Masters in Earth Sciences

survey3Our department offers an M.S. in Earth Sciences with opportunities for study and research in the areas of geology, hydrology, atmospheric science, remote sensing, spatial analysis and environmental science.  The program offers graduate students personal guidance (typical of a relatively small department) with the field, laboratory, and computing facilities and resources that accompany a much larger Earth Sciences department.  Within this context, you will find a healthy combination of both field- and model-based Earth Science research as well as applied and academic research opportunities. 

Our faculty offer courses and are active in the following specific research areas:  air quality, applied climatology, applied geophysics, biogeochemistry, climate change, coastal geology, emerging diseases, environmental geology, epidemiology, fluvial processes, geospatial analysis, GIS/geo-computation, groundwater hydrology, land change dynamics, landscape ecology, marine geology, mineralogy and geochemistry, numerical modeling, paleoecology, paleontology, quaternary geology, remote sensing, renewable energies, sedimentology, severe weather, soil science, stratigraphy, structural geology, sustainability, tropical cyclones, urban ecology, volcanology, and weather forecasting.

The program is designed to address a range of student needs and to be completed in two years of full-time study.  Graduates of the program will employ their expertise in a wide variety of activities and will be prepared for careers such as environmental consultants, geologists in the energy and mining industries, meteorologists, regulators in governmental agencies, and Earth Science teachers in secondary schools.  Furthermore, the M.S. in Earth Sciences prepares students for admission to traditional Atmospheric Science, Geology, or Earth Science Ph.D. programs as well as interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs such as Infrastructure and Environmental Systems – a program we also offer in conjunction with the College of Engineering.


Important Deadlines:  Applicants who wish to be considered for a select number of competitive Teaching Assistantships (TAs) must have their completed application submitted to the Graduate School no later than February 1 (for students wishing to begin in the fall term) or September 30 (for students wishing to begin in the spring term).  Review of applications will begin on these dates and continue until all available teaching assistantships are filled.  Applications received after these dates will be reviewed although funding opportunities will be more limited.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty members whose research interests coincide with their own and who may serve as their capstone project or thesis advisor (see here for faculty research interests). Admission to the program is contingent on a faculty advisor agreeing to supervise the applicant’s research. 

New Coursework-Only Earth Sciences Masters degree available Fall 2021. Thinking of getting an MS Degree to improve your career success? Doing so just got easier for working professionals with the addition of a non-thesis option in the MS Earth Sciences program at UNC Charlotte!  Apply now here for Fall 2021 or Email Sara Gagne ( for more information.

UPDATE: The GRE admission requirement has been waived for spring and fall 2021.
Click Here to Apply

If you have any questions not directly answered here, feel free to contact the acting Earth Science Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Sara Gagné.  We are here to answer your questions, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Resources for Prospective and Current Students

- M.S. Admission Requirements
- Assistantships and Financial Considerations
- Overview of Graduate School Funding Options
- Recent Graduate Courses: Atmospheric Science / Meteorology
- Recent Graduate Courses: Geology / Hydrology / Earth Sciences
- Research Theses/Projects
- Campus Visits for Prospective Students

Resources for Current Students