geoscience students

Graduate Program Applied Geoscience

Degree Details

  • Masters (M)
    Total Credits
    Start Term
    Delivery Method
    On campus

Learn more about our academic program delivery methods

Department Geology

Applied Geoscience Overview

Advance your career in the geosciences with a graduate degree that combines technical knowledge with practical experience designed to strengthen your job marketability. Whether you're a practicing geologist or preparing to enter the field, Portland State's professional science master's of applied geoscience prepares you for a variety of career opportunities.

We asked our agency and industry partners what skills and experiences they're looking for, and designed a program that equips our students with the specialized knowledge, hands-on experience and in-demand skills such as project management, science communication, writing and data analysis, that employers are increasingly seeking.

For your foundational coursework, you'll complete two certificates in engineering geology, environmental geology or hydrogeology. Internships, projects or fieldwork will replace the traditional master's research project or thesis, giving you the opportunity to work directly with county, state and federal agencies, or private geologic consulting firms. You'll then hone essential professional development skills that will set you on the right track for success.

With our accessible PSM program, you can gain the geoscience credentials you need and our employers want, and take the next step in your career.


Applied Geoscience: Why PSU?

We're lucky to call the dynamic landscape of the Pacific Northwest home. Its active and complex geological processes, from volcanoes and earthquakes to glaciers and landslides, bring the coursework to life. Looking at glaciers on Mt. Hood — only a day trip — can help us understand climate change, while our partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey's Oregon Water Science Center on campus can help us better understand water resources.

Our faculty are leading researchers in a variety of geological processes and hazards, and regularly work with agency and industry partners to practically apply their research to problems facing our communities. 

These close ties to the regional geology community ensures that we not only understand the changing needs of the industry, but that we're also able to offer a variety of resources and opportunities to enhance your learning, from guest speakers to internship placements.

What can I do with a degree in Applied Geoscience?

According to the most recent American Geosciences Institute Workforce Report, hiring rates have been growing nationwide for geoscience master's students in the public sector and environmental services industry. The skills required by employers to succeed in these jobs will be the skills that you hone in our program. With a professional science master's of applied geoscience from Portland State, you'll be able to go on to well-paying jobs with local, regional and federal agencies as well as private geologic consulting firms.