Online Master of Science in Applied Geosciences


Advance your career and make an impact in environmental geology, hydrogeology, and engineering geology with an online master's degree

Whether you are an experienced geoscientist or preparing to expand your science or engineering experience, you can advance in the field without relocating or interrupting your career. Penn’s rigorous Master of Science in Applied Geosciences program is now online.

New Certificates and Course-taking Programs

Interested in taking a graduate course or earning an applied geosciences certificate? Learn about our new, flexible programs that can help you reach your professional goals without committing to a full degree.

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An advanced degree in applied geosciences prepares you to take on a range of pressing environmental or engineering geology problems in a field where you can grow your ability to make a real, practical difference. The online Master of Science in Applied Geosciences is a highly practical program that helps you build your skillset and prepare for your next professional move ahead. You’ll master approaches to mitigating soil and water contamination, addressing environmental remediation challenges, developing infrastructure resilience, reducing impacts due to climate change, and responding to human-induced natural disasters such as landslides and floods. As you deepen your theoretical and technical expertise in geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology, and engineering geology, you also hone essential skills necessary for leadership and advancement in environmental remediation, pollution prevention, and geotechnical evaluation. While you’re completing your studies, our program facilitates your preparation for licensure as a professional geologist and certification in your concentration focus. 

With a faculty of leading academic researchers and experienced government and industry experts, the online Master of Science in Applied Geosciences provides all of the world-class resources, connections, and professional insights of a traditional on-campus degree—with the accessibility and flexibility of an online education. Our dedicated team knows what you need to move forward in your career, and we’ve designed this program for your success.

See information about the University of Pennsylvania's accreditation.

The Master of Science in Applied Geosciences degree program is offered by the University of Pennsylvania, an institution of higher education authorized to confer degrees and certificates conferring academic credit under applicable laws of the United States. Students who are interested in participating in the program from countries other than the United States are advised that each jurisdiction may have its own laws and regulations governing online educational programs, and some jurisdictions may not recognize course credit or an online degree awarded by the University as satisfying local requirements for professional licensure, employment qualification, or other purposes. Before enrolling in this program, prospective students should investigate their jurisdiction’s treatment of foreign online programs to ensure that participation in this program will meet their objectives.

Fast Facts

Number of graduate-level courses required to earn the degree
Percentage of students studying part time
Average number of years to earn a degree while studying full time

Online courses and curriculum

The online Master of Science in Applied Geosciences core courses provide you with foundational knowledge of geochemistry, engineering geology, ground-water hydrology, computational geoscience, and geomechanics—so you are equipped with an array of scientific tools to address complex environmental challenges. Students choose three electives from a selection of online courses in areas such as engineering geology, groundwater modeling, and environmental geology.

All MSAG program courses are offered online and asynchronously, so you can pursue your graduate education without interrupting your career.

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Program opportunities

In addition to coursework in hydrology, geomechanics, and engineering geology, MSAG students have opportunities to learn and work with geographic information systems (GIS), groundwater modeling, site characterization, and green infrastructure. Online courses are designed to prepare you to move up in your career and obtain professional licensure in geology. In fact, when you complete the MSAG degree, the Geologist-In-Training work requirement for Professional Geologist (PG) licensure is shortened from five years to four in most states. See your state’s specific requirements.

MSAG students have the opportunity to work in collaboration with many research institutions and groups both on and off-campus, including The Water Center at Penn, Stroud Water Research Center, the Global Water Alliance, the Philadelphia Field Station-USFS, and the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership. Students can also acquire writing/editing experience working with a peer-reviewed academic journal: wH2O: The Journal of Gender and Water, an online, open-access publication managed by Penn faculty and students that focuses on the intersection of water and gender.

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Accelerate your career in the geosciences

Graduates of the MSAG program are engineering geologists, researchers, and consultants in a wide range of organizations. Students enter the program looking to accelerate their licensure or expand their skill set to better address pressing environmental issues. Others use the program as a pathway for a career move by making the most of the University’s Ivy League resources and industry connections.

The culminating project for the online program is the year-long project design exercise or capstone, for which students apply their theoretical and technical expertise to real-world environmental challenges such as soil contamination, stormwater management, and water quality. The project may showcase your professional specialization and interests or be applied directly to your workplace.

Upcoming application deadline

Upcoming application deadline

The application deadline for fall 2024 is July 1, 2024.

MSGO information session

MSAG information session

Meet our team and learn about program features, curriculum, the application process, and more.

Master of Science in Applied Geosciences Online Virtual Café

Online Master of Science in Applied Geosciences Virtual Café

Join us on the first Thursday of every month for an online chat, hosted live from noon - 1 p.m.

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