Taking Geology to the Next Level

Two geology graduate students study river water.

The UB Department of Geology offers a comprehensive graduate course that meets the needs of students with both professional and academic aspirations. Our goal is to ensure that graduate students leave our program with an integrated understanding of geology and a thirst for further discovery.

Graduate Degree Tracks

Students with an interest in paleontology may also participate in the interdisciplinary graduate program in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior.

Why Do I Need A Master's Degree?

Career opportunities. In today's competitive job market, most employers favor advanced degrees in geology. Graduates of our program have found positions in environmental, natural resource, engineering, and energy related corporations, as well as federal and state governmental agencies. Forbes recently ranked geology #7 on its list of the top 15 most valuable college majors

A student surveys out in the field.

More time to explore. If you've just completed your BS or BA in Geological Sciences at UB, you already know some of the amazing opportunities our department supports. We are committed to providing a wealth of experiences for our hard-working students. We conduct field and camping trips to local (and not-so-local) sites, sponsor guest speakers, hold cookouts and bake sales, and conduct several yearly workshops on the issues most pertient to graduate students and professionals in the geosciences.

The planet needs you. It's no secret that environmental concerns are top priority in every corner of the globe. Geoscientists are on the front lines when it comes to assessing risks and developing solutions for natural hazards, resource distribution, and climate change. No matter where you go from here, you'll be equipped with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to make an impact that will resonate for millennia to come. 

Mareli Paredes and Kiersten Hottendorf.

M.S. candidate students (left to right) Mareli Paredes and Kiersten Hottendorf in front of a scoria cone at Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

Before You Begin

We expect that students entering our department possess a solid background in geology and to have successfully completed courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. However, students with training in other natural science disciplines and engineering are encouraged to apply!

Upon entering our graduate program, students choose their primary faculty advisor and an advisory committee to guide them in the selection of a balanced program. Members of the faculty are equipped to supervise theoretical, experimental, and field research.

Apply today

  • World-class faculty experts mentor PhD students in a dynamic research and learning environment. Students can focus on their research and scholarship alongside renowned faculty while preparing for the careers and professions that await them after graduation.
  • A city on the rise. Buffalo, N.Y. offers affordable housing, arts, culture and community. Learn more about Buffalo.
  • Start Your PhD Application

PhD Funding Opportunities

  • Academic year stipends of $23,000 for all full-time, funded PhD students on 10-month academic teaching assistant, research assistant or graduate assistant appointments.
  • UB’s stipend levels are competitive among public Association of American Universities (AAU) member institutions.
  • Additional Fellowship Opportunities:
    • Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program: To be eligible for a Schomburg Fellowship, candidates must contribute to the diversity of the student body, and can demonstrate that they have overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to receive Schomburg Fellowships.
    • Presidential Fellowships: To be eligible for Presidential Fellowships, candidates must meet the criteria listed on the Presidential Fellowship page. Both domestic and international students are eligible, if they meet these criteria. For any questions regarding funding for academic year 2025–2026, contact the director of graduate studies or department chair.

Other Financial Assistance

The Department of Geology also offers monetary support in the form of Teaching Assistantships (TAs) and Research Assistantships (RAs). Assistantships are available through individual faculty members. The majority of our graduate students receive either a TA or RA during their time at UB.

Opportunities also exist for students to apply for UB scholarships, such as the University Presidential Fellowship and Arts and Sciences Dean’s Scholarship, and our department offers a variety of annual awards. We also attempt to provide funds to students presenting their research at conferences. 

Information on the cost of attendance is available through UB's Financial Aid department. Precise graduate tuition and fees can be found at Student Accounts.

Contact Us

Sharon Hassett.

Sharon Hassett

Departmental and Graduate Administrative Assistant

Cooke 126

Phone: (716) 645-4860

Email: shassett@buffalo.edu