Graduate Programs

Chair: Qiaofeng (Robin) Zhang 
Faculty: Casey, Cetin, El Masri, Hong, Ortmann, Stinchcomb, Venter, Zhang

Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Haluk Cetin, hcetin@murraystate.edu, 270-809-2085

The Department of Geosciences offers a Master of Science degree in Geosciences. Students choose the thesis or the non-thesis option.  Four concentrations are offered for the thesis option: Environmental Geology, Geoarchaeology, Geoinformatics, and Watershed Sciences. Each student’s program is developed in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.

Requirements for Admission
Applicants must meet the Murray State University requirements (see Chapter 3-Graduate Admissions of the current Academic Bulletin or Graduate Admissions). The department requires that three letters of recommendation and GRE scores accompany application materials. A letter discussing reasons for the applicant’s interest in the program should also be forwarded. Additional requirements for unconditional and conditional admission are as follows.
Unconditional
To qualify for unconditional admission, an applicant must have an overall grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in a geoscience (or related) field and a composite GRE score (V+Q) of 1,000 old scale or 300 new scale.
Conditional
Students admitted conditionally are admitted to full standing after completing:
(1) any remedial courses required by the graduate faculty
and
(2) one semester of graduate work with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above

Master of Science in Geosciences

Thesis Options

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Environmental Geology

Master of Science in Geosciences CIP 40.0699

The Environmental Geology Concentration is an interdisciplinary master’s program within the Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology designed to prepare students for further graduate studies or careers in either the public or private sector. This concentration focuses on the chemical, physical, and biological aspects of environmental change both in the present and in the geologic past.

Curriculum (pdf)

Curriculum
Required Courses (15 hrs)
GSC 619 Seminar in Research Techniques
GSC 621 Geographic Information Systems
GSC 696 Understanding Scientific Communication
GSC 698 Thesis Research
GSC 699 Thesis Research
Restricted Electives (15 hrs)
Choose any two courses from the following (6-7 hrs):
BIO 686 Limnology
CHE 665 Biogeochemistry
GSC 633 Paleoecology
GSC 642 Watershed Ecology
GSC 680 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

Choose eight to nine hours from the following:
ARC 615 Environmental Archaeology
BIO 623 Physiological Ecology
BIO 625 Biogeography
BIO 632 Quantitative Ecology
BIO 646 Stream Ecology
BIO 678 Conservation Biology
BIO 690 Disturbance Ecology
CET 655 Environmental Regulatory Affairs
CET 681 Pollution Assessment and Control
CHE 613 Environmental Chemistry
GSC 636 Soils and Geomorphology
GSC 662 Hydrogeology
GSC 665 Physical/Chemical Limnology
GSC 691 Special Problems
GSC 692 Special Problems
GSC 693 Special Problems
MAT 665 Applied Statistics I
WSC 601 Seminar in Sustainability Studies
Other Degree Requirements
Defense of thesis
Total Curriculum Requirements (30 hrs)

Geoarchaeology

Master of Science in Geosciences CIP 40.0699

The Geoarchaeology Concentration is an interdisciplinary master’s degree program designed to prepare students for further graduate studies or careers in the public or private sector. The Geoarchaeology Concentration offers students a broad range of options to develop a curriculum that matches their particular interests and needs. The Geoarchaeology Concentration emphasizes the relationship between human culture and the natural environment and provides opportunities to apply the principles and methods of geoscience research in an archaeological context.

Curriculum (pdf)

Curriculum
Required Courses (18 hrs)
ARC 600 Graduate Seminar in Archaeology
GSC 619 Seminar in Research Techniques
GSC 621 Geographic Information Systems
GSC 696 Understanding Scientific Communication
GSC 698 Thesis Research
GSC 699 Thesis Research
Restricted Electives (12 hrs)
Choose one course from the following:
ARC 602 Graduate Archaeological Field Work
GSC 636 Soils and Geomorphology
GSC 656 Geophysical Surveying

Choose nine hours from the following:
ARC 604 Archaeological Laboratory Systems
ARC 605 Archaeological Information Systems
ARC 610 Landscape Archaeology
ARC 615 Environmental Archaeology
GSC 612 Remote Sensing
GSC 680 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
GSC 691 Special Problems
GSC 692 Special Problems
GSC 693 Special Problems
MAT 665 Applied Statistics I
WSC 601 Seminar in Sustainability Studies
Other Degree Requirements
Defense of thesis
Total Curriculum Requirements (30 hrs)

Geoinformatics

Master of Science in Geosciences CIP 40.0699

The Geoinformatics Concentration is designed to prepare students for further graduate studies or careers in the field of geospatial information science and technology. Geospatial technology is a fast growing field with broad and multidisciplinary applications that has penetrated every aspect of our daily lives. The Geoinformatics Concentration provides students with up-to-date training on geospatial theory, application, and technology.

Curriculum (pdf)

Curriculum
Required Courses (15 hrs)
GSC 619 Seminar in Research Techniques
GSC 621 Geographic Information Systems
GSC 696 Understanding Scientific Communication
GSC 698 Thesis Research
GSC 699 Thesis Research
Required Concentration Courses (10 hrs)
GSC 612 Remote Sensing
GSC 640 Advanced Remote Sensing
GSC 680 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Restricted Electives (5 hrs)
Choose from the following:
CIS 609 Data Warehouses and Business Intelligence
CIS 615 Information System Security
GSC 622 Digital Cartography
GSC 641 Digital Image Processing Research
GSC 656 Geophysical Surveying
GSC 660 Spatial Analysis Techniques
GSC 661 Precision GIS/GPS Applications
GSC 678 Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling
GSC 679 Remote Sensing of Vegetation
GSC 691 Special Problems
GSC 692 Special Problems
GSC 693 Special Problems
MAT 665 Applied Statistics I
Other Degree Requirements
Defense of thesis
Total Curriculum Requirements (30 hrs)

Watershed Science

Master of Science in Geosciences CIP 40.0699

The Watershed Science Concentration is jointly sponsored between the Department of Geosciences and the Watershed Studies Institute (WSI). The Watershed Studies Institute program in Watershed Science is an interdisciplinary master’s program within the Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology designed to prepare students for careers or for further graduate studies in the broader aspects of watershed management and science. The student’s program is developed in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator. Visit the Watershed Studies Institute (WSI) to learn more.

