Skip to main content
Menu Search & Directory

Geoscience, Ph.D.

Students in Saint Louis University's Ph.D. geoscience programs apply physics and chemistry to study Earth processes from the surface to the core. These studies prepare our graduates for diverse careers in government, industry, consulting, and academia.

Program Highlights

  • Concentrations are offered in geophysics and environmental geosciences.
  • The University's geoscience facilities include a network of seismograph stations surrounding the New Madrid fault zone.
  • Excellent computing facilities including:
    • An environmental geochemistry lab with instrumentation to analyze the chemistries of waters, soils, and sediments.
    • A remote sensing lab.
    • A digital image analysis lab.

Curriculum Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy in Geosciences requires a minimum of 48 credits of course work and exactly 12 credits of dissertation research. Up to 24 credits of coursework leading to a master’s degree may count toward the credit requirement.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Active research areas in geophysics include earthquake seismology and tectonics

Active research areas in environmental geosciences include land use effects on water quality, contaminant transport hydrogeochemistry, surface water-groundwater interactions, river/reservoir sustainability, wetland biogeochemistry, fluvial geomorphology, coastal geomorphology and processes.

Careers

SLU's geoscience Ph.D. program prepares students for careers in academic research, teaching, government or industrial research environments.

Admission Requirements

Successful applicants possess sufficient GPA and English proficiency scores (for international students) and research interests compatible with ongoing research in the department.

Geophysics Concentration

Prerequisites include structural geology, college physics, mechanics and mathematics through differential equations.

Environmental Geosciences Concentration

Prerequisites include an undergraduate degree in a STEM discipline with at least one semester each of calculus, physics, biology, chemistry, and geoscience; a second semester of calculus or one semester of statistics.

Application Requirements

  • Application form and fee
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcript(s)
  • Professional goal statement
  • Résumé
  • GRE scores are optional

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application and Assistantship Application Deadlines

Students typically begin the program in the fall semester. Students who want to be considered for an assistantship must submit their applications by Jan. 2. Late applications and applications for the spring semester will be considered if positions are available.

Review Process

Faculty committee members examine qualified applicants' materials and make recommendations.

Scholarships, Assistantships and Financial Aid

For priority consideration for a graduate assistantship, apply by the program admission deadlines listed. Fellowships and assistantships provide a stipend and may include health insurance and a tuition scholarship for the duration of the award. 

For more information, visit http://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to assess relevant literature or scholarly contributions in the earth and atmospheric sciences.
  2. Graduates will be able to apply the major practices, theories, or research methodologies in the earth and atmospheric sciences.
  3. Graduates will be able to apply knowledge from the earth and atmospheric sciences to address problems in broader contexts.
  4. Graduates will be able to articulate arguments or explanations to both a disciplinary or professional audience and to a general audience, in oral forms.
  5. Graduates will be able to articulate arguments or explanations to both a disciplinary or professional audience and to a general audience, in written forms.
  6. Graduates will be able to evidence scholarly or professional integrity in earth and atmospheric sciences.
Required Courses
EAS 5500Scientific Communication3
EAS 5900Geoscience Journal Club1
Concentration Elective Courses
Select 32 credits of the following concentrations:32
Dissertation Research
EAS 6990Dissertation Research ((take over multiple semesters))12
Total Credits48

Geophysics Concentration

Concentration Requirements
EAS 5060Physics of Solid Earth3
EAS 6320Advanced Seismology II3
EAS 6310Advanced Seismology I3
Concentration Choice #1
EAS 5170Divergent & Convergent Margins3
or EAS 5180 Trans Margins & Plate Interior
Concentration Choice #2
Select two of the following:6
EAS 5040
Potential Theory
EAS 5400
Continuum Mechanics in Wave Propagation
EAS 5510
EAS 5520
Seismic Exploration Methods
and Seismic Exploration Lab
Concentration Elective Courses
Select 14 credits of the following:14
EAS 5040
Potential Theory
EAS 5120
Time Series Analysis in Geophysics
EAS 5180
Trans Margins & Plate Interior
EAS 5190
Seminar in Geoscience
EAS 5390
Seminar in Seismology
EAS 5400
Continuum Mechanics in Wave Propagation
EAS 5450
Advanced Petrology
EAS 5460
Geodynamics
EAS 5720
Seismological Instrumentation
EAS 6100
Advanced Topics in Solid Earth Geophysics
EAS 6981
Independent Study
Total Credits32

Environmental Geosciences Concentration

Concentration Elective Courses
Select 32 credits of elective course work in consultation with advisor. Example courses include:32
BST 5000
Principles of Biostatistics
BST 5400
Applied Data Management
CVNG 5330
Open-Channel Flow
CVNG 5370
River Engineering
CVNG 5930
Special Topics
GIS 5010
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
EAS 5190
Seminar in Geoscience
EAS 5280
Environmental Geochemistry
EAS 5410
Hydrology
EAS 6981
Independent Study
Total Credits32

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Geophysics Concentration Roadmap

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
EAS 5510 Seismic Exploration Methods 2
EAS 5520 Seismic Exploration Lab 1
EAS 5060 Physics of Solid Earth 3
EAS 6900 Geoscience Journal Club 0
EAS 5460 Geodynamics 3
 Credits9
Spring
EAS 5170 Divergent & Convergent Margins 3
EAS 5500 Scientific Communication 3
Journal Club 0
 Credits6
Summer
Dissertation Research 2
 Credits2
Year Two
Fall
EAS 5040 Potential Theory 3
Seminar in Geoscience 2
Journal Club 1
 Credits6
Spring
Continuum Mechanics 3
Journal Club 0
Elective 2
 Credits5
Summer
Dissertation Research 2
 Credits2
Year Three
Fall
Time Series Analysis 3
Advanced Seismology I 3
Journal Club 0
 Credits6
Spring
Advanced Seismology II 3
Journal Club 1
 Credits4
Summer
Dissertation Research 2
 Credits2
Year Four
Fall
Dissertation Research 1
Journal Club 0
 Credits1
Spring
Dissertation Research 1
Journal Club  
 Credits1
Summer
Dissertation Research 2
 Credits2
Year Five
Fall
Dissertation Research 1
Journal Club 0
 Credits1
Spring
Dissertation Research 1
Journal Club 0
 Credits1
 Total Credits48

Environmental Geosciences Concentration Roadmap

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
BST 5000 Principles of Biostatistics 3
EAS 5410 Hydrology 3
Journal Club 0
Elective (Electives are chosen with advisor to tailor to student needs) 3
 Credits9
Spring
EAS 6930 Special Topics 3
EAS 5500 Scientific Communication 3
Journal Club 0
GIS 5010 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3
 Credits9
Summer
Dissertation Research 3
 Credits3
Year Two
Fall
EAS 5280 Environmental Geochemistry 3
Seminar in Geoscience 2
Journal Club 1
 Credits6
Spring
Elective 3
Journal Club 0
Elective 2
 Credits5
Summer
Dissertation Research 2
 Credits2
Year Three
Fall
Elective 3
Journal Club 0
 Credits3
Spring
Journal Club 1
Elective 2
 Credits3
Summer
Dissertation Research 2
 Credits2
Year Four
Fall
Dissertation Research 1
Journal Club 0
 Credits1
Spring
Dissertation Research 1
Journal Club 0
 Credits1
Summer
Dissertation Research 2
 Credits2
Year Five
Fall
Dissertation Research 1
Journal Club 0
 Credits1
Spring
Dissertation Research 1
Journal Club 0
 Credits1
 Total Credits48

For more information about our program, please contact:

Linda Warren, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Coordinator, Geoscience
linda.warren@slu.edu