Outline for Two Year Program

Earth & Environmental Sciences Department


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First Year

  • Course work, including GEOL 8200 Professional Issues.

  • Formulate a research project and begin background work necessary to write your thesis proposal.

  • Work with your advisor to put together a degree plan; file a copy with the DGS for faculty approval, at least two weeks before finals week. Degree Plan Form.

During 2nd semester

  • Prepare your thesis research proposal and submit to your advisor, and once approved, to your committee for review.

  • NEW  ***Department Program Assessment Process ***
    When the student provides copies of their thesis  proposal or thesis to their examining committee, they will also provide two additional copies to the Director of Graduate Studies.  These will be distributed to two external readers who will evaluate the submitted material as part of the Department's graduate program assessment process.  This has no impact on a student’s success or failure in the program.

  • Defend your thesis research proposal in a closed oral exam.  After completing your thesis proposal defense, submit a copy of your thesis proposal and the department form Thesis Proposal and Defense to Laura Chapin. 

  • NEW Form- Evaluation of MS Thesis Proposals. Print copies for each committee member and two additional copies for the external readers.

Second Year

  • Provide a Thesis Progress Report to your committee early in the fall semester.

  • Thesis research (field and lab work; Plan A)

  • Thesis writing; communicate with your advisor! (Plan A)

  • Register thesis with the Graduate School Office (Plan A)

  • Request Graduation Packet here

  • Provide a copy of your thesis to your committee at least two weeks before your defense.  

  • NEW  ***Department Program Assessment Process ***When the student provides copies of their thesis to their examining committee, they will also provide two additional copies to the Director of Graduate Studies.  These will be distributed to two external readers who will evaluate the submitted material as part of the Department's graduate program assessment process.  This has no impact on a student’s success or failure in the program.
  • Present thesis research in a public oral presentation followed by a final (closed) exam with your committee.   NEW - Evaluation of MS Thesis Project form - print two copies.

  • File the final revision of your thesis with Graduate School Office and Department (Plan A).

  • Apply to Graduate online through your MyU Portal by the first day of the month in which you intend to complete all degree requirements. 

  • Application for Degree (Instructions).

  • Commence! UMD Commencement Manager - log in to confirm your degree information and submit the Commencement Questionnaire, even if you to not plan to attend Commencement Exercises. 
  • Remember upon completion of coursework and thesis credits, Graduate School policy requires that you register every fall and every spring for Grad 999 to remain active until your degree is awarded.