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    Columbia Campus
  Jul 13, 2024
2009-2010 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
2009-2010 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Earth and Ocean Sciences

Venkataraman Lakshmi, Chair

Faculty Programs and Courses
Overview Website


The Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences offers programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geological sciences. Faculty research covers all aspects of earth and ocean sciences and is divided into three thematic areas: Environmental Geoscience’s geologic aspects of coastal and terrestrial environmental sciences, including coastal physical and chemical processes, hydrology, aqueous geochemistry, sediment and contaminant transport, environmental geophysics; Evolution of Orogenic Systems–an understanding of the physical and chemical processes controlling the formation and evolution of the planet Earth is critical to many issues of fundamental and societal importance, including identification and mitigation of geologic hazards and the maintenance of a sufficient supply of natural resources; and Global Climate Change’s understanding of and adjustment to geological, geochemical, and geophysical influences on global climate change is of critical concern for the coming decades. Available fields of research include coastal processes, environmental geosciences, geochemistry, geophysics, global climate change, hydrocarbon exploration, oceanography, paleoceanography, paleoclimatology, petrology, remote sensing, sedimentology, seismology, structural geology, and tectonics. Students interested in pursuing degrees in geoscience education are referred to the Master of Arts in Teaching in science (earth science option) and the Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Science (earth science option) programs available through the College of Education.


Admission to the program of graduate study in geological sciences is obtained by application to The Graduate School. Requirements are satisfactory scores on the GRE (normally a combined score of at least 1000 on the verbal and quantitative sections), undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher, and recommendations from qualified referees. Applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 80 (internet-based). The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5. The Department of Geological Sciences does not have a specific set of required undergraduate courses but bases its admission mainly on demonstrated ability to do academic work and interest in the field of earth and ocean sciences. Questions concerning admission should be submitted to the director of graduate studies in geological sciences.

Earth and Ocean Sciences