Program Description

Emphasis is on research and courses in geology, paleontology, and paleobiology that prepare the student to understand the history of the earth and life, its geological context, and the science involved in deciphering this history. Students are encouraged to think independently and to consider various approaches to understanding earth history. The School of Medicine's Earth Science Program strives to:

1. Instill in students the values of honesty, scientific integrity, careful research, and critical, independent thinking.
2. Provide the tools and intellectual environment in which earth scientists can attain their highest potential in scholarship, research, and teaching.
3. Challenge graduate students to consider the relationship between science, faith, and societal responsibility.

Program Website  |  Catalog

Program Length

3-6 Years

Possible Careers

Secondary Teaching, University level teaching in Geology or Paleontology, Environmental Industries, Oil, Energy or Mining Industries, Earth System Science, Environmental Engineering, Waste Management, Sustainable Development, Paleontological Resources

Application Deadlines

Quarter Application Open Priority Deadline Final Deadline
Autumn of 2024 Aug 1, 2023 Jan 1, 2024 May 1, 2024
Autumn of 2025 Aug 1, 2024 Jan 1, 2025 May 1, 2025

Admissions Requirements

  • Acceptable undergraduate preparation is a regionally accredited bachelor's degree (or it's equivalent) and must include the expected cognates listed under prerequisites.

  • Please submit transcripts from all post-secondary institutions from which you have attended, regardless of whether or not it applies to your prerequisite coursework. This includes all colleges, universities, military credit, Advanced Placement, CLEP, and unaccredited schools. Transcripts must be sent by the issuing institution(s) directly to LLU Admissions Processing. Transcripts provided in any other manner are unofficial and will not be accepted for purposes of admissions.

  • Three letters of recommendation. Two of the letters must be from academic instructors; the third letter may come from an employer or pastor.

  • All applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). A subject GRE exam is not required.


Expected undergraduate preparation includes:
  • Physical Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Sedimentology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • Structural Geology
  • Geological Field Mapping
  • Two quarters of college mathematics, including Calculus
  • One year each of:
    • General Biology
    • General Physics
    • General Chemistry
Some of these courses may be taken during residence at Loma Linda University, with approval of the admissions committee.
Integrating faith and health
Integrating faith and health
Loma Linda University educates and encourages a balanced life by living our values of humility, compassion, justice, integrity, excellence, freedom and self- control. You will be surrounded by faculty who are committed to healthcare innovation and research while engaging your spirituality.

Expected Cost of Attendance

The following estimated cost of attendance is based on full-time attendance for the number of months enrolled per academic year. Estimated amounts may vary based on a number of factors. Students may use these estimates when applying for financial aid.

Required Program Costs

Academic Year 2023-2024

Year of Program
Months Enrolled
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Tuition & Fees $18,038 $20,184 $12,064 $12,064
Books, Materials, Supplies & Equipment Allowance
(May or may not be purchased through the school)
$1,350 $650 $650 $650

Other Educational Costs

Non-required costs that can be funded with scholarships/loans.

Year of Program
Months Enrolled
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Living Expense (Food & Housing Allowance)
Students will be assigned one of the following Living Expense Budget Options:
  • On Campus Dorm
  • $10,800 $14,400 $14,400 $14,400
  • LLU Owned Rental Property
  • $17,280 $23,040 $23,040 $23,040
  • LLU Owned Rental w/ Dependents
  • $18,180 $24,240 $24,240 $24,240
  • Undergraduate Dependent w/ Parents
  • $6,480 $8,640 $8,640 $8,640
  • Off Campus
  • $17,280 $23,040 $23,040 $23,040
    Transportation Allowance $3,150 $4,200 $4,200 $4,200
    Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $2,700 $3,600 $3,600 $3,600
    Federal Student Loan Fees 0 0 0 0
    Cost of Obtaining Professional License 0 0 0 0
    Dependent Care
    (See Budget Revision Request form)
    Available upon Request
    Disability-Related Expenses
    (See Budget Revision Request form)
    Available upon Request


    Many students in this program receive financial aid.
    • Estimated amounts are for the academic year specified only. Amounts are based on full-time attendance for the number of months enrolled per academic year. International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on these amounts.
    • Amounts are expected to increase each year consistent with inflation in the professional education sector.
    • To qualify for financial aid, most students must be enrolled at least half time in an aid eligible program and be taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.