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Geological Sciences, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 60 months
University rank #13 (ARWU) Ithaca, NY, United States
The geological science program is designed to give students broad and formal training in the basic sciences as well as field and practical experience through research in their specialty.
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  • The program has particular strengths in geophysics, geochemistry and petrology, structural geology, sedimentology, marine ecology, and paleontology. However, the exceptional flexibility of Cornell's graduate program provides ample opportunity for students to work across disciplinary areas. For example, arrangements exist for study of marine ecology, water resources, and various branches of applied geological science. 
  • Faculty members in other fields or divisions offer interdisciplinary courses including planetology and extraterrestrial geology, paleobotany, ecology and systematics, biogeochemistry, limnology, soil genesis, soil mineralogy, soil and rock mechanics, remote sensing, environmental fluid mechanics and hydrology, fluid dynamics, elasticity, geotechnical and earthquake engineering, regional planning, hydraulics and hydrology, and materials science and engineering.
  • A candidate for a doctoral degree in Geological Sciences is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in a sub-discipline within the broader domain of earth sciences and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the sub-discipline in a timely fashion.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 60 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Concentrations by Subject:

  • Economic Geology
  • Engineering Geology
  • Environmental Geophysics
  • General Geology
  • Geobiology
  • Geochemistry And Isotope Geology
  • Geohydrology
  • Geomorphology
  • Geophysics
  • Geotectonics
  • Marine Geology (Minor)
  • Mineralogy
  • Ocean Science And Technology
  • Paleontology
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Petrology
  • Planetary Geology
  • Precambrian Geology
  • Quaternary Geology
  • Rock Mechanics
  • Sedimentology
  • Seismology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Structural Geology

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

General Requirements

  • All Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for non-native English applicants
  • three recommendations
  • GRE general test
Students who are self-motivated and self-directed with strong quantitative backgrounds and a keen interest in and curiosity about the Earth are encouraged to apply. While helpful, prior study of geology is not a requirement for admission; applications from students with undergraduate degrees in other fields are welcome. 

Tuition Fee

  • International

    29500 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 29500 USD per year and a duration of 60 months.
  • National

    29500 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 29500 USD per year and a duration of 60 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Ithaca

  • 1128 - 2460 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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