Graduate Program

Graduate Program

The Department of Geosciences offers Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in geology. Our department has 18 tenured and tenure-track faculty engaged in cutting-edge research in several areas including Biogeosciences, Energy Geosciences, Paleoclimate, Solid Earth and Planetary Sciences, Surface and Hydrological Processes, and Lithospheric Processes. Our program provides an excellent mix of educational, professional, and research opportunities. We encourage you to explore the Research section of our website to find detailed information about our faculty and the research programs being conducted in our department. For more information about our graduate program, contact our Graduate Program Director,


How to Apply

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The Department of Geosciences encourages prospective students with an interest in any of our major areas of research to apply to our program. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact individual faculty in the department who share research interests. Find more information our current faculty here

The Department offers both MS and PhD degrees. Generally, admission to the program includes 5 years of financial support for PhD students and 2 years of financial support for MS students through research and teaching assistantships and fellowships. Admitted students also receive a tuition waiver, a health insurance subsidy, annual travel funding from department and university for conference attendance, and research funding for graduate students on a competitive basis. Candidates should have at least an undergraduate degree in geology, geophysics, or in a related area and excellent analytical and writing skills. Students holding a BS degree may apply directly to the PhD program.

Applications must be submitted online. Applicants should follow the instructions on Baylor's Graduate School Admissions website for how to apply to graduate school at Baylor University. 



Applications for fall admission must be completed by January 5, 2023.  To receive full consideration for admissions to the graduate program, the application, including all required documents and reference letters, needs to be completed and submitted on GoGrad by midnight on January 15, 2023. The Department of Geosciences does not consider applications for spring admissions.

  • Priority Deadline
    • Students who have a completed application on file on GoGrad prior to December 1, 2022 may be eligible to receive an application fee waiver. Once you have received a commitment from a Department faculty member to serve as your advisor and have a completed application on file, contact the Graduate Program Director, Dr. Jay Pulliam, about receiving an application fee waiver.

Required Documents

The following documents are required to complete your application:


  • Statement of Purpose
    • In the Statement of Purpose, applicants should clearly state their research goals for graduate school. The Statement of Purpose should also highlight your research, teaching, and extracurricular experiences, such as lab work, independent research projects, publications, conference presentation, teaching assistantship assignments, and volunteer work. The Statement of Purpose is also a place to discuss your interest in the program at Baylor and other aspects of your application not captured in the other documentation.


  • Reference Letters
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation in support of your application must be submitted. These letters will normally be from professors at the student's degree granting institution(s), research advisors/supervisors, and/or research collaborators. Please do not submit personal references. 

    • Recommenders must complete their application online. When the recommender's name is registered in GoGrad, an email with a link to enter the recommendation online will be sent directly to the recommender. You can check the status of your recommendations on the GoGrad website.


  • Transcripts from all Institutions
    • Scanned or electronic copies of your transcript(s) should be uploaded with your application online. In addition to your official transcripts for your BS and/or MS, please also include any other academic transcripts for courses transferred for credit. If admitted, you will need to submit your official transcripts, which include proof of your conferred degree to Baylor's Graduate School. You will be contacted by the Graduate School when you are required to submit your official transcript.

    • If you graduated, or will graduate from a university outside of the United States, please provide a translation of your transcript into English and a translation of grade point average (GPA) into the United States GPA system as applicable.


  • Resume or CV
    • A resume or short form CV should include information about your research and work experiences, publications, presentations, and other academic preparation, as well as any other pertinent information.


  • Writing Sample of Scholarly Work
    • A writing sample of scholarly work should be included. Scholarly work can range from a class research paper to a student thesis to a peer reviewed publication. The writing sample should be chosen to demonstrate your writing ability and potential. 


    • The TOEFL or IELTS is generally required for non-native speakers. If the primary language of instruction at your undergraduate institution was English you may be eligible for an exemption. More information for how to proceed in that case can be found here

    • Baylor's TOEFL/IELTS institution code is 6032. Baylor University requires a minimum TOEFL score of 80 or an IELTS score of  6.5 for admission.


  • GRE
    • The GRE is optional and not required for admission. Student who wish to submit a GRE score may submit their score to Baylor by sending the score to code 6032. Applications which submit a GRE score will not be evaluated differently that those which do not.



If you require technical assistance with your application or the recommendation system, please contact Baylor Graduate School directly either by email at, via live chat, or by phone at 254-710-3588 or 1-800-229-5678 (choose option 2).

For specific questions about the application process or admission to the Department of Geosciences Graduate Program, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator,


Program Requirements

Requirements for the master's degree are 30 semester hours of graduate courses including 6 semester hours of thesis. A minimum of 12 semester hours (excluding thesis hours) must be 5000-level courses for the M.S. The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 60 hours beyond the bachelor's degree including 48 graduate course hours and 12 semester hours of dissertation. A minimum of 30 semester hours (excluding thesis hours) must be 5000-level courses for the Ph.D. For more information about the graduate program requirements, see our Graduate Program Handbook or contact our Graduate Program Director,

More information about Baylor’s Graduate School’s requirements for graduate students can be found in the Baylor University Graduate Catalog and the Graduate School's website.

Department of Geosciences

Baylor Sciences Building, Room D.409

(254) 710-2361