• NSMIT (MyNSM)

Professional Masters Program Description

Select from the links below to jump to the relevant portion of this page.

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 20 students are required to initiate a program cohort in a particular degree and area of specialization. Each cohort of students will follow through a set curriculum of 10-12 courses depending on the degree program. Courses can be delivered through two different venues. On campus at the University of Houston and on company site.

Courses will be taught on the University of Houston Campus each year, providing the enrollment minimums are met. On-campus programs involve enrollees from local industry, foreign countries and various sponsoring companies. In general, the program will consist of three or four courses during fall, spring, and two summer semesters. The program should be completed within 15 months of cohort initiation for the MS degree. For planning purposes, electives must be designated and fixed prior to initiation of each program (i.e., the electives must be the same for each student in a cohort). Students electing the MS degree program will submit a 3 credit hour special problem project by the last month of the program (Capstone Project). The typical class schedule will be fours hours on Friday for four weeks and eight hours on Saturday for three weeks. On Saturday of the fourth week, the final examination will be given. The following week will begin with a new course.

Each degree program can also be taught at a sponsor's site or company location. The sponsor must enroll a minimum of 20 qualified students for this program to be taught at their chosen location. In such cases, the sponsor will also be required to provide all teaching facilities and computer facilities required for geophysical courses. One course will be taught in each month for ten or twelve months depending on which degree is being sought. Course lectures will normally be delivered in English over 5 ½ days. During the following 3 weeks students will be able to review the lectures with streaming video and then take a final test at the end of the 4-week period. Time outside of class will be required for completion of exercises. In addition, each MS student will submit a 3 credit hour special problem project by the 12th month (Capstone Project).

Tuition and Fees

One year Master of Science Program

  1. On-Site University of Houston Campus (39 hours) $39,000*
    (Does not include room and board, transportation, books etc.).
  2. Off-Campus Site (39 hours) $39,000
    (Does not include room and board, transportation, books etc.).

* For Cohorts starting 2011 and beyond, on-campus students with out-of-state status will incur additional fees as dictated by state law. This is approximately $4,000/course for 13 courses.

Housing

In Houston, off-campus housing can be arranged for students participating on-site at the University of Houston.

Professional Geosciences Masters Degree Program Curriculum

Curriculum for Specialization in Petroleum Geology (modification for on-site fully funded programs only)

Master of Science Degree

  1. Introduction to Petroleum Geology
  2. Depositional Systems *
  3. Sequence Stratigraphy
  4. Structural Geology
  5. 3D seismic Interpretation I - Mapping Structure and Stratigraphy
  6. Petrophysics and Formation Evaluation
  7. 3D Seismic Interpretation II - Estimating Lithology and Hydrocarbons
  8. Principles & Practices of Petroleum Geochemistry in Explor. & Exploit.
  9. Elective
  10. Elective
  11. Elective
  12. Elective
  13. Capstone Project

Note: Core courses are listed in Bold and must be taken to meet curriculum requirements. However, under the advisement of the faculty and in coordination with the cohort of students in a specific degree program, some of the courses may be substituted by the electives listed below.

Electives:

  1. Applied Biostratigraphy and Chronostratigraphy
  2. Tectonics of Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico
  3. Tectonics of the Caribbean Region
  4. The Seismic Exploration Method
  5. Borehole Geophysics
  6. Introduction to Reservoir Geophysics
  7. Integrated Reservoir Characterization
  8. Seismic Wave and Ray Theory
  9. Geophysical Data Processing
  10. The Use of Gravity and Magnetic Data in Exploration
  11. Seismic Modeling
  12. Seismic Inversion
  13. Applied Biostratigraphy
  14. Seismic Migration
  15. Carbonate Depositional Systems *
  16. Terrigenous Depositional Systems *
  17. Rock and Fluid Physics
  18. Quantitative Basin Analysis

* These two courses can be substituted for Depositional Systems and one elective.

Curriculum for Specialization in: Petroleum Geophysics

Master of Science Degree

  1. Introduction to Petroleum Geology
  2. Seismic Wave and Ray Theory
  3. Geophysical Data Processing
  4. Sequence Stratigraphy
  5. 3D Seismic Interpretation I - Mapping Structure and Stratigraphy
  6. The Use of Gravity and Magnetic Data in Exploration
  7. Borehole Geophysics
  8. Seismic Modeling
  9. 3D Seismic Interpretation II - Estimating Lithology and Hydrocarbons
  10. Introduction to Reservoir Geophysics
  11. Elective **
  12. Elective **
  13. Capstone Project **

Note: All core courses must be taken to meet degree requirements.
However under the advisement of the faculty, some of the courses may be substituted by the alternate listed below.

Alternates and Electives:

  1. Petrophysics and Formation Evaluation
  2. Seismic Inversion
  3. Applied Biostratigraphy
  4. Integrated Reservoir Characterization
  5. Principles and Practices of Petroleum Geochemistry in Exploration and Exploitation
  6. Seismic Migration
  7. Carbonate Depositional Systems
  8. Terrigenous Depositional Systems
  9. Structural Geology
  10. Rock and Fluid Physics
  11. Quantitative Basin Analysis
  12. Depositional Systems
  13. Structural Geology
  14. Petrophysics and Formation Evaluation
  15. Applied Biostratigraphy and Chronostratigraphy
  16. Tectonics of Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico
  17. The Seismic Exploration Method

Additional course can be made available for either program if necessary.

For example:

  1. Geostatistics and Data Analysis for Geoscientists.
  2. Salt Tectonics
  3. Additional courses in Geochemistry, Depositional systems, Geophysics and Regional tectonics and stratigraphy.