Professional Master’s Program Description - University of Houston
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Professional Master’s Program Description

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Degree and Entrance Requirements

Master of Science degree candidates must complete at least 12 formal courses (36 credit hours) selected from the specialization curricula listed below. Sponsoring companies may add to the requirements of this program to meet their specific training objectives as long as the minimum number of hours and core courses are taken. A minimum GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.0 must be maintained with no more than three Cs for graduation. A final 3-hour special studies or research project, Capstone Project, is also required. The two programs (listed below) will normally be completed within 15 months of initial enrollment, although delivery at off-campus site can be negotiated for a longer duration if required by the sponsor.

The degree is designed for students with undergraduate degrees (or equivalent) in geology and geophysics. In exceptional cases, students with undergraduate degrees in other scientific fields (e.g., engineering, computer science, chemistry, or physics) with some geoscience related experience will be accepted into the program upon approval by the graduate committee. Entry requirements in degree programs are based on results of GRE, review of undergraduate grade point averages (3.0/4.0 for last 60 hours) and three letters of reference. In addition, all non-native English-speaking students must take the TOEFL exam. Applications for enrollment may be obtained from the internet. All application forms, transcripts, test scores and letters of recommendation must be received 4 months in advance of enrollment and must be mailed to the department’s Advising Assistant.

Post-baccalaureate admission for students not seeking degrees is also possible. Proof of undergraduate degree in geology, geophysics, or related scientific field at an accredited institution is required for admission, whereas GRE scores are not.

Course Delivery

Enrollments of approximately 15-20 students are expected at the initiation of each cohort in a particular area of specialization. Each cohort of students will follow through a set curriculum of 12 content courses and one research course. Courses can be delivered through two different venues. On campus at the University of Houston and at a company-sponsored site (See at bottom of page).

Courses are taught at the University of Houston each year, providing enrollment minimums are met. On-campus programs involve enrollees with appropriate B.S. degrees from local industry, local and out-of-state universities, international students, and practicing geologists and geophysicists, as well as employees from various sponsoring companies.

In general, the program consists of three or four courses during fall, spring, and summer semesters. The program should be completed within 16 months of cohort initiation. For planning purposes and integration of the geology and geophysics tracks, the curriculum is fixed prior to initiation of each program. Students will also submit an oral presentation and capstone project which is completed as 3 credit-hour research project during the last semester.

The typical class schedule will be four hours of class on Friday (1-5 pm) and eight hours on Saturday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. The first three weekends will have classes on Friday and Saturday, and the last weekend will only have class on Friday. The following Friday will begin with a new course. The exam will usually be given on the following Wednesday from 7-10 pm. Some exceptions occur with out-of-town faculty schedules.

Off-site programs will have different schedules designed to fit the needs of the sponsoring companies and travel times.

Tuition and Fees

Accelerated Master of Science Program

  1. On-Site University of Houston Campus (39 hours) $42,250*
    (Does not include room and board, transportation, books etc.)
  2. Off-Campus Site in Houston (39 hours) $42,250
    (Does not include room and board, transportation, books etc.)
  3. Off-Campus Site Out-of-State/International (39 hours) $55,250
    (Does not include room and board, transportation, books etc.)

* On-campus students with out-of-state status will incur additional tuition as dictated by state law. This is approximately $4,250/course for 13 courses or $55,250 total. (In one year, student may receive in-state status and reduce the total.)

Professional Geosciences Master’s Degree Program: Corporate-Sponsored Cohorts

Both specializations in Petroleum Geology or Petroleum Geophysics are available to corporate sponsors or national oil companies that wish to run distant education programs on their sites or in their countries. This is not available for individuals, and it is not an online program although we have online support for all of our programs. These programs need educational memoranda of understanding or agreement to be certain that both the sponsor and University of Houston are aware of each of their obligations in the execution of such programs.

The primary purpose of these programs is to provide the same high-quality and SACS-accredited curricula to sites that are off campus. Venues need to meet required standards as set forth by UH and SACS. As such, the underlying curricula need to contain all of the required core courses of each degree. This will allow some modification of the curriculum with several elective slots that can be filled with a selection from 15 different courses in addition to the core courses. Additionally, as in the past, companies may request more robust programs. As such, we have run programs with 13 to 18 courses that meet or exceed all requirements for our on-campus programs.