Year 1

Fall Semester
Concentrate on course work. Try to complete required courses as they are offered so your graduation won't be delayed if you are unable to take them later.

Spring Semester
Continue concentrating on course work.

Summer Semester
Enroll in GR 8553 Research Methods. In this class, you will develop a research proposal. This proposal should be on a topic in which you are interested in researching and the research should be able to be completed within a few months. The research project you propose during this semester will be conducted and completed during your second year of course work.

Year 2

Fall Semester
We will assign each student a Geoscience faculty member as your research project advisor. You may begin working on the research project you proposed during the previous summer semester.

Spring Semester
Continue working on the research project. You should collect and properly organize all data for your project during this semester. If you are graduating in the summer semester, submit the Pre-Audit form.

Summer Semester
During your final summer semester, you will enroll in the capstone course, GR 8573 Research in Applied Meteorology, and most likely take the Comprehensive Exam.

Important Notes for Students Taking Only 1 Course per Semester:

  • GR 8553 Research Methods in Geosciences should be registered for during the 2nd or 3rd summer semester.
  • You will need to complete GR 8553 Research Methods in Geosciences before beginning your research project.
  • GR 8573 Research in Applied Meteorology should be registered for during your final summer semester.

Capstone Course

For GR 8573 Research in Applied Meteorology, you will complete the research project. Approximately mid-way through this course you should have the research project completed and you will come to Mississippi State and present your research project.

Most students will need to begin their projects sometime after completing the GR 8553-Research Methods (first summer semester) and have the majority of the research completed before GR 8573 Research in Applied Meteorology (final summer semester) in order to finish it in time to present the results at MSU.

Comprehensive Exam

The comprehensive exam is a proctored, essay style exam that covers material learned in the required courses, and a subset of the electives. You must pass the comprehensive exam in order to receive your degree.

Students that begin the program in the fall semester will most likely take the comprehensive exam early in the final summer semester. MSU requires that students be within 6 credits of graduating or in the last semester in order to take written comps.

Students who do not begin the program in fall may need to take the exam in a different semester. The Department of Geosciences must have at least 2 weeks' notice before you can schedule your exam. In most cases, we will provide you information in the spring about when the exam can be scheduled. Students taking the exam in other semesters should be aware of the 2-week notice requirement and plan accordingly.