Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, MS
The master’s degree under Option I requires a thesis and should be chosen by students who are preparing for careers in research and scholarly work or additional academic pursuits beyond the master’s degree. Under this option, a student must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit, consisting of 20 to 24 semester hours of regular course work, and present a thesis equivalent to 6 to 10 semester hours. At least one-half of the credit hours required for the degree, including thesis, must be in the major (at least 18 hours for the Master of Education degree). The remaining work may be in supporting courses or in a minor consisting of at least 9 semester hours. At least 8 hours, in addition to the thesis, must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).
The subject of the thesis should be chosen from the student’s field of major interest and must be approved by the departmental Graduate Committee. The thesis should reveal a capacity to carry on independent study or research and should demonstrate the student’s ability to use the techniques employed in their field of investigation. The thesis must conform to the required style and format described in the Preparing a Thesis or Dissertation guidelines. An electronic copy of the thesis and abstract must be presented for preliminary review to the Master’s Programs Coordinator in the Office of Graduate Studies at least two weeks (one week in the summer sessions) before the date for the candidate’s oral examination. A candidate is not eligible for the oral examination until the thesis is completed and approved by the major adviser. After the thesis has been successfully defended, it must be electronically submitted to the Master’s Programs Coordinator for a final review prior to being uploaded to Digital Commons.
Research activities involving human subjects or live vertebrate animals may not be conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln unless the research activities have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate board or committee. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews projects involving human subject research and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews the use of animals in research. These reviews are in accordance with Federal regulations, state laws and institutional policies. Submission of protocols to conduct human subject or animal research is coordinated by the Research Responsibility offices. Approval must be secured prior to the initiation of the research.
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The master’s degree under Option II requires a minor, but does not require a thesis. This option encourages a wider range of courses than is permissible under Option I. Students who have earned the master’s degree under Option II and later elect to pursue a doctoral degree must give evidence of ability to conduct independent research.
Under Option II, a student must earn 30 to 36 semester hours of credit in courses representing a major and either one or two minors. At least one-half of the credit hours required for the degree must be in the major. A minimum of 9 hours is required for each minor. The minor department determines the courses in their disciplinary field that comprise a minor. At the discretion of the minor department, up to one-third of the courses required for a minor may be transferred from other institutions. At least 12 hours for the degree must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).
The Master of Education degree requires at least 6 semester hours selected from education courses outside the major in lieu of a minor.
Option II is not open for the Master of Professional Accountancy degree.
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The master’s degree under Option III is designed for students who plan to continue scholarly work in a chosen field past the master’s level. No thesis or minor is required; instead, Option III requires 30 to 36 semester hours of credit with a focus on advanced courses in the student’s chosen field. At least one-half of the credit hours required for the degree must be in the major. At least 18 hours must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).
Option III is not open for the Master of Education degree.
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Researchers in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences examine a wide variety of issues relevant to Earth systems and Earth system history.
The primary emphasis is on Earth's atmospheric and hydrological systems and the interaction of these systems with the sedimentary cycle.
Recent graduates have performed research in physical and chemical hydrogeology, hydrogeologic modeling, surficial processes, geomorphology, sedimentology, vertebrate paleontology, micropaleontology, geochemistry, petrology, structure and tectonics, climate change, land/surface atmosphere interactions, physical climatology and meteorology, severe storms, snow and ice studies, surface energy balance modeling, and synoptic meteorology.
Departmental researchers have obtained large grants supporting multidisciplinary research efforts in areas as disparate as Antarctica and the Nebraska Sand Hills. They encourage collaborative work with the University of Nebraska State Museum, the Center for Advanced Land Management and Information Technologies, the School of Natural Resources, and other related University of Nebraska-Lincoln departments.
Recent graduates are employed as faculty by research universities and liberal arts colleges, and as weather forecasters, petroleum geologists, consulting geologists and scientific staff by various governmental agencies.
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Graduate Admission Requirements
- Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
- One set of transcripts.
- If the student’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.
- If International: upload copies of all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certiﬁcates, diplomas, and degrees plus certiﬁed English translations.
* Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certiﬁed records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certiﬁed copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.
- If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
- Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.
Major Admission Requirements
- Personal Statement: Your statement should include
- How you became interested in earth and atmospheric sciences
- Your long-term goals
- How graduate study in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Nebraska will help you achieve your goals
- Any additional information you think will help in evaluating your application.
- Three recommendation letters
For funding consideration, apply by January 15 for fall.
International students are encouraged to apply early: by December 15 for fall, by September 1 for spring, or by March 15 for summer.
NOTE: When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed
* Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.
The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.