The geology and physical geography faculty have a broad range of interests and expertise that includes structural geology, geomorphology, igneous and metamorphic petrology, volcanology, mineralogy, evolution of planetary crusts, geophysics, paleomagnetism, analytical geochemistry, Precambrian geology, stratigraphy, sedimentology, glacial geology, micropaleontology, Quaternary studies, paleoceanography, climatology and paleoclimatology, aqueous geochemistry, sedimentary geochemistry, biogeochemistry, hydrogeology, and environmental geology. Field work is a central feature of the research of most faculty members. Students are encouraged to interact with faculty representing several sub-disciplines in the field. Students also have the possibility of interacting with Five College faculty members. The Five College Consortium promotes academic cooperation between Amherst , Hampshire, Mount Holyoke , and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts.
Doctor of Philosophy in Geosciences
Applications for research in geosciences (to include the broad range of geology, geography, geophysics, climatology and paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, natural hazards and human interactions with the natural environment) are encouraged. In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School , all candidates for the Ph.D. are expected to have a background approximately equivalent to our M.S. degree in geology or geography, although this by no means precludes individualized programs for those with special strength in another discipline. Additional requirements include completion of sufficient course work or independent study to prepare the candidate for the preliminary comprehensive exam (research proposition) and a reading knowledge in one foreign language. (Ph.D. Geosciences - graduate school link)
Master of Science in Geosciences
In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School , the Departmental requirements for the M.S. include: a full year of college mathematics or statistics (beyond pre-calculus); a full year of two supporting sciences (biology, chemistry or physics); six weeks of field experience and a prescribed number of courses within the department. Normally a candidate will write a thesis, but it is possible to elect a program of study that does not include writing a thesis. (M.S. Geosciences - graduate school link)