The Department of Earth Science offers programs leading to the Masters of Science in Earth Science, and Ph.D. degrees in a variety of areas of specialization. The Earth Science program offers study in geochemistry, geophysics, geomorphology and Quaternary geology, petrology, sedimentology and stratigraphy, tectonics, structural geology and crustal evolution, and paleobiology.
Students determine their individual program of study in consultation with their primary advisor and thesis committee, in accordance with their special interests and needs. The Faculty Graduate Advisor is available to all students for consultation on all other matters. The Graduate Program Assistant (telephone 805-893-3329) can help with all questions regarding degree requirements and general administrative matters.
Students are responsible for consulting the campus General Catalog and quarterly Schedule of Classes for University requirements, registration procedures and fee deadlines. If you enter with a BA/BS degree, and are aiming for a Ph.D., you will concentrate on coursework in your first few quarters. During this time you should also select and begin to organize a dissertation research program. The Ph.D. Oral Qualifying Exam (advancement to candidacy) must be taken within one academic year of completing the comprehensive exam (by December 1 of your third year). We expect you to finish the Ph.D. within 3 to 5.5 years of full-time study. Students entering with a completed MA/MS degree are expected to complete their degrees in less time.
MS students should arrange their studies to finish in not more than two years.
For more detailed information on our graduate program, see the graduate handbook.