Graduate Programs

Become a Graduate Student at SEES

SEES offers a Master of Arts degree in Geological and Environmental Sciences, and a Master of Science degree in Applied Environmental Geosciences. In addition, the school participates in the CUNY Doctorate programs via the Graduate Center. The school’s location provides abundant space for laboratories and equipment and cooperative research projects exist with the American Museum of Natural History, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Click here to apply to one of our Master's Programs
Click here to apply to the Earth and Environmental Sciences PhD Program


General Requirements for Matriculation

The Department requires that all students have taken a course in Physical Geology and a course in Historical Geology. However, recognizing that undergraduates may have studied in many different fields of earth sciences, additional expected undergraduate training may be in a broad array of subjects, including most of the following: Minerals; Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic petrography; Surficial processes/geomorphology; Sedimentation and stratigraphy; Structural geology and earth internal processes; Oceanography, climatology; Evolution and paleontology; Geochemistry, Geophysics, and Ecology; Field geology (an approved field course)

Note: The Departmental Graduate Committee may waive the above requirements – except Physical Geology and Historical Geology – for students with a strong background in science who may wish to pursue studies in special fields such as hydrology, geophysics, geochemistry, or environmental sciences.

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE), verbal and quantitative, with official scores submitted to the department. Differential and integral college calculus, two semesters of college physics and two semesters of college chemistry. College biology may be substituted for one semester of physics if appropriate. Students may be accepted with deficiencies in mathematics or allied sciences but must remove those deficiencies by taking the necessary undergraduate courses without credit. Deficiencies must be removed before the student may proceed beyond 12 credits of graduate work in geology. Advanced standing (not exceeding 12 credits) may be granted to students who have taken graduate courses in geology at other institutions with a minimum grade of B or the equivalent.


For more information, please contact:

Dr. Gregory O'Mullan: Graduate Advisor for the SEES Department
Office: Science Building D-206
Email: Gregory.OMullan@qc.cuny.edu
Phone: 718-997-3452

Master of Arts in Geological and Environmental Sciences

Requirements for matriculation into MA program in addition to college requirements for admission

  • Residence: A minimum of two full semesters, and 18 credits of coursework in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Queens College
  • Satisfactory completion of the following curriculum of coursework: A minimum total of 30 credits in graduate geology courses (700 or higher), including a thesis. Individual programs are organized to permit specialization in most areas of geology and related earth sciences. Unless they have an undergraduate geology major, students must take Geology 701 and Geology 702 during their first year
  • A student’s advisory committee, established in the first year, must approve his/her individualized course of study. At the discretion of the committee and the Graduate Advisor, courses in other science departments may be included in the course of study
  • Thesis: The thesis problem and mentor must be approved by the Departmental Graduate Committee, which will also certify the acceptance of the completed thesis
  • Upon receipt of confirmation from the student’s Advisory Committee that the program of study, thesis and thesis defense have been completed, the Graduate Advisor will certify to the Office of Graduate Studies that the student is qualified to receive her/his degree

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Gregory O'Mullan: Graduate Advisor for the SEES Department
Office: Science Building D-206
Email: Gregory.OMullan@qc.cuny.edu
Phone: 718-997-3452

Master of Science in Applied Environmental Geosciences

Requirements for Matriculation into MS program in addition to the College requirements for admission

  • Residence: A minimum of two full Semesters, and 18 credits of coursework in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Queens College
  • Satisfactory completion of the following curriculum of coursework: 30 credits, and a 6 credit internship. In exceptional cases, some courses may be waived because of transfer credits or professional experience. In addition, unless they have an undergraduate geology major, students must take Geology 701 and Geology 702 during their first year
  • Internship: GEOL 788.6 Cooperative Education Placement – this semester or summer-long internship is in lieu of a thesis project and must be arranged with an organization, firm or agency in which hands-on experience is obtained. A program of internship work must be approved by the departmental internship committee and representative(s) of the internship organization. A substantive final report must be prepared and presented by the student
  • Certification: The student’s advisors shall oversee the internship work and shall certify to the Office of Graduate Studies the satisfactory completion of all academic requirements for the Master of Science degree by the candidate.

Core Courses

  • GEOL 745: Hydrology OR GEOL 746: Groundwater Hydrology
  • GEOL 762: Shallow Subsurface Geophysics
  • GEOL 763: Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOL 760: Environmental Geochemistry

Methods Courses

  • GEOL 761: Field Methods in Hydrology
  • GEOL 767: Field Techniques in Environmental Sciences
  • GEOL 766: Analytical Techniques in Environmental Geosciences

Elective Courses (pick three)

  • GEOL 742: Stratigraphy
  • GEOL 750: Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 747: Coastal and Estuarine Geology
  • GEOL 768: Soils, Wetlands and Bioremediation
  • GEOL 764: Contaminant Hydrogeology
  • GEOL 765: Surficial Processes

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Gregory O'Mullan: Graduate Advisor for the SEES Department
Office: Science Building D-206
Email: Gregory.OMullan@qc.cuny.edu
Phone: 718-997-3452

PhD Programs via the CUNY Graduate Center

From its inception in 1983, the Ph.D. Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences has identified itself with "promoting teaching and research in the study of the earth." With faculty in atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences, geography and geology, the Earth and Environmental Sciences Program at the Graduate Center spans a broad array of subjects focusing on the earth, its environments, human activities, and the linkages between them. Our students have the unique opportunity to study both the physical and human environments simultaneously, or to focus on specific subjects within the program's specializations. Today, the faculty has a strong commitment to education and research in Geography and Environmental and Geological Sciences.

Most required courses and some special topics courses are conducted at the Graduate Center, while laboratory courses and research work are offered at the various campuses throughout CUNY.


Students entering the PhD Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences select either the specialization in Geography or the specialization in Environmental and Geological Sciences, but are encouraged to consider courses across the program. Although there is a common structure to both specializations, the curricular requirements differ slightly.

Environmental and Geological Sciences Specialization

The specialization in Environmental and Geological Sciences offers research opportunities in a broad spectrum of Earth-focused science, including topics of classical Geology; studies of Earth's fluid envelopes; and applying combinations of geology, biology, chemistry, and physics to studying Earth's diverse environments and their ecosystems. The program has four core areas: Atmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences; Terrestrial, Estuarine, and Marine Studies; Earth Materials and Earth Processes; and Urban Environments and Public Health.
Click here to read more.

Geography Specialization

The specialization in Geography provides an opportunity to pursue doctoral studies in one of the world's largest and most dynamic metropolitan locations with a diverse faculty at the Graduate Center and at Hunter College, Lehman College, and the College of Staten Island within the CUNY system. The program has five core areas: Geographic Information Science; Geography and Social Theory; Physical Geography; Urban and Regional Dynamics; and Geographic Education.
Click here to read more.


For more information and to apply, please go to the CUNY Graduate Center website:

Earth and Environmental Sciences PhD Program

Roux Scholarship

Roux Inc. Provides scholarship awards each academic year to benefit one or more full time graduate students with academic merit entering Queens College SEES Masters or PhD degree program. Queens College SEES will select recipients according to the following criteria: Graduate student pursuing the M.A. in Geological Sciences and Environmental Sciences or M.S. in Applied Environmental Geosciences, with preference given to students whose field of study includes hydrogeology, geochemistry, or environmental geology. In addition, preference will be given to students expressing an interest in pursuing a career in environmental consulting, and to students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.


For more information, please contact:

Dr. Gregory O'Mullan: Graduate Advisor for the SEES Department
Office: Science Building D-206
Email: Gregory.OMullan@qc.cuny.edu
Phone: 718-997-3452

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