Geoscience, Ph.D.

COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

About the Program

The Department of Earth and Environmental Science offers a Ph.D. program that includes graduate courses in the geosciences, weekly graduate seminars, qualifying exams, and research leading to a doctoral dissertation.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Full-time status is expected.

Areas of Specialization: Advanced courses and research opportunities are available in:

  • Environmental geology, including ecohydrology, energy and land degradation, environmental geophysics, groundwater modeling, ice sheet stability and climate change, Karst hydrology, nanomineralogy, and urban hydrology.
  • Geochemistry, including nanomineralogy, paleontology-fossil provenance, planetary geology, and weathering and diagenesis.
  • Sedimentary geology and paleontology, including coastal and aeolian dynamics, ichnology, paleontology-fossil provenance, paleopedology and modern soils, planetary geology and impact studies, and Precambrian geology.
  • Structural geology, including  geothermal energy and geomechanics.

Job Prospects: Graduates secure positions in academia, industry, and government.

Licensure: For careers in industry, licensure is recommended after three years of on-the-job training. The Pennsylvania Professional Geologist Licensing Examination is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG).

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Doctoral courses are open only to matriculated students.

Financing Opportunities: Students are supported by a combination of Teaching and Research Assistantships, which typically provide a nine-month academic-year stipend and full tuition remission. Summer stipends are also available. Teaching and Research Assistants are expected to devote 20 hours per week to their duties. Teaching Assistants teach introductory geology labs and labs for majors. The duties for Research Assistants are determined by the primary research advisor. Both Teaching and Research Assistantships are awarded competitively. Funding after four years is not guaranteed.

Temple University also offers a limited number of two-year Fellowships to support outstanding doctoral students.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: February 1
Spring: October 1

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline for submission has passed. Program admissions are limited and competitive. Applicants are expected to contact the faculty in their area of interest prior to submitting an application.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic competence.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Applicants are required to have taken courses in Geology to prepare them for graduate-level classes and instructing undergraduate majors. In addition, at least one year of college-level Chemistry, Calculus, and either Physics or Biology is expected.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A master's degree is recommended, but undergraduate research experience is also considered in evaluating applicants.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A baccalaureate degree, whether a B.A. or a B.S., with a major in Geology or a related program in Science or Mathematics is required.

Statement of Goals: Includes your specific interest in Temple's Geoscience Ph.D. program and the faculty member with whom you would like to work; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Required. Scores above the 50th percentile in the quantitative and verbal sections are expected, but higher scores are more competitive.

TOEFL: 105 iBT or 620 PBT minimum

Writing Sample: Applicants are required to submit a writing sample directly to the Graduate Chair of Earth and Environmental Science.  Acceptable materials include the undergraduate thesis or research paper, master's thesis, and published journal articles in which the applicant is first author.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30-32, including 7 courses required in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, with one additional course taken outside of the department, if desired

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 12, including 3 courses required in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, with one additional course taken outside of the department, if desired

Required Courses:

Core Courses
Select seven of the following: 128
Remote Sensing and GIS
Coastal Processes
Structural Geology (Graduate)
X-ray Crystallography
Environmental Nanogeoscience
Ecohydrology
Introduction to Geophysics
Low-Temperature Geochemistry
Advanced Low-Temperature Geochemistry
Vertebrate Paleontology and Taphonomy
Electron Optical Techniques
Sedimentary Petrology
Soils and Paleosols
Quantitative Structural Geo
Tectonics
Planetary Geology
Geology Seminar
Graduate Geology Seminar
Advanced Hydrogeology
Groundwater Modeling
Elective 23
Non-Didactic Courses6
EES 9994Ph.D. Preliminary Exam1
EES 9998Ph.D. Proposal/Candidacy Exam1
EES 9999Dissertation Research1 to 6
Total Credit Hours39-40
1

Select three of the courses if entering the Ph.D. program with a master's degree.

2

The elective is selected in consultation with an advisor.

Culminating Events:
Qualifying for Ph.D. candidacy includes completion of coursework within the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, as well as demonstrations of subject area knowledge, skill, and the ability to conduct research to define and investigate new questions. The assessment for candidacy consists of four parts:

  1. Completion of a minimum of three departmental graduate courses in good standing
  2. Successfully passing the written and oral components of the Preliminary Examination
  3. Submission and acceptance of an NSF-style research proposal
  4. Oral defense of the research proposal

Dissertation:
The Department of Earth and Environmental Science requires an original research dissertation as the culminating project in its Ph.D. program.

Courses

EES 5011. Remote Sensing and GIS. 4 Credit Hours.

The focus of this class is on remote sensing technologies and geographic information systems. Remote sensing is a dynamic field; new, high-resolution satellites are coming on line almost daily, and there has been an exponential growth in applications of remote sensing data during the past decade, including: mineral exploration, precision agriculture, watershed management, land use classification, military intelligence, and climate monitoring. By the end of the semester you will have a fundamental understanding of the uses and limitations of remote sensing data for environmental applications, and a thorough familiarity with geographic information systems.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5042. Coastal Processes. 4 Credit Hours.

