Applied Geology - Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Geology
221 McGilvrey Hall
Kent Campus


The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Geology prepares students for careers in industry and academic institutions where research into the application of geological principles focuses on solutions to basic and applied research questions. Focus areas include Environmental Research (water, surface and subsurface processes; geohazards; and natural resources), as well as Evolution of Earth's Systems Research (climate change, paleoecology and evolution, crustal processes).


  • Kent Campus

Admission Requirements

  • Official transcript(s)
  • 3.0 GPA
  • GRE
  • Goal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

English Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students: All international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning a minimum 550 TOEFL score (79 on the Internet-based version), minimum 77 MELAB score, minimum 6.5 IELTS score or minimum 58 PTE Academic score. For more information on international admission, visit the Office of Global Education’s admission websiteEffective spring 2018.

For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Show in-depth comprehension of several areas including both basic and applied aspects of Geology/Earth Sciences.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to formulate testable scientific hypotheses and carry out independent research using appropriate field, experimental, analytical and/or computational methods.
  3. Describe, synthesize, and interpret the results of a scientific investigation and understand its broader applications.

Program Requirements

Major Requirements


Major Requirements
Minimum Total Credit Hours for Post-Baccalaureate Students90
Minimum Total Credit Hours for Post-Master's Students60

Each doctoral candidate, upon admission to candidacy, must register for GEOL 80199 for a total of 30 credit hours. It is expected that a doctoral candidate will continuously register for Dissertation I, and thereafter GEOL 80299, each semester, including one term each summer, until all requirements for the degree have been met. 

Graduation Requirements

All students will have a fundamental knowledge and understanding of earth materials and a field experience by the end of the second year in the program. This will be fulfilled by (1) prior completion of equivalent coursework in mineralogy, petrology and/or a summer fieldcamp experience; or (2) completion of graduate directed readings in earth materials and a three-to-five week field experience as determined by the graduate coordinator.


To be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, a student must pass comprehensive written and oral examinations prior to the start of the fifth semester after admission to the doctoral program. The comprehensive examinations focus on mastery of the student’s major area of concentration and one minor area, as well as the fundamentals of geology and its allied sciences as appropriate to the student’s proposed dissertation topic. Students who fail the comprehensive examinations may be allowed to repeat them once; this must be completed more than one month after the initial examination, but less than six months thereafter.


All students admitted to the doctoral program must complete two successive semesters of full-time graduate study at Kent State University. During this time they must obtain a minimum of 22 credit hours.