Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Graduate Program Guidelines
Updated August 2022


The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, like Syracuse University as a whole, is built around the two central goals of research and teaching. In order to fulfill this mission, graduate students gain experience and expertise in three areas integral to the degree program: 1) Research—formulating and carrying out new and independent research; 2) Communication—written and oral dissemination of results, including the ability to create posters, give talks, write abstracts, papers and proposals; 3) Teaching—most students will teach a recitation or lab, maybe even a lecture course, at least once during their time at SU. All three of these skills are critical to a career in the geosciences, whether you stay in academia or go on to industry. Even if you choose a field that does not directly involve teaching, everyone benefits from the ability to present information in a logical manner and develop a coherent argument that comes from teaching experience. Other attributes that are important during your time as a graduate student are the ability to network with other scientists in your area of expertise.


We strongly encourage you to retain a copy of each form that you complete. In addition, the Department keeps a student record for each student. It is essential that you send the Academic Support Coordinator, Heather Thompson (hethomps@syr.edu), a digital copy of any document that you complete as part of your academic endeavor. This is for your protection in case your official files are misfiled or otherwise mishandled.


ItemDue for MastersDue for Ph.D.Where to Send It

Check Sheet for Initial Advisory Review

To be filled out by student's advisor

Upon Matriculation

(see grad program guidelines pages 3-4)

Upon Matriculation

(see grad program guidelines pages 3-4)

Automatically submits to Academic Support Coordinator, with yourself and your temporary committee members copied.
Formation of Permanent Advisory Committee

By the end of your 2nd semester

(see grad program guidelines pages 4-5)

By the end of your 2nd semester

(see grad program guidelines pages 4-5)

Automatically submits to Academic Support Coordinator, with yourself and your advisor copied.
Annual Report

At the end of each Fall Semester

(see grad program guidelines pages 4-5)

At the end of each Fall Semester

(see grad program guidelines pages 4-5)

Submit to the DGS and the Academic Support Coordinator copied.
DegreeWorks Worksheet

Attach to Annual Report at the end of each Fall Semester

(see grad program guidelines page 5)

Attach to Annual Report at the end of
each Fall Semester

(see grad program guidelines page 5)

Must be attached to Annual Report. If you forget to include it, please send to the DGS and earadmin@syr.edu.

Thesis or Dissertation Proposal

2nd semester, no later than the start of the 3rd semester

(see grad program guidelines pages 7-8)

4th Semester

(see grad program guidelines pages 7-8)

After it has been circulated to the department, if there are no objections, a fully signed digital PDF copy should be submitted to earadmin@syr.edu.

Qualifying Exam

This form should only be used after a time has been agreed on by your committee. It is internal only and triggers the sending of rubrics to your committee members as well as reserves a space if you require one.

N/A

Entering with MS: No sooner than the beginning of the 3rd semester, and no later than the end of the 4th semester 

Entering without MS: No sooner than the beginning of the 4th semester, and no later than the end of the 5th semester 

(see grad program guidelines page 8-9)

Automatically submits to earadmin@syr.edu.

Before your Thesis or Dissertation Defense, please check
What You Need to Graduate with the Graduate School and complete all steps.

Most items must be submitted no later than
3 weeks prior to your defense. 

Most items must be submitted no later than
3 weeks prior to your defense. 
If you have any questions, please email degreecert@syr.edu.

Schedule Your Thesis or Dissertation Defense

This form should only be used after a time has been agreed on by your committee. It is internal only and triggers the sending of rubrics to your committee members as well as reserves a space if you require one.

Typically in the 4th semester

(see grad program guidelines pages 9-11)

Typically in the 8th semester

(see grad program guidelines pages 9-11)

Automatically submits to earadmin@syr.edu.