Undergraduate students interested in Geophysics as a major, a minor, or a concentration can find an exciting learning environment in the Department of Geophysics. The Geophysics curriculum provides field-based classes, engaging research opportunities, and excellent preparation for graduate school and careers in academia, industry, and government.
Our department aims to teach you powerful skills not only in geophysics, but also in mathematical applications, analytical reasoning, computational problem solving, and communications.
Bachelor of Science in Geophysics
The mission of the undergraduate program in Geophysics is to expose students to a broad spectrum of geophysics, including: resource exploration, environmental geophysics, seismology, and tectonics. Students in the major obtain a solid foundation in the essentials of math, physics, and geology, and build upon that foundation with advanced coursework in geophysics to develop the in-depth knowledge they need to pursue advanced graduate study and professional careers in government or the private sector.
Courses listed in the links below are required for the B.S. degree in Geophysics.
A written report on original research in the form of a Senior Thesis or an Honors Thesis is also required and must be submitted to the Student Services Officer no later than the beginning of the 8th week of the graduation quarter; and that the oral presentation associated with that report must be scheduled, with at least two faculty members present, no later than the beginning of finals week in the graduation quarter.
Minor in Geophysics
The Geophysics minor provides students with a general knowledge of Geophysics in addition to a background in the related fields of physics, mathematics, and geology.
The minor consists of four courses in Geophysics numbered 100 or higher, plus supporting math: CME 100 (or MATH 51)and physics: Physics 21 (or 41 or 61), Physics 23 (or 43 or 63), and Physics 25 (or 45 or 65).
In addition, prospective minors must download, complete, and file the Registrar's Major-Minor and Multiple Major Course Approval Form
Concentration in Geophysics for Physics Majors
Students can now take a concentration in Geophysics as part of their B.S. Degree in Physics. To complete the Geophysics Concentration, students include four geophysics courses in their degree program, or three courses plus a thesis. More information on the concentration is available on the Physics department website, or contact Dustin Schroeder.
The department offers a program leading to the B.S. degree in Geophysics with honors. The guidelines are:
- Select a research project, either theoretical, field, or experimental, that has the approval of an adviser.
- Submit a proposal to the department, which decides on its suitability as an honors project.
- Course credit for the project is assigned by the adviser within the framework of GEOPHYS 198.
- The decision whether a given independent study project does or does not merit an award of honors is made jointly by the department and the student's adviser. This decision is based on the quality of both the honors work and the student's other work in Earth sciences.
- The work done on the honors program cannot be used as a substitute for regularly required courses.
- The typical time to apply for admission to the Honors Program is early in Autumn Quarter of the Senior Year, or perhaps Spring Quarter of Junior Year if the student's work is sufficiently far advanced.