Curriculum (pdf)

Curriculum

Required Courses (18 hrs)
GSC 619 Seminar in Research Techniques
GSC 621 Geographic Information Systems
GSC 642 Watershed Ecology
GSC 696 Understanding Scientific Communication
GSC 698 Thesis Research
GSC 699 Thesis Research

Restricted Electives (12 hrs)
Courses must be approved by the advisory committee and represent at least two disciplines.
AGR 674 Agricultural Irrigation and Water Systems
BIO 625 Biogeography
BIO 630 Animal Ecology
BIO 631 Plant Ecology
BIO 632 Quantitative Ecology
BIO 646 Stream Ecology
BIO 661 Freshwater Invertebrates
BIO 663 Aquatic Entomology
BIO 668 Wetland Ecology
BIO 669 Biological Limnology
BIO 670 Limnological Analysis Laboratory
BIO 671 Ichthyology
BIO 672 Herpetology
BIO 678 Conservation Biology
BIO 682 Waterfowl Management
BIO 683 Fisheries Management
BIO 686 Limnology
BIO 687 Freshwater Biology
BIO 688 Reservoir Ecology
BIO 690 Disturbance Ecology
CET 655 Environmental Regulatory Affairs
CET 681 Pollution Assessment and Control
CET 685 Remediation Technology
CHE 613 Environmental Chemistry
CHE 617 Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHE 627 Chemical Separations
CHE 628 Mass Spectrometry
CHE 665 Biogeochemistry
GSC 616 Isotope Geochemistry
GSC 636 Soils and Geomorphology
GSC 640 Advanced Remote Sensing
GSC 641 Digital Image Processing Research
GSC 643 Soil Micromorphology
GSC 662 Hydrogeology
GSC 665 Physical/Chemical Limnology
GSC 678 Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling
GSC 679 Remote Sensing of Vegetation
GSC 680 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Other Degree Requirements
Successful completion of MAT 665 Applied Statistics I if substituted for GSC 619.

Written and oral comprehensive examinations as specified by the advisory committee in broad aspects of watershed science and area of concentration (usually taken in third semester of residence).

Defense of thesis.
Total Curriculum Requirements (30 hrs)

Non-Thesis Option

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Geosciences

Master of Science in Geosciences CIP 40.0699

Curriculum (pdf)

Curriculum
Required Courses (16 hrs)
GSC 612 Remote Sensing
GSC 619 Seminar in Research Techniques
GSC 621 Geographic Information Systems
GSC 680 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
GSC 696 Understanding Scientific Communication
Restricted Electives (14 hrs)
GSC courses, at 600-level (9-10 hrs)
GSC or related courses at 600-level (4-5 hrs)
Other Degree Requirements
Written and oral comprehensive examinations
Total Curriculum Requirements (30 hrs)

Certificate

The Certificate in Geospatial Data Science (cGDS) program is designed to complement interdisciplinary graduate and professional degree programs in data science and to provide specialized set of courses emphasizing geospatial science and technology for students to gain professional skills and/or knowledge.  The certification program will support professionals working in geospatial field and will provide experience using industry and federal data standards and methodologies for data acquisition/input, manipulation, analysis, modeling and output. It will also add value to traditional computer science and geography discipline areas, such as big data analytics, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS) and science, and CyberGIS.

Requirements for Admission
Students who hold an undergraduate or a graduate degree, or are currently enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program may apply for the Certificate in Geospatial Data Science program.
Applicants must comply with the Murray State University requirements (see Chapter 3-Graduate Admissions of the current Academic Bulletin or Graduate Admissions).
Unconditional
To qualify for unconditional admission, an applicant must have an overall grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
Conditional
Students admitted conditionally are admitted to full standing after completing:
(1) any remedial courses required by the graduate faculty
and
(2) one semester of graduate work with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above

How to Receive Certificate upon Completion

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Geospatial Data Science (cGDS)

Certificate in Geospatial Data Science CIP 45.0702

Curriculum (pdf)

Curriculum
Required Courses (11 hrs)
GSC 612 Remote Sensing
GSC 621 Geographic Information Systems
GSC 693 Special Problems: Big Data Analytics
Required Limited Electives (3 hrs)
Choose from the following approved electives:
BUS 684 Seminar in Geospatial Tools in Business
CIS 609 Data Warehouses and Business Intelligence
CIS 643 Advanced Business Analytics
CIS 646 A Manager’s Guide to Database
CIS/CSC 695 Comprehensive Project in Computer Science
GSC 640 Advanced Remote Sensing
GSC 660 Spatial Analysis Techniques
GSC 678 Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling
GSC 679 Remote Sensing of Vegetation
GSC 680 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
GSC 691 Special Problems
GSC 692 Special Problems
GSC 696 Understanding Scientific Communication
MKT 685 Seminar in Marketing Location Analytics
TSM/CIS 615 Information System Security
Total Curriculum Requirements (14 hrs)
A grade of “C” or better must be achieved in all courses for successful completion of the Certificate program. Students may transfer up to six credit hours of equivalent graduate courses into the program.