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Geology and Geophysics

Frequently Asked Questions About the Graduate Program

Here are some common questions we receive about the Graduate Program in Geosciences at Texas Tech University. The answers are general and may not be appropriate for every student or situation - please contact us if you want more information.

    1. 1. Do company recruiters visit your Department?

    In the 2014-2015 recruitment cycle the Department welcomed a mixture of multinational and smaller independent companies to interview students for internship and full-time employment opportunities. The companies span the range from Chevron and Hess, to Concho Resources and Crown Quest, and include more service oriented companeis such as Schlumberge.

    1. 2. What is the typical stipend offered to supported students?

    Teaching and Research Assistantships are typically in the region of $1,670 per month for MS students, and ~$1,800 for PhD students. In many cases, these assistantships are bolstered by scholarship offers to help off-set in-state tuition.

    1. 3. Why do I have to pay in state tuition?

    The Texas State Legislature are responsible for the framework under which assistantships are employed, and as with all state-funded institutions in Texas, Texas Tech is not allowed to waive in state tuition. To help students cover these expenses the Department offers scholarships on a competative basis to as many students as possible.

    1. 4. What's it like living in West Texas? 

    Lubbock is a city of ~350,000 people and was recently listed as one of the Top 10 cities in the United States for Quality of Life. The city hosts a diversity of organisations that support the arts, culture and entertainment, including the Lubbock Symphony, Ballet Lubbock, a First Friday Art Trail, Big 12 Sports, live music somewhere in town every night of the week

    1. 5. What is a 9 month position and how does it work?

    The majority of teaching positions at Texas Tech are funded by the state and are aligned with the State’s annual budgetary period. Therefore, Teaching Assistantships are 9 month appointments and aligned with the long teaching semesters, and your appointment is 1 September to 31 May (FYI – this means the first pay check arrives on 1 October!)

    1. 6. Does the Department have extracurricular activities?

    Students in the Geosciences at Texas Tech are active in several professional and subject oriented organizations, including the Student Geosciences Society, a Student Chapter of AAPG, and SEG. The groups organize several professionally oriented activities including trips to AAPG Expo’s, field trips, community events such as highway clean-up and Habitat for Humanity, as well as sponsoring tail-gate events during Football season and the legendary Fall Chili Cook-Off!

    1. 7. Does the Department require minimum GRE and GPA scores to be eligible for admission?

    The Department does not have minimum score requirements, but of course good scores make a candidate more competitive. The Graduate Committee takes a holistic approach to candidate evaluation. If you have a low GPA, look for positives and use your personal statements to explain special circumstances. Highlight stronger average GPA in the Geosciences and other Science or Engineering courses and Mathematics. Combined GRE scores for current graduate students range from ~280 to ~320, and an analytical writing score of 3.0, and preferably 3.5 and higher is helpful.

      1. 7. Where do I upload my Department application documents and letters of reference?

      The Department does not maintain an on-line application database, and there is no portal through which the Department application documents can be uploaded. Please submit all Department application documents as attachments to an e-mail (send to callum.hetherington@ttu.edu), or mail using traditional mail services to the Department. Similarly, recommendation forms and letters should be submitted as email attachements or submitted in hard copy.