Rice: Wiess School of Natural Sciences

Professional Master's Program: An Unconventional Career Track

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Prof. Master's Program
6100 Main Street, MS-103
Houston, TX 77005
713.348.3188  tel
713.348.3121  fax


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Initial Funding by the
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation


"Students in the Professional Master’s Program benefit from Rice’s highly recognized academic resources enhanced with professional components that together foster the development of essential science, communication, and management skills. The (Subsurface Geoscience) track creates a rare breed of well-prepared professionals possessing the wide range of abilities necessary to devise innovative and pragmatic approaches to tackle difficult industry problems."

– André Erlich, Chief Information Officer, Schlumberger Ltd. (retired)

The Subsurface Geoscience program is geared for students who would like to become proficient in applying geological knowledge and geophysical methods to find and develop reserves of oil and natural gas.

The core requirements for the degree are strong courses in geophysical exploration methods, management and policy courses, communication skills, and an industrial internship. Students select a group of elective courses from a focus area (see below), or from a variety of other courses related to their interest.

  • The Geology focus area prepares students to be "explorationists," with strong skills in using seismic and other geophysical methods along with geological principles to find oil and natural gas.
  • The Geophysics focus area prepares students to become technical experts in aspects of exploration seismology.

Faculty involved in the Subsurface Geoscience Program:

- Cin-Ty Lee, Earth Science Chairman

  André Droxler, Track Director, SG, Professor, Earth Science

Dale S. Sawyer,  Advisor, Earth Science

John B. Anderson, Earth Science

Andrew R. Barron, Chemistry

Gerald R. Dickens, Earth Science 

  Alan Levander, Earth Science

  Helge Gonnerman, Earth Science

  Jeff Nittrouer, Earth Science

Fenglin Niu, Earth Science

Julia Morgan, Earth Science

Colin A. Zelt, Earth Science

 Adjunct Faculty:  Vitor Abreu, Gary Gray, Mitch Harris, Malcom Ross, Eric Scott

 Mary Purugganan/Liz Eich, PSM Professional Communication

Last updated 7/2016 dkbeck