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Geological Sciences, M.S.

College of Arts and Sciences

Join a close-knit program to dig deeper into Earth sciences and advance your career in fields such as energy, climate, conservation research and more.

Study Earth’s dynamics and history, its composition and the chemical, physical and biological changes that it undergoes. Complete research and a thesis with mentorship from our faculty, who span the entire breadth of the geoscience disciplines. Financial support is available, and the program has a strong graduate student association.

Program Highlights

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    Field Experience

    Gain an abundance of hands-on experience in laboratory, computational and/or field methods.

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    Teaching & Education

    Inspire the next generation of scientists thanks to unique coursework and research opportunities in geoscience education.

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    Leading Labs

    Join cutting-edge research using plasma-source mass spectrometers at the Center for Elemental Mass Spectrometry.

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    A Supportive Faculty

    Learn from our large and diverse faculty, which boasts broad scientific expertise in a variety of specializations.

What You’ll Study

Courses include advanced study in your chosen specialization using laboratory, computational and field equipment. Conduct original research and complete a thesis or publish a peer-reviewed scientific paper.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Analytical Reasoning

    Breaking down complex problems or situations to identify patterns, connections and solutions

    Data Analysis

    Examining and interpreting information to uncover insights and inform decision making

    Scientific Writing

    Communicating scientific research and findings in a clear, accurate and compelling manner

  • Presentation Skills

    Preparing and delivering effective and engaging presentations to inform, persuade or inspire

    Laboratory Research

    Conducting experiments and analyzing data to gain new knowledge and insights in a scientific field


    Gathering and analyzing information to increase knowledge or solve problems

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Geologist
  • Educator
  • Researcher
  • Consultant

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Geologist
  • Senior Geologist
  • Marine Geologist
  • Hydrogeologist

Average Alumni Salary

Five to 10 years after graduation without additional education $71,725

Workplace Settings

  • Government (federal, state, and local)
  • Critical Minerals Industry
  • Energy Sector
  • Research Laboratories
  • Environmental Consulting
  • Geotechnical Industry

Employers of Alumni

  • S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
  • University of South Carolina
  • Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
  • Schlumberger

Is USC Right For You?

There are many reasons we could be your ideal university. There's the award-winning academics, the globally modeled student life, and abundance of study abroad and experiential learning options. Take a closer look at what USC could mean for you.

Degree content is provided for informational purposes only. The Academic Bulletin is the source of record for all degree information.