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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?

    The Department welcomes 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, to Concho Resources and Mewbourne, and include more service oriented companies such as Schlumberger..

    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 augmented 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 is responsible for the fiscal framework of graduate student assistantships. No state-funded institution in Texas, including Texas Tech, may waive in state tuition. To help students cover some of these expenses (approx. $3000/year) the Department of Geosciences offers recruitment scholarships on a competitive basis to as many students as possible.

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

    Lubbock is a city of ~315,000 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 organizations that support the arts, culture and entertainment, including the Lubbock Symphony, Ballet Lubbock, a First Friday Art Trail, Big 12 Sports, and live music somewhere in town every night of the week. Cost of living is very reasonable and 1 bedroom apartment rents range from $500-850/month.

    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. Teaching Assistantships are 9 month appointments and your appointment would typically be for the period 1 September through 31 May (i.e. Fall and Spring semester)

    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 an applicant more competitive! The Graduate Committee takes a holistic approach to applicant 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 ~295 to ~320, and an analytical writing score of 3.5 and higher is helpful.

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

      The Graduate Program Application process is currently being overhauled. Please visit Departmental Graduate program webpages:

        1. 9.How do I apply

        The new Graduate School application system goes live on 26 October, 2017.  To learn more visit: