TU Graz/ Studying and Teaching/ Degree and Certificate Programmes/

Master's Degree Programme Earth Sciences

By participating in the master's degree programme Earth Sciences at TU Graz, you become an expert in geological and geotechnical matters. Geological knowledge is in demand both in Austria and abroad – in water management, construction, museums and many other fields.


  • Developing in-depth knowledge of geology, petrology, mineralogy, palaeontology, hydrogeology, hydrogeochemistry and geological engineering
  • Learning to understand methods of theoretical and applied earth sciences and to apply them in an interdisciplinary manner
  • Participating in practical sessions in the laboratory and on-site
  • Solving questions related to materials and tools
  • Developing and implementing concepts for the management of geogenic resources
  • Recognising and verifying geogenic risks
  • Undertaking research projects as part of a team
  • Learning to understand ethical, social and economic impacts of earth sciences
  • Improve specialist English vocabulary e.g. at English language courses or during a stay abroad

Specialisation Subjects

Students specialise in one of the following areas:

For the individual courses, please see the semester plan.

Source: Lunghammer – NAWI Graz
  • Duration of study: 4 semesters
  • ECTS credit points: 120
  • Academic degree: Master of Science (MSc)
  • Language of instruction: German
    Some courses in English.
  • Admission requirements:
    The admission of graduates of the following bachelor’s degree programmes is granted without further stipulations:
    • Geosciences (previously "Earth Sciences") at TU Graz and University of Graz
    • Earth Sciences at the University of Vienna
    • Earth Sciences at the University of Innsbruck
    • Geology at the University of Salzburg
    Graduates of other bachelor’s degree programmes should register with the responsible representative at the Registration Office.

Curriculum (in German)

Semester plan 

Julia Woitischek, Source: Woitischek
Julia Woitischek, master's degree student in Earth Sciences


What I particularly like about this degree programme is that it is full of variety, that you have the opportunity to study or undertake research abroad and that you work outside surrounded by nature. I can directly apply the knowledge that I have acquired. For example, I have taken samples of thermal water and observed the cleansing efficiency of a sewage treatment plant by taking samples and interpreting the hydrogeochemical data.

Career Options

Earth scientists work in Austria and abroad, in university and non-university research institutes, in museums, in administrative offices, in industry and in geotechnical engineering offices.

They focus on geological and geotechnical questions in the following areas:

  • Building construction and civil engineering
  • Reduction of geological dangers
  • Environmental clean-ups
  • Energy research and generation
  • Extraction and use of mineral resources
  • Groundwater resources
  • Development of infrastructure





Admission Deadlines

Summer semester 2018:

8 January to 30 April 2018

Winter semester 2018/19:

9 July to 30 November 2018

Further informationen on registration and admission

International degree programme applicants: admission and application deadlines

Information and Advice for Prospective Students

The Following Could Also be of Interest

Specialisation in Geological Engineering

If students specialise in Geological Engineering, they focus on geological and geotechnical aspects of engineering. Courses are taught in English by internationally recognised teachers. As the institute is close to the Central and Eastern Alps, it has been possible to design the degree programme in a practical and research-oriented manner. The Alps are rich in interesting rock formations, landforms and geotechnical construction sites where students can undertake numerous field studies and research projects.

Focus Areas

  • Engineering Geology
  • Structural Geology
  • Geomorphology
  • Aerial Photograph Interpretation
  • Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling
  • Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering
  • Geophysics
  • Hydrogeology
  • Mineralogy
  • Remote Sensing
  • Surveying
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Statistics

Career Options

Geological engineers work at civil engineering firms, at geological, geotechnical and environmental consulting firms, at mining companies and at public institutions.

  • They investigate building grounds for engineering works e.g. dams, bridges, power stations, pump stations, airports, large buildings and towers.
  • They evaluate geological dangers e.g. mudslides, mass movements, earthquakes, subsidence, expansive soil and subsoil, cavernous rock and liquefaction failure.
  • They focus on central questions of construction geology e.g. looking at the stability of a hillside, at drainage requirements and at the solubility of soil and rock.
  • They evaluate geological conditions along tunnels, pipes and train lines, and in regulated reservoir areas.
  • They provide information and field data for geotechnical analysis, models and designs.
  • They research stone, rock and sediment to determine its usability as a building material.
  • They document and observe geotechnical building activities.
Source: TU Graz/IAG

Profile recording in a tunnel



Specialisation in Hydrogeology and Hydrogeochemistry

In the future it will be of great importance to use and manage water resources responsibly, and to understand where water comes from and its quality. If students specialise in Hydrogeology and Hydrogeochemistry,

  • they focus on diverse aspects of ground water and the composition of natural waters.
  • they use modern methods of analysis, modelling approaches (e.g. simulation models such as MODFLOW, PHREEQC, geographic information systems such as ArcGIS), and terrain monitoring techniques.
  • they learn to understand water-mineral reactions in connection with natural and synthetic rocks.
  • they improve their specialist English vocabulary by participating in courses held in English.

Focus Areas

  • Quality and quantity of above-ground and underground water resources
  • Regeneration, movement and storage of underground water
  • Water-rock interaction and the transportation of dissolved substances in water
  • Hydrogeochemical and hydrogeological development of waters
  • Verification of isotopic, chemical and element-specific parameters
  • Crystallisation and decomposition of minerals in watery solutions
  • Hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical modelling tools
  • Investigation, development and sustainable usage of groundwater resources

Career Options

Graduates work

  • in profit and non-profit organisations.
  • in public institutions e.g. in institutions responsible for water supply and water distribution, or at environmental agencies.
  • in industry e.g. in water preparation and water treatment.
  • in design and engineering offices.
  • in research and teaching at universities.

They focus on

  • investigating and developing groundwater resources.
  • aspects of weathering and development of mineral formation.
  • evaluating environmental risks e.g. to prevent water contamination.
  • deposition and corrosion in geothermal systems and drainage systems.
  • developing tailor-made techniques for water preparation, groundwater remediation, water treatment and mineral formation.
Source: TU Graz/IAG

Tracer test



Academic Environment

Students are involved in current research areas early on and work with the following research institutions:

Sinterbildung in Karsthoehlen. Source: TU Graz/IAG

Specialisation in Geology and Petrology

A main topic in the specialisation Geology and Petrology is the development of the solid earth and its composition, which students approach in an in-depth and process-orientated manner. Taking general principles of the natural sciences and the detailed communication of geological, geochemical, petrological and mineralogical knowledge into consideration, they

  • focus on diverse aspects of geological, geodynamical, magmatic metamorphic and sedimentary processes on both a micro and macro level.
  • use the most modern analytical, experimental and mathematical methods and software as well as geographical information systems (GIS).
  • improve their specialist English vocabulary by participating in courses held in English.

Focus Areas

  • Geodynamics: Natural dynamic processes in the interior of the earth and on the earth’s surface
  • Tectonics: Composition and structure of the earth’s crust and its large-scale movement
  • Geochemistry: Material composition, distribution, stability and circulation of chemical elements and their isotopes in minerals, rock, soil, water, atmosphere and biosphere

    Career Options

    Graduates work

    • in public institutions, e.g. in departments for the development of infrastructure, in museums.
    • in civil engineering consulting.
    • in the prospecting, development, extraction and use of mineral resources.
    • in the prospecting of crude oil and natural gas.
    • in oceanology.
    • in materials and chemicals industries.
    • in research and teaching at universities.
    Source: Uni Graz/IEW

    Top left: Digital elevation model of the Alps

    Top right: Shear zone in a gabbro

    Bottom left: Garnet mica schist

    Bottom right: Major fold construction

    Specialisation in Geobiology and Palaeoecology

    This specialisation allows students to gain an in-depth understanding of biological evolution, changing biodiversity and interaction between organisms and their environment during the history of the earth. Fossils and rocks are used as a source of information.

    Taxonomy, the description, documentation and classification of fossils, plays an important role here. Construction morphology of fossils allows for the palaeo environment to be reconstructed. Modern geochemical and geophysical methods together with fossils form the basis of paleoecosystem research.

    Focus Areas

    • Micropalaeontology
    • Invertebrate palaeontology
    • Palaeoecology
    • Palaeoclimate research
    • Palaeoceanography
    • Paleolimnology
    • Paleoecosystem research
    • Stratigraphy
    • Sedimentology

    Career Options

    Due to their comprehensive education in earth sciences, graduates specialising in geobiology and paleoecology can work in all areas of the geosciences.

    Graduates work in core specialist areas

    • at public institutions e.g. at state-level and national geological departments,
    • in the crude oil and natural gas industry, as well as in research and exploration,
    • prospecting and mining mineral resources,
    • in museums,
    • in research and teaching at universities,
    • in profit and non-profit organisations.
    Source: Uni Graz/IEW

    Analysing deep-ocean core samples in the laboratory

    Academic Environment

    Students are included in current research areas early on and are involved in national and international projects. This includes

    • fieldwork on almost every continent as part of research projects,
    • participating in ship expeditions (e.g. in the framework of the International Ocean Discovery Program – IODP),
    • participating in projects with the oil industry and
    • cooperating with the natural history museum, different state museums and the Geological Survey of Austria.