Baylor University
Department of Geosciences
College of Arts and Sciences

M.S. in Geology

Degree Requirements

To be qualified for admission to the Masters of Science program in geology, students must have completed an undergraduate degree in geology or a related discipline and have taken the Graduate Record Examination General Test within the last five years.

To earn the M.S. degree at Baylor, at least twelve semester hours of credit must be earned from 5000-level courses, excluding 5V99, as part of the graduate program. No more than six semester hours of credit may be earned in special problems (5V90). Only six hours of summer graduate field course credits will be permitted to count toward the twenty-four hours of course work needed for the M.S. degree; however, graduate students are encouraged to take two or more of these field courses. All graduate students must take GEO 5110. GEO 5050 is required for four semesters during residency at Baylor. A thesis (GEO 5V99 for six semester hours) is required of all students. An oral examination is required.

M.S. Course Listings


4314 Meteorology (Cross-listed as GEO 4314)

Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing or consent of instructor.
Composition of the atmosphere, atmospheric processes, weather disturbances, and climate elements and controls. Emphasis is placed on climate classification and measurements of human inputs into the atmosphere.

4315 Political Geography(See PSC 4315)

4340 Geomorphology (Cross-listed as GEO 4340)

4385 Introduction to Geographic Informational Systems (Cross-listed as ENV 4384 and GEO 4385)

Map properties, map design, remote sensing, GPS, and the growth and development of geographic information. Students will use computers and other tools related to Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

4386 Remote Sensing (See GEO 4386)

4387 Applied Geographic Information Systems (Cross-listed as ENV 4388 and GEO 4387)

Prerequisite(s): GEO 4385 or consent of instructor.

Principles and techniques of spatial data collection, handling, analysis, and visualization. Application of geographic information systems technology in land use, ecology, resource management, environmental site evaluation, demographics and marketing, and map-making. Hands-on experience with workstation and microcomputer-based GIS software.


4255 Advanced Seismic Interpretation

Prerequisite(s): GEO 4458 or consent of instructor.

Modern techniques used to extract geological information from seismic reflection data. Emphasis is placed on the interpretation of real data sets and the the construction of subsurface maps and sections.

43C0 Senior Thesis

Prerequisite(s): Consent of faculty

Independent research of a problem approved by the staff. Results will be submitted in proper thesis form.

4312 Oceanography

Physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of the oceans with special emphasis on the direct and indirect relationships of humans to the oceans. Such topics as mining the sea and its floor, farming the seas, and influence of the oceans on weather are included. Field trips and laboratory exercises. May not be taken for credit if GEO 1402 has been taken.

4313 Astronomy

A brief history of astronomy developments followed by a survey of the dimensions, motions, and interrelationships of bodies in our solar system. Additional emphasis is given to galaxies, stellar evolution, and cosmology. (2-1)

4314 Meteorology (See GEOG 4314)

4325 Economic Mineral Deposits

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3427 and 3455

Non-hydrocarbon economic mineral deposits. Origin and migration of ore-bearing fluids; mineralogy and geometry of ore bodies; relations of ore deposits to magnatism and tectonics. Field trip to Central Texas mining district.

4328 Sedimentary Petrology

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3427 and 3435, or consent of instructor.

Microscopic and field characteristics of sedimentary rocks. Emphasis on interpretation of depositional and diagenetic environments and relationships between geometry of rock bodies and sedimentary processes.

4335 Volcanology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Analysis of volcanic ejecta. Mechanisms of lava and pyroclastic eruptions. Geomorphological analysis of volcanic land forms. History of volcanological studies and case studies of well known volcanoes. Field trips.

4336 Analytical Techniques in Geochemistry

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3427

Principles and practice of X-ray fluorescence and electron probe analysis of geologic materials. Includes extensive laboratory work. (2-2)

4337 Paleoecology

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3435 or consent of instructor.

Relationship of fossil plants and animals to their physical and biological environment. Examination of principles of paleosynecology and paleoautecology; data gathering, analysis, and techniques of interpretation. (2-2)

4338 Biostratigraphy

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3435 and consent of instructor.

Stratigraphic units, with major emphasis on environmental interpretations and on the importance and limitations of using selected fossil groups in providing a chronological basis for detailed facies analyses. Consists of both field and laboratory studies.

4339 Advanced Marine Field Studies (Cross-listed as BIO 4339)

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3341 or 5333 or BIO 3341).

Continuation of GEO 3341/5333. Field examination of marine environments. Individual research projects emphasize biology and geology of carbonate depositional regimes.

4340 Geomorphology (See GEOG 4340)

4341 Introduction to Hydrology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Basic applied techniques in surface and ground water hydrology. Surface water hydrology will incorporate analysis of precipitation records, runoff processes, and calculation of flood hazard. Ground water hydrology will emphasize hydrogeology techniques, including simple models of ground water movement.

