Graduate Program

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.

Degrees Offered