Graduate Program

Degrees Offered

The Department of Geophysics offers both traditional, research-oriented graduate programs and non-thesis education programs 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.

For more information, visit the Mines Graduate Catalog or contact the Department office.

Professional Masters, Petroleum Reservoir Systems

This is a 30-credit, 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.  Students typically require 1 – 1.5 years to complete this degree.

For detailed information and specific requirements, visit the Mines Graduate Catalog.

Master of Science (Thesis or Non-Thesis), Hydrologic Science and Engineering: Hydrogeophysics

These interdisciplinary programs, including an Area of Specialization in Hydrogeophysics, are designed for students who aim to advance their knowledge of hydrologic science with geophysics and engineering applications.  Typical employers for students with this degree include environmental consulting firms. the U.S. Geological Survey, the petroleum industry, and various regulatory agencies.  All programs include a range of core and elective course requirements, and additional criteria depending upon the degree.

For detailed information and specific requirements, visit the Hydrology Program website.

Master of Science (Thesis or Non-Thesis), Humanitarian Engineering: Humanitarian Geophysics

These interdisciplinary degree programs are targeted to recent graduates or mid-career professionals with an undergraduate degree in science and engineering who are interested in careers, research opportunities and/or acquiring skills that will help them work effectively in a variety of fields. The Humanitarian Geophysics specialization of these degrees will include a core Humanitarian Engineering curriculum plus an approved stream of related courses in the geophysics or geophysical engineering disciplines.

For more information, visit the Mines Graduate Catalog.

Master of Science (Non-Thesis), Geophysics or Geophysical Engineering

These programs are designed for students who aim to advance their knowledge of geophysics through a professional degree.  This is a 30-credit program, which includes 12 credits of required courses, and 18 additional credits of elective coursework.  The student may work with the program coordinator to customize their degree using elective courses, to address specific interests and career goals.

A Computational Geophysics Track of the Master of Science Non-Thesis Degree is available.  For detailed information and specific requirements, visit the Mines Graduate Catalog.  Students typically complete this program in 1 to 1.5 years.

Master of Science (Thesis Option), Geophysics or Geophysical Engineering

These programs are designed for students who aim to advance their knowledge of geophysics in a research environment.  Formerly a 38-credit program, this new, 30-credit degree includes 12 credits of required technical and professional development courses, 6 credits of dissertation/research, and 12 additional credits of coursework that the student may coordinate with their advisor to customize the degree, to address specific interests and career goals.  Students typically complete this program within two years.

For detailed information and specific requirements, visit the Mines Graduate Catalog.

Doctor of Philosophy, Geophysics or Geophysical Engineering

These programs are suitable for students who desire careers in research-intensive environments, many government agencies, and academia.  This 72-credit degree includes a range of professional development course requirements, 24 credits of dissertation/research, and 12 additional credits of coursework in a minor program of study.  The program also requires the student to satisfy a doctoral qualifying process, and several other programmatic criteria.  Students typically complete the PhD program in 4-5 years.

For detailed information and specific requirements, visit the Mines Graduate Catalog.

COMBINED UNDERGRADUATE/GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

Students currently enrolled in the Mines’ undergraduate program may choose to transition continuously to a Master of Science (thesis or non-thesis) degree as a Combined Degree student.  Students admitted to the Combined Degree may double count up to six hours of related 400-level (or higher) credits which were used in fulfilling the requirements of their undergraduate degree at Mines, towards their graduate program.  We encourage students interested in this option to consult with their undergraduate advisor and with the Office of Graduate Admissions as early as their sophomore year.

The Department of Geophysics will waive GRE scores and letters of reference for students who apply to the Combined Master of Science Non-Thesis degree in Geophysics or Geophysical Engineering.  Students are admitted to the Combined Degree with the stipulation that they maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in each remaining semester of their undergraduate program.

GRADUATE PROGRAM BACKGROUND REQUIREMENTS

All graduate programs in Geophysics require that applicants have a background that includes the equivalent of adequate undergraduate preparation in the following areas:

  • Mathematics – Linear Algebra or Linear Systems, Differential Equations, and Computer Programming
  • Physics – Classical Mechanics, and Electromagnetism
  • Geology – Structural Geology and Stratigraphy
  • Geophysics – Courses that include theory and application in three of the following areas: gravity/magnetics, seismic, electrical/ electromagnetics, borehole geophysics, remote sensing, and geodynamics.
  • Field experience in the hands-on application of several geophysical methods

In addition, candidates in the Doctoral program are required to have no less than one year of college-level or two years of high-school-level courses in a single foreign language, or be able to demonstrate fluency in at least one language other than English.

APPLICATION DEADLINES AND REQUIREMENTS

We encourage you to apply as early as possible for the term for which you wish to be considered. Credentials may be received separately in the Office of Graduate Admissions, and will be included with submitted application file. The Department evaluates applicants on their individual academic merit, as well as on the availability of space, faculty advising, and funding within the program. Priority consideration for both admission and available funding is given to the earliest competitive applications to the program. Click here to begin your application process.

To be reviewed for your desired entry semester, your application must be complete, with all credentials received by the Office of Graduate Admissions, by the posted deadlines:

FALL ADMISSION DEADLINE: JANUARY 1
SPRING ADMISSION DEADLINE: OCTOBER 1

We require the following for applications to the Geophysics graduate program:

  • Application and applicable fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Updated curriculum vitae or resume
  • Minimum three letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary degrees
  • GRE scores (sent by ETS)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores, if applicable

The Department of Geophysics has no minimum required test scores or GPA for admission to the graduate program. Average scores of applicants accepted into the program are:

  • GPA: 3.56 (on a 4.00 scale)
  • TOEFL: 102/120 (approximately 7.5/9.0 for IELTS)
  • GRE: 162 Quantitative, 153 Verbal, 4.0 Analytical

Applications may take several weeks to review. You will be notified by the Office of Graduate Admissions when a decision is reached.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Fall 2020 Admission:
JANUARY 1, 2020
Spring 2021 Admission:
OCTOBER 1, 2020

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