The course will apply a process geomorphological approach to understanding coastal behavior, including global distribution of coasts, wave and tidal hydrodynamics, nearshore and aeolian sediment transport, and morphological signatures of extreme events.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5101. Structural Geology (Graduate). 4 Credit Hours.

The purpose of this course is to train students in the concepts and techniques of structural geology. Students will learn how to collect, analyze, and interpret geologic data drawn from a variety of disciplines pertinent to structural geology and present a cohesive analysis and interpretation of these results. Results are presented as maps, reports, and computer models. A hypothesis driven term project will be conducted by the graduate student on a topic in structural geology. NOTE: This course differs from the undergraduate version EES 4101 through graduate specific laboratory and exam questions, readings, and the term project.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5401. Analytical Methods in Mineralogy. 4 Credit Hours.

An introduction to the theory and application of X-ray diffraction and spectroscopic techniques for analysis of mineralogical samples. Students will learn the theory underpinning these methods, acquire skills in instrument operation, and apply these skills to research-relevant problems such as phase identification, site occupancy, chemical analysis, and planetary surface studies. Techniques discussed include powder X-ray diffraction, visible, Raman, and infrared spectroscopy, and synchrotron-based X-ray spectroscopic and scattering techniques.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5402. X-ray Crystallography. 4 Credit Hours.

Generation and use of x-rays for diffraction analysis; Analysis of clays and related minerals by x-ray diffraction; Crystal structure patterns and biogeofunctional groups.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5406. Environmental Nanogeoscience. 4 Credit Hours.

Nanotechnology has developed rapidly in the past decade, yet our knowledge of its environmental impact, particularly regarding the fate and behavior of nanomaterials in the environment, lags far behind. This course will cover a range of topics concerning nanomaterials in the environment, ranging from the unique size-dependent properties of nanomaterials to their applications in environmental remediation. The lab component of this course will include nanomaterial synthesis and characterization; nanomaterial transport, aggregation, deposition, transformation, and persistence in natural settings; environmental applications of nanomaterials; and nanomaterial characterization techniques, particularly electron microscopy.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5434. Ecohydrology. 3 Credit Hours.

Hydrological and ecological processes are tightly interrelated, with vegetation affecting the hydrological cycle, and hydrologic partitioning of the water budget affecting vegetation dynamics. This course builds on perspectives from ecology, hydrology, and soil science to focus on the emerging, interdisciplinary area of ecohydrology - the science that studies mutual interaction between the hydrological cycle and ecosystems. The first part of the course will deal with fundamental processes controlling the flow of water in the biosphere (in land, atmosphere, soil and plants) and the interactions with ecological processes and human dimensions at different scales. The second part will deal with the implications of ecohydrological feedbacks, covering a broad range of issues including global environmental change, land use change, global desertification/land degradation, urbanization, soil erosion, and the food-energy-water nexus. The concepts and principles discussed in the class will have broad applications ranging from finding innovative solutions to ecosystem degradation and food security, and designing global change responses.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5454. Introduction to Geophysics. 4 Credit Hours.

An introduction to gravity, magnetic, electromagnetic, and seismic exploration methods. Applications include environmental characterization, oil and mineral exploration, geotechnical engineering, and archeology.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5461. Low-Temperature Geochemistry. 4 Credit Hours.

Principles of aqueous geochemistry discussed within the framework of geologic processes. One or two field trips.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5462. Advanced Low-Temperature Geochemistry. 3 Credit Hours.

Study and discussion of topics in aqueous and sedimentary geochemistry.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5502. Glaciology. 3 Credit Hours.

This course presents the basic physical principles governing natural processes occurring to and within glaciers and ice sheets on Earth, and how they interact with the surrounding environment. The following major topics will be covered during the course: 1) the deformation and flow of ice; 2) energy transfer within ice and energy exchanges with the surroundings; and 3) ice geomorphic processes.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5601. Vertebrate Paleontology and Taphonomy. 3 Credit Hours.

This course examines vertebrate fossils and their importance for interpreting and reconstructing terrestrial ecosystems. Students will learn the basics of vertebrate skeletal anatomy, interpret transport and depositional histories of skeletal elements and assemblages, and combine this information with geologic data to reconstruct paleoenvironmental settings and paleocommunity associations. Several class sessions will meet off-campus at local museums; one weekend field trip is required.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5625. Electron Optical Techniques. 4 Credit Hours.

This course will introduce the microanalytical and imaging methods of electron optical instruments such as the Electron Probe Microanalyzer (EPMA) and the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The theory and operation of the instruments will be covered as will the interpretation of images and analytical results.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5702. Sedimentary Petrology. 4 Credit Hours.

This course explores the basic composition and texture of sedimentary rocks in order to understand depositional environment and provenance. This course focuses on sedimentation mechanics, petrography, and diagenesis. Includes a lab.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5725. Soils and Paleosols. 4 Credit Hours.

The course is divided into two parts:  modern soils and paleosols.  The goals of this course are to teach students the fundamentals of modern soil genesis and classification in order to interpret ancient soils preserved in the rock record (paleosols), and to incorporate models of soil genesis into the traditional geology paradigm.  Students will be exposed to a combination of laboratory methods and field work.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5801. Quantitative Structural Geo. 4 Credit Hours.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5802. Tectonics. 3 Credit Hours.