4345 Water Management (See ENV 4345)

4346 Hydrogeology

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3342 and 3445

Hydrogeology (ground water hydrology) for geologists and engineers. Topics to be covered include evaporation and precipitation, soil moisture, principles of ground water flow, regional ground water flow, geology of ground water occurrence, flow to wells, ground water chemistry, and ground water development and management. (2-1)

4348 Geoarchaeology (Cross-listed as ANT 4348 and ARC 4348)

Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing or consent of instructor.

Concepts and methods of the geosciences applied to solving archaeological problems. Emphasis on stratigraphy, soils, climate, dating techniques, site formation, and site preservation related to both New World and Old World archaeology.

4371 Wetlands (Cross-listed as ENV 4371)

Theory and application of the wetland concepts: classification, hydrology, biochemistry, soils, vegetation, construction, regulation, and delineation. Field lab.

4373 Global Soil Systems (Cross-listed as ENV 4374)

Fundamentals of soil genesis, classification, geomorphology, ecosystems, and environmental interpretation. Includes the role of soil biogeochemical cycles in past, current, and future global change issues. Field lab.

4375 Natural Landscape Evaluation and Planning(Cross-listed as ENV 4375)

Recognition of natural features that affect human uses. Evaluation of natural landscapes on a scale from complete preservation to full development. Experience in urban landscapes. Includes one or more Saturday field trips.

4385 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (See GEOG 4385)

Remote Sensing (Cross-listed as BIO 4386 and GEOG 4386)

Physical mechanisms of surface and atmospheric materials absorption, transmittance, reflection, and emittance of light measured by various remote sensing platforms. Survey various applications related to earth science, ecology, meteorology, and environmental science.

4387 Applied Geographic Information Systems (See GEOG 4387)

Vertebrate Paleontology (See BIO 4430)

4457 Geophysical Exploration I

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3342 and 3445 and consent of instructor.

Exploration geophysics, using gravity, magnetics, heat flow, telluric currents, resistivity, and other methods of remote sensing of hidden geological phenomena exclusive of seismic exploration. Laboratory work will emphasize geological interpretation of geophysical data.

4458 Geophysical Exploration II

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3342 and 3445 and consent of instructor.

Exploration geophysics, using latest seismic techniques and well-log analyses, with emphasis on petroleum exploration.

4459 Engineering Geology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Soil and rock mechanics. Analysis of geotechnical problems in the field and lab, report preparation, and computer evaluation of geotechnical problems. (3-4)

4465 Petroleum Geology

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3342 and 3445.

Origin, migration, and accumulation of petroleum. Exploration and production methods for hydrocarbon recovery. (2-6)

4656 Geophysical Field Training

Prerequisite(s): GEO 4457 or 4458 or consent of instructor.

Practice in the efficient, accurate, and cost effective acquisition of geophysical data in the field. The course will involve field practice with gravimeters, magnetometers, borehole drilling and logging devices, exploration seismic gear, surface electrical prospecting equipment, physical laboratory models, and digital data processing equipment as specific equipment is available from summer to summer. Field work will be conducted on a weekly schedule of at least five half days, with data reduction taking up the remaining time.

5050 Geology Technical Sessions

A forum for: (a) outside speakers, (b) presentation of student research, (c) discussion of current geologic and geophysical literature, and (d) guidance in thesis preparation. May be repeated as required by the department. M.S. and M.A. students must attend at least four semesters. Ph.D. candidates must attend while in residence.

5110 History of Geology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of the department.

Evolution of geological thought. Required, or its equivalent, of all M.S., M.A., and Ph.D. candidates.

5252 Seismic Stratigraphy

Interpretation of seismic data for the purpose of inferring stratigraphic changes and depositional environments.

5308 Advanced Studies in Earth Science

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor

Special topics in earth science. May be repeated once with change of content. Maximum 6 sem. hrs.

5315 Clastic/Carbonate Depositional Systems

Prerequisite(s): GEO 4328 and 3342.

Criteria for the recognition of clastic and carbonate depositional environments.

5318 Advanced Studies in Geophysics

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Special topics in geophysics. May be repeated with change of content. Maximum 6 sem. hrs.

5320 Geochemistry

Prerequisite(s): CHE 1302, GEO 3342 and 3445. Advanced standing in geology.

Application of isotope geochemistry, thermodynamics, and phase equilibrium studies to the solution of geological problems.

5321 Isotope Geochemistry

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Theory and application of stable and radioactive isotopes in geology with particular emphasis on the use of stable isotopes in solving environmental and hydrogeologic problems.

5325 Advanced Studies in Geochemistry-Petrology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Special topics in geochemistry-petrology. May be repeated with change of content. Maximum 6 sem. hrs.

5329 Igneous Petrology

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3427 and graduate standing.

Intensive examination of igneous rocks. Format and subject material will vary from year to year, but will include descriptive and genetic aspects of igneous rocks and their relationships to tectonic settings. Laboratory and field trips.

