The Department offers both traditional, research-oriented graduate programs and a non-thesis professional education program designed to meet specific career objectives. The program of study is selected by the student, in consultation with an advisor, and with thesis committee approval, according to the student's career needs and interests. Specific degrees, have specific requirements as detailed below. For detailed requirement information for a particular degree, see the CSM graduate bulletin. Learn more about graduate student research opportunities here.
Professional Masters in Petroleum Reservoir Systems
This is a multi-disciplinary, non-thesis masters degree for students interested in working as geoscience professionals in the petroleum industry. The Departments of Geophysics, Petroleum Engineering, and Geology and Geological Engineering share oversight for the Professional Masters in Petroleum Reservoir Systems program through a committee consisting of one faculty member from each department. Students gain admission to the program by application to any of the three sponsoring departments. Students are administered by that department into which they first matriculate. As a helpful tool to track your progress through the Professional Masters program, you may download the Professional Master Progress Checklist.
Master of Science
Geophysics and Geophysical Engineering
Students may obtain a Master of Science Degree in either Geophysics or Geophysical Engineering. Both degrees have the same coursework and thesis requirements, as described below. Students are normally admitted into the Master of Science in Geophysics program. If, however, a student would like to obtain the Master of Science in Geophysical Engineering, the course work and thesis topic must meet the following requirements. Note that these requirements are in addition to those associated with the Master of Science in Geophysics.
- Students must complete, either prior to their arrival at CSM or while at CSM, no less than 16 credits of engineering coursework.
- Within the opinion of the Geophysics faculty at large, the student's dissertation topic must be appropriate for inclusion as part of an engineering degree.
To review the overall requirements for a master's degree in the Department of Geophysics, consult the CSM graduate bulletin. As a helpful tool to track your progress through the Master of Science program, you may download the MS Student Progress Checklist.
Doctor of Philosophy
Geophysics and Geophysical Engineering
Students may obtain a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in either geophysics or geophysical engineering. Both degrees have the same coursework and thesis requirements. Students are normally admitted into the Ph.D. in Geophysics program. If, however, a student would like to obtain the Ph.D. in Geophysical Engineering, the course work and thesis topic must meet the following requirements. Note that these requirements are in addition to those associated with the Ph.D. in Geophysics.
- Students must complete, either prior to their arrival at CSM or while at CSM, no fewer than 16 credits of engineering coursework.
- Within the opinion of the geophysics faculty at large, the student's dissertation topic must be appropriate for inclusion as part of an engineering degree.
- PhD students are required to pass two qualifying exams before defending their thesis. Details may be found in the PhD Qualifying Exams document.
- Graduate teaching experience is required of all PhD students. This must be at least a two-week experience and include: • Developing and presenting instructional materials of lectures;
• Developing and teaching the laboratory exercises if the course has a lab component;
• Evaluating students’ homework and laboratory reports; and
• Holding office hours if necessary.
• The supervising faculty member must describe the content of the experience in the Teaching Requirement Document. The document is then submitted to the Department for review and to put on file.
To review the overall requirements for a PhD degree in the Department of Geophysics, including the qualifying process, consult the CSM graduate bulletins. As a helpful tool to track your progress through the Doctor of Philosophy program, you may download the PhD Student Progress Checklist.
Additional forms for current graduate students:
All graduate students are required to review and submit the Independent Study Format Form to receive credit for an independent study course.
All graduate students are required to review and submit the Oral Examination/Defense Form before a defense date will be confirmed.
All graduate students are required to review and submit the Heiland Lecture Form before a defense date will be confirmed.
Applying to the Graduate Program:
We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible for the term for which you wish to be considered. Applications are evaluated not only on their individual merit but on the availability of space, faculty advising, and funding within the program. Priority consideration for both admission and available funding will be given to the earliest competitive applications to the program. Click here to begin your application process.
Fall application deadlines:
Priority consideration for financial support: December 15
Final application deadline for fall: March 1.
Spring application deadline: October 15.
Applications not complete by the above deadlines will not be reviewed for admission consideration for that term. It is your responsibility to ensure that all application materials are received in time to meet these deadlines. If your application is incomplete, you may contact the Graduate Admissions office to be considered for admission for a subsequent term.
We require the following to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admission for applications to the Geophysics graduate program:
¨ Application and applicable fee
¨ Statement of Purpose
¨ Current curriculum vitae or resume
¨ Minimum three letters of recommendation
¨ Official transcripts for all post-secondary degrees
¨ Official GRE scores (sent by Administrator)
¨ Official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable)
The Department of Geophysics has no minimum required test scores or GPA for admission to the graduate program. However, the average scores of applicants accepted into the program are as follows:
GPA: 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
TOEFL: 93/120 (approximately 7.0/9.0 for IELTS)
GRE: 153 Quantitative
3.5 – 4.0 Analytical
Applications may take several weeks to review for admission. You will be notified by the Office of Graduate Admissions when a decision is reached.