Plate tectonic theory. Structure and geometry of lithospheric plates; mechanisms of divergent, transform and convergent boundaries; subduction; obduction; mantle plumes; large igneous provinces; large sedimentary basins and Phanerozoic orogenic belts.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 5811. Planetary Geology. 4 Credit Hours.

This course explores the modern and ancient geologic processes on other planets and discusses how studies of other planets can aid us in a better understanding of our Earth. The course will also cover topics such as planetary exploration and astrobiology. Includes a lab.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 8000. Geology Seminar. 1 Credit Hour.

Required of M.A. students. Visiting specialists in a wide variety of geologic fields will lecture and discuss their research.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

EES 8082. Independent Study Program. 1 to 3 Credit Hour.

Limited to Geology graduate students with permission from the department.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

EES 8200. Graduate Geology Seminar. 3 to 6 Credit Hours.

Advanced seminar course; subject matter varies from semester to semester. The educational objectives of the course are to focus on current issues at the interfaces of geological processes through advanced technological methods of analysis.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

EES 8411. Advanced Hydrogeology. 4 Credit Hours.

This course covers water resources with an emphasis on groundwater. Topics include quantifying groundwater flow, groundwater-surface water interactions, contaminant transport, and a brief introduction to modeling. Problem sets and labs are used to develop specific skills, including field techniques.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 8421. Groundwater Modeling. 3 Credit Hours.

This course offers students a chance to construct models using well known codes such as MODFLOW and other practical tools. The goals of this course are: learn tools for groundwater flow modeling, be able to recognize how to judge models and compare them with reality, and gain computer skills that can be used with a wide variety tools.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 8701. High Temperature Reactions. 4 Credit Hours.

Thermodynamic laws and theory are used to discuss igneous and metamorphic processes. Exact field relationships are combined with thermodynamics to solve applied petrologic problems.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 8706. Regional Geology. 3 Credit Hours.

Discussion of the geologic history and tectonics of selected regions.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 8711. Economics of Geo Ore Deposits. 3 Credit Hours.

Study of the geology, origin, distribution, economics and extraction methods of major classes of ore deposits.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

EES 8911. Teaching of Geology. 0 to 1 Credit Hours.

Required of all teaching assistants in their first semester of teaching. Instruction and evaluation of teaching laboratory, or discussion sections.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

EES 9994. Ph.D. Preliminary Exam. 1 Credit Hour.

Preliminary examination for Ph.D. degree. Successful completion required before advancement to next stage of Ph.D. candidacy. The purpose of the preliminary (Prelim) examination is to evaluate a student's abilities in scientific writing, oral presentation, and critical thinking, all fundamental skills for completion of a doctorate. The exam will have both written and oral portions in which students demonstrate, by review and analysis of existing literature and scientific ideas, that they have the skills for conducting original research. The topic should lie within their general area of scientific interest yet NOT be based on or derived from earlier research already performed by the student (e.g., their M.S. thesis) or their advisor (e.g., a research proposal for funding). The topic should be of specific interest to the student and of their choosing, in consultation with their advisor.

Department restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Departments: CST:Earth & Environmental Sci
Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate
Degree Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Degrees: Doctor of Philosophy

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

EES 9996. Master's Research and Thesis. 1 to 6 Credit Hour.

The research topic and plan must be approved by the graduate advisor and the instructor who is to supervise the thesis, at least two months before the research is to begin.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

EES 9998. Ph.D. Proposal/Candidacy Exam. 1 Credit Hour.

Within the first couple of years following admission to the EES Ph.D. program, each doctoral student must write and orally defend an NSF-style dissertation proposal. This proposal should include essential background/context of the planned research, a clear statement of the research questions or hypotheses, the techniques used to collect the necessary data, methods of analysis, the expected results, the significance of the research, and address the likelihood of success (and risk).

Department restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Departments: CST:Earth & Environmental Sci
Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate
Degree Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Degrees: Doctor of Philosophy

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

EES 9999. Dissertation Research. 1 to 6 Credit Hour.

Dissertation research. Limited to Ph.D. students who have been elevated to candidacy.

Department restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Departments: CST:Earth & Environmental Sci
Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate
Degree Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Degrees: Doctor of Philosophy
Student Attribute restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Student Attributes: Dissertation Writing Student

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

Contacts

Program Web Address:

http://cst.temple.edu/academics/graduate-programs/earth-environmental-science

Department Information:

Dept. of Earth and Environmental Science

326 Beury Hall

1901 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6081

ees@temple.edu

215-204-8227

Mailing Address for Application Materials:

Dept. of Earth and Environmental Science

326 Beury Hall (016-00)

1901 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6081

Department Contacts:

Administrative Assistant:

Shelah Cox

scox@temple.edu

215-204-8227

Admissions:

Dennis O. Terry, Jr., Ph.D.

Graduate Advisor

doterry@temple.edu

215-204-8226

Chairperson:

Jonathan E. Nyquist, Ph.D.

nyq@temple.edu

215-204-7484