Certificate Program Admissions

Please complete the certificate application form to begin the certificate application process.

Once your application form for the certificate is reviewed by the Department of Earth Science & Environmental Change, you will be contacted by a program advisor. 

**Note that this is a self-sustaining program and waivers may not be used to cover tuition and fees of this program (other than certain statutory waivers; see information below). Please consult with program staff if you have questions.

You may also directly contact the Environmental Geology Online Program Faculty Director, Dr. J. Cory Pettijohn,, for additional information regarding the certificate program or complete the form below to request more information.

Certificate application deadlines are:

  • Spring 2024 — January 10, 2024
  • Summer 2024 — May 15, 2024
  • Fall 2024 — August 15, 2024

Master’s Program Admissions

The Environmental Geology Master’s Program is designed for people looking to advance their expertise or pursue career advancement in the field of Geology or allied science field.
Admitted students typically have prior work experience in a wide range of geological or related positions.
  • Spring 2024 — December 15, 2023
  • Summer 2024 — April 15, 2024
  • Fall 2024 — August 1, 2024

What do I need to apply?
(click on each arrow below to expand for more information)

Please make sure to include all relevant work experience. Even if you don’t have a career in a geology or related field, include any volunteer work or related roles that you have held that would help us understand you as a person and what makes you a good fit for the program.
Obtain and upload transcripts from every post-secondary institution you have attended. Applicants must have been awarded a comparable bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States or from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (A=4.0), or comparable GPA for an international applicant, for the last two years of the undergraduate program is the minimum requirement for admission. Please speak with a program adviser if your GPA is below 3.0 to discuss additional admissions options.
Submission of three letters are required for admission. Recommendation letters can come from either academic or professional sources; recommendations from personal sources (e.g., neighbors, friends, family) will not be considered.
We want to get to know you better. Think about these elements to include in your personal/professional statement:
  • An explanation of your professional background and the qualifications you bring to the Environmental Geology M.S. program (if your direct experience with the Geology field is not professional in nature, please explain why you are pursuing this degree).
  • A description of your goals for your degree (why are you applying to Environmental Geology? What are your goals by completing an M.S in Environmental Geology?)
  • A brief summary of any relevant personal information or experiences that contribute to your desire to pursue the M.S. in Environmental Geology (e.g., why are you passionate about studying in the Environmental Geology field?).
  • Other personal/professional items that you wish to share that will support your application materials.
Students whose native language is not English must present their official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination with the required minimum scores: 611 on the paper-based test, 254 on the computer-based test, 103 on the Internet-based test (iBT).
Heather Miller
"This is a truly unique program, where students will engage with world-renowned faculty as well as practitioners in the private and public sector. Students have an opportunity to learn from a wide variety of professionals, apply skills in real-world situations, as well as customize their educational path to meet their professional and personal goals, which sets this program apart from others. We look forward to working with each and every student throughout their time in the program!"
— Heather Miller
SESE Online Programs Coordinator

Tuition and Fees for the Online M.S. and Certificate Programs

The tuition rate for the 2023-2024  academic year is $740 (USD) per credit hour. These rates include both tuition and fees, and are the same for in-state, out-of-state and international students. Cost for future courses may be subject to moderate changes in accordance with the actions of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Based upon prior tuition rate trends, you can plan on approximately $23,680 for the 32 credit-hour program and $8,880 for the 12 credit-hour certificate program. 

The Environmental Geology M.S. and Certificate program is financially self-supporting and does not accept the following tuition and fee waivers*:

Students in these programs are not eligible to hold a waiver generating graduate appointment (Assistantship or Fellowship). Current employees may be admitted to these programs, but their employee tuition waiver is not eligible for use towards a program with this designation.

To apply for the Master of Science program, complete the online application through the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The domestic application fee is currently $70 and $90 for international applications. 

The Environmental Geology program does accept statutory waivers (veterans grants, etc.).

*The waiver policy is subject to moderate changes in accordance with the actions of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Is there financial aid?

Financial aid (student loans) is available for students accepted into the program and enrolled in at least 6 credit hours of coursework in the fall and spring, or 3 credit hours during the summer.