U.S. to campus to share new developments and recent work in geoscience. Graduate students can network with professionals from other geology schools and the local industry.

Geology Seminar Series
A student writing in front of a microscope

Within walking distance from UAA, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is home to the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the Alaska Science Center, where graduate students can network and intern with professional geologists.

Geology leaders in Anchorage

Applied geological sciences master’s degree program curriculum

Choose the thesis or non-thesis program option, then specialize in one of the following focus areas:

  • Depositional systems
  • Environmental geology
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics and petrophysics
  • Hydrogeology
  • Igneous and metamorphic petrology
  • Mineral resources
  • Petroleum geoscience
  • Planetary geology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Structural geology and tectonics

Thesis students develop new knowledge and skills in their selected content area through a graduate research project and presentation. This program option is specifically designed to help graduate students qualify for higher entry-level jobs and doctoral degree programs.

Non-thesis students focus on classroom learning or a professional project. This program option culminates in a comprehensive written or oral exam.

Top classes for applied geological sciences graduate students

  • Prepare for your scientific career with science writing, professional presentations, research dissemination and grant funding proposals in Graduate Professional Practices.
  • Learn advanced skills in sedimentary geology that can be applied in oil/gas, hydrology, and advanced mining in Advanced Depositional Systems and Dynamic Stratigraphy.