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The Geology & Geophysics Graduate Program

Degrees Offered 

Monument ValleyGeology

  • M.S

  • Ph.D

Emphasises in the Earth’s composition (minerals & rocks), dynamic structure (faults, folds & plate tectonics) and long history (as displayed in the succession of rock units and the fossil record of life through time).

Research/Areas of Interest


  • M.S

  • Ph.D

Emphasises the Earth’s deep interior by studying natural physical fields within the Earth (gravity, magnetic, thermal and electrical fields) and the transfer of energy throughout the Earth’s interior (seismic waves generated by earthquakes). 

Research/Areas of Interest

Landscape ArchGeological Engineering

  • M.S

  • Ph.D

  • M.E (non-thesis graduate program)

An engineering approach to solving important problems related to geological hazards (such as earthquakes and landslides) and natural resources (such as surface water and groundwater).

Research/Areas of Interest

What you need to know


Once accepted into our program, our students are fully funded; meaning their general graduate tuition and mandatory fees are covered. Graduate students will receive funding through their participation as a Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant (TBP), or by receiving a fellowship.

Visit this website for more information on the Tuition Benefit Program (TBP).

Health Insurance

All graduate students are eligible for health insurance though the university, at no additional cost. More information is available here.

We offer application fee waivers to students who have financial limitation. 
Once you have communicated with a faculty advisor, and they have agreed to review your application, you may email the graduate advisor to request the waiver code; please cc the faculty member on your email. 
Please note that there is no way to do a refund for the application fee if you have a waiver code and it is not used.

International Students must meet U of U application deadlines and I-20 document deadlines.


Before Applying

Search through our faculty directory and the research themes and program page to find out which of our academic or research faculty aligns with your research interests. (Note: The majority of our advising faculty are academic faculty.)

Prior to submitting an application, identify 3 potential advising faculty in our department.

Contact the faculty member(s) directly with the following information:

  • Inquire about openings on their current research project.
  • Briefly introduce yourself, your background, and interest in their area of research.

Important Things to Know

  • Students who have identified and contacted their top faculty choices are more likely to be accepted into a graduate program.
  • The majority of our students are admitted for Fall Semester.



Graduate Application Deadlines:

Fall Semester

January 15

Spring Semester

September 15

*Summer Semester

February 15

* We only accept Summer Admissions in special circumstances and permission must be secured by faculty advisors prior to applying.

  • GRE scores are no longer required.
  • There are no prerequisites to apply to our graduate programs.

Below is a list of materials you will need to complete the process.

  • Academic Transcripts. A copy of your transcript from each college or university you have attended should be uploaded in the online application system. You can upload unofficial copies for your application; however, if you are selected for admission to the graduate program, official, sealed copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent at that time to the university admissions office. More information can be found here.
  • English Proficiency Test Score (For international students only). 
    • Your official report does not have to be received by the Admissions Office by the application deadline. However, your application cannot advance until the Admissions Office receives your official report. 
  • Letters of Reference. Names and contact information for three (3) references will be requested in Apply Yourself. At least three letters of professional references are required. The recommenders will be contacted by email and may upload their recommendations using the U of U's online system. It is your responsibility to make sure all three letters are submitted before the deadline. We highly recommend that you check in the system at least a week before the due date to see which ones are missing and then email that person directly to remind them of the deadline. Once the deadline has passed, no letters can be submitted. 
  • CV or Resume
  • Statement of Purpose. A two-page personal statement outlining your background, research interests (including possible faculty research advisors), goals, and reasons for applying to our graduate program.
  • Faculty Advisor.
    • List 3 faculty advisors of choice (failure to list faculty advisor(s) may lesson your chance of being accepted into the program). 
  • Payment. Credit card for application fee
    • Just because you paid, does not mean your application has been submitted. After you pay, there is an additional step you need to do in order to complete the process to submit your application. 
    • Application Wavier Code: Codes are granted through the graduate advisor pending faculty approval.

Apply here


After Applying

All applicants will be notified of their acceptance or non-acceptance into the program after the review process is complete.

For Fall:

  • First round offer letters are sent in February.
  • Subsequent offer letters are sent in March & April.
  • Non-acceptance notifications are sent out via the electronic system by the end of April. 


Once Accepted

U of U Admitted Grads Next Steps  (university level)

Your Graduate Advisor will reach out to you to discuss next steps with the department.

Visit our Current Graduate Students Webpage

Once you have received an offer, we encourage you to apply for the EDGES Fellowship Program. Talk to your prospective faculty advisor before applying.

The EDGES fellowship program seeks to increase success for graduate students in STEM fields, to enrich the academic environment for the campus community, and to broaden the STEM workforce.

EDGES Fellows receive a monetary award (up to $10,000 per fellow) and participate in supported cohort-based activities. 

For more information, visit EDGES (Enhancing Diversity & Graduate Excellence in Science) Fellows.


Questions? Contact:

Sam Lee
Geology & Geophysics Graduate Student Advisor 
Dr. Fan-Chi Lin
Geology & Geophysics Graduate Studies Director
Last Updated: 7/12/24