5331 Field Geology for Earth Scientists I

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Field experience in the American West. Designed with exercises to acquaint graduate earth science majors with the fundamentals of field geology. Offered in the field during summer sessions for three(3) hours of credit.

5332 Field Geology for Earth Scientists II

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Continuation of GEO 5331. Offered in the field during summer sessions for three hours of credit.

5333 Modern/Ancient Depositional Environments I

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Field study of depositional systems and facies. Course participants will examine modern depositional environments varying from fluvial, deltaic, beach, and nearshore systems to modern barrier and fringing reefs along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and in the Caribbean. These depositional environments will be used to interpret ancient sedimentary facies examined in the field during the last portion of the course. Offered in the field during summer session for three hours of credit.

5334 Modern/Ancient Depositional Environments II

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Continuation of GEO 5333. Offered in the field during the summer session for three hours of credit.

5335 Principles of Micropaleontology

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3435

Taxonomy, morphology, evolution, paleoecology, and stratigraphic occurrence of important microfossils. Independent field and laboratory problems may be required. (1-4)

5337 Advanced Studies in Remote Sensing Geomorphology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Special topics in remote sensing and geomorphology. May be repeated with change of content. Maximum 6 sem. hrs.

5338 Advanced Studies in Paleontology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Special topics in paleontology. May be repeated wtih change of content. Maximum 6 sem. hrs.

5339 Sandstone Petrology

Prerequisite(s): GEO 4328 and graduate standing.

Petrography of clastic sedimentary rocks. Includes mineralogical study, provenance analysis, and diagenetic interpretation. Field trips.

5341 Cordilleran Tectonics

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3445 and consent of instructor.

Geologic history of the North American Cordillera from Precambrian to present, based on analysis of stratigraphic, structural, paleomagnetic, and paleobiogeographic constraints.

5343 Stratigraphy

Prerequisite(s): GEO 3342

Concepts of facies analysis and spatial prediction are presented within a swquence stratigraphic context. The course is conducted as a three week field excursion to west Texas, New Mexico and Utah. The course emphasizes both outcrop and subsurface problem solving, and is supplemented by extensive literature review.

5344 Field Structural Geology I

Instruction in advanced and specialized methods of structural analysis applied to a variety of problems in structural geology. Both local and regional structural relationships will be studied. Location of field study areas will be determined by instructor.

5347 Advanced Hydrogeology

Prerequisite(s): GEO 4346 or consent of instructor.

Analytical techniques and concepts necessary for hydrogeologic research and problem solving. Areas of emphasis will include field methods, well hydraulics, and computer models of ground water systems. Occasional field trips will be required as part of the laboratory.

5348 Applied Ground Water Modeling

Prerequisite(s): GEO 5347

Lectures on the theory of analytical and numerical models applied to hydrogeological research. Laboratory exercises will involve solving hydrogeological problems, using the models discussed in lecture.

5349 Urban Geology

Interrelationships between geological processes and urban development. Case histories and applied field projects will be examined in surrounding urban areas.

5368 Advanced Studies in Sedimentary Geology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Special topics in sedimentary geology. May be repeated once with change of content. Maximum 6 sem. hrs.

5369 Advanced Studies in Petroleum Geology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Special topics in petroleum geology. May be repeated with change of content. Maximum 6 sem. hrs.

5377 Advanced Studies in Structural Geology-Tectonics

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Special topics in structural geology-tectonics. May be repeated with change of content. Maximum 6 sem. hrs.

5378 Advanced Studies in Hydrogeology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Special topics in hydrogeology. May be repeated with change of content. Maximum 6 sem. hrs.

5388 Advanced Studies in Hydrology-Engineering Geology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructorl

Special topics in hydrology-engineering geology. May be repeated with change of content. Maximum 6 sem. hrs.

5398 Advanced Studies in Environmental-Urban Geology

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor

Special topics in environmental-urban geology. May be repeated once with change of content. Maximum 6 sem. hrs.

5457 Gravity, Magnetic, and Electrical Exploration

Theory and applications of gravitational, magnetic, and electrical techniques to subsurface exploration.

5458 Seismic Exploration

Seismic refraction and reflection techniques and their application to petroleum exploration and to problems of shallow geologic structure.

5656 Application of Geophysics to Environmental Engineering Problems

Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing.

A field course in which seismic, gravity, magnetic, electrical, electromagnetic, well logging and ground penetrating radar techniques are used to solve problems associated with waste disposal, groundwater, and engineering characterizations.

5V90 Special Problems in Geology

Individual course in which students solve a geologic problem and submit a written report. Staff approval required. 1 to 5 sem. hrs.

5V99 Thesis

Prerequisite(s): Staff approval required. 1 to 6 sem. hrs.

6V99 Dissertation

Required of all doctoral candidates. In no case will less than twelve semester hours be accepted for a dissertation. Students may not enroll for dissertation hours until they have been officially accepted into candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. After initial enrollment, students must enroll for at least one semester hour of dissertaion every semester (summer semester excluded). Staff approval required.