As the terminal degree in Geology, the Ph.D. is the starting point of an academic career in the Earth and Planetary Sciences. It is also sought-after by public- and private-sector organizations focused on natural resources development and regulation.

The primary aim of the graduate program is to produce professional geologists with a sound grasp of current scientific problems and a strong technical background. We also hope to develop in these geologists the skills and motivation for continued learning that will permit definition and solution of new problems during their professional careers. Proper pursuit of academic and career goals demands that time in graduate school be spent efficiently. Early development of a coherent plan for your coursework and research is imperative. We feel that for maximum benefit all requirements for a master’s degree should be completed no later than the end of the second full year. For those students enrolled in the Ph.D. program, all work should be completed no later than the end of the fourth full year. Every effort should be made to insure that you are able to complete all requirements, including acceptance of the thesis or dissertation, before you leave campus to accept a job. Upon graduating you will go on to positions in industry, government, and academe. As you move into the mainstream of professional life your reflections on the geology program at the University of Georgia will be most welcome. Your suggestions will assist us in further developing a program that will remain at the forefront of geological science.

The department offers instruction and opportunities for research in archaeological geology, economic geology, geochemistry, clay mineralogy, geophysics, hydrogeology, marine geology, mineralogy, paleontology, micropaleontology, petrology, stratigraphy-sedimentology, and other fields. Graduate programs leading to the MS and PhD are individually arranged to fit each student and his/her background.

Facilities for graduate training and research include analytical and experimental laboratories containing X-ray diffraction equipment, mass spectrometers, FTIR and an electron microprobe. Special facilities include a stable isotope laboratory, a potassium-argon laboratory, an experimental petrology laboratory, equipment for seismological studies, a cathodeluminoscope, a carbon-14 and tritium dating laboratory, a neutron activation analysis laboratory, paleontological and sedimentological laboratories, and laboratories for sample preparation, optical determination, 12 station computer lab and photo-microscopy. The university’s Marine Institute on Sapelo Island and the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography at Savannah provide facilities for research in marine geology. Companion facilities include the university computer center, electron microscopy laboratory, field vehicles, instrument shops, and rock, mineral, and fossil collections.

Degree Awarded: PhD

Degree Code: PHD_GEOL

School/College: Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Old College
Athens, GA 30602-1732


Academic Department: Geology

GG Building
Athens, GA 30602-2501

Graduate Coordinator: Steve Holland


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