Degree Programs

Admissions Information

Admissions information for prospective undergraduate and graduate students can be found on the Prospective Students page, in the Students menu or by navigating to the following UAF websites:

UAF Undergraduate Student Admissions

Graduate School | Prospective Students

Department of Geosciences | Prospective Students


BS - Geosciences

Graduates in Geosciences have broad backgrounds in the earth sciences and firm foundations in mathematics, physics and chemistry. The bachelor's degree prepares students for positions with industry or government, or for graduate studies.

In order to offer a greater variety of courses, allow students to specialize earlier, and increase the number of undergraduate research opportunities, the Department of Geosciences offers four options to the BS degree program in Geoscience. The options are designed to better prepare students for admission to competitive graduate programs and/or successful careers in industry, while new courses take advantage of recent faculty hires and growing departmental strengths in geophysics, tectonics, remote sensing and vertebrate paleontology.

Expected outcomes:
The B.S. program strives to produce graduates who:

  • are knowledgeable about basic geoscience concepts;
  • can compete in the job market;
  • are able to communicate through effective writing and speaking;
  • can think critically about the important scientific issues of the day.

Geology Option

This option offers students a sound background in a spectrum of geological disciplines with an emphasis on current field mapping techniques essential to exploration and research. This option includes a new upper-division course in tectonics.


Geophysics Option

Geophysics BS students will gain foundational training in physics, mathematics, and geosciences. This training will allow students to explore the physical systems of Earth though observations, analysis, and modeling. Emphasis is place on the fields of seismology, volcanology, and glaciology, all of which are prominently featured in Alaska. This option is relevant to engineering fields or other disciplines that use geophysical tools such as ground penetrating radar or exploration seismology


Geospatial Sciences Option

As a student in the geospatial option, you will learn the principles of remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). You will receive hands-on training on how to acquire, process, manage, interpret and present geospatial data focusing on, but not limited to, a variety of geoscience applications.

There is a growing demand for geospatial scientists in private industry and government sector - locally and globally. This option will prepare you for a exciting, well-paid, long-term career by providing opportunities for project-based learning. You will be required to start with a 200 level course on the fundamentals of geospatial science, followed by more specialized courses in remote sensing and GIS.


Paleontology Option

Paleontology class

The paleontology option is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to study and interpret the fossil record. This program will build on a solid geological background and train students in the principles and practices of modern paleontological research. Students will receive hands-on training in a variety of fossil groups, including invertebrates and vertebrates, and will also fulfill the requirements for a minor in biology. Teaching and research activities benefit from the collections and facilities of the University of Alaska Museum. The option includes new upper-division courses in paleontological lab and field techniques and mass extinctions.


B.S. Geoscience Degree Requirements

Course Catalog - GEOS

MS/PhD - Earth System Science

Students working on a graduate degree in Earth System Science can specialize in one of the following areas of concentration in the department: Cryosphere, Geoscience, Geospatial Science or Solid Earth Geophysics.  Additional concentrations are also available. Note that currently the program is only able to accept applications from US citizens, while we wait for the program to be approved for visa-related matters. Detailed information about the degree requirements for MS and PhD degrees in Earth System Science can be found in the UAF Catalog:

M.S. and Ph.D. in Earth System Science, Degree Requirements

MS/PhD - Geoscience

Students working on a graduate degree in Geoscience can study in one or more of the following five areas: General Geology, Economic Geology,  Quaternary Geology, Remote Sensing, or Volcanology, under a concentration of Geology or Geography. Detailed information about the degree requirements for MS and PhD degrees in Geoscience can be found in the UAF Catalog:

M.S. and PhD in Geoscience, Degree Requirements

M.S./PhD - Geophysics

Students working on a graduate degree in Geophysics can specialize in one of three areas of concentration: Solid-Earth Geophysics; Snow, Ice, and Permafrost Geophysics; or Remote Sensing Geophysics

M.S. and PhD in Geophysics, Degree Requirements