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Master of Science in Applied Geosciences

Master of Science in Applied Geosciences graduate program students out in the field

Advance your career and make an impact in environmental remediation with a graduate degree in the geosciences

Whether you’re an experienced geoscientist or are preparing to enter the field, Penn’s rigorous Master of Science in Applied Geosciences (MSAG) is a highly practical program that helps you build on your experience and prepare for your next professional move ahead.

The Penn Master of Science in Applied Geosciences connects you with the world-class resources of an Ivy League institution and provides you with theoretical and technical expertise in geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology and engineering geology. You also hone essential project management skills necessary for leadership in environmental remediation and pollution prevention. While you’re completing your studies, our program facilitates your preparation for professional licensure and certification processes. 

An advanced degree in applied geosciences prepares you to take on a range of pressing environmental problems in a field where you can make a real, practical difference. You’ll master approaches to mitigating soil and water contamination, solving waste disposal challenges and responding to human-induced natural disasters such as landslides and floods. With a faculty of leading academic researchers and experienced government and industry experts, we know what you need to move forward in your career, and we’ve designed the program for your success.

Discover what makes the MSAG exceptional

Penn’s Master of Science in Applied Geosciences offers you an opportunity to gain expert insight and technical know-how for a career in geology. Hear from our Program Director, Yvette Bordeaux, PhD as well as students, alumni, and faculty to learn about our program’s concentrations, Ivy League academics, professional advancement opportunities, and more.

If you are having trouble viewing this video, you can watch it on YouTube.

Fast facts

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3
Number of professional concentrations offered through MSAG
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12
Number of graduate-level courses required to earn the degree
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56%
Percentage of students studying part time
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2
Average number of years to earn a degree while studying full time

Courses and curriculum

The 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 in the real world. Students may then develop an individualized curriculum in collaboration with their advisors, or focus their studies with a concentration in engineering geology, hydrogeology, or environmental geology.

All MSAG program courses are offered in the evening, so you can take advantage of internship and research opportunities during the academic year or pursue your graduate education without interrupting your career.

Learn more about courses and curriculum >

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 monitoring. Courses are designed to prepare you for professional licensure in geology. OSHA’s Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) certification is also available. When you complete the master’s degree, the Geologist In Training work requirement for Professional Geologist (PG) licensure is shortened from five years to four.

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 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.

Learn more about program opportunities >

Prepare for a career in the geosciences

Graduates of the MSAG program become engineering geologists, researchers, and consultants in a wide range of organizations. Some students enter the program as working professionals who wish to accelerate their licensure or expand their skill set to approach pressing environmental issues. Others find their pathway into a career during the program, making the most of the University’s Ivy League resources and industry connections.

The culminating project for the 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.

See what MSAG students and alumni have achieved >

Upcoming application deadline

The application deadline for spring 2021 is November 1, 2020.

MSAG information session

Meet our team and learn about program features, full- and part-time schedules, the application process, and more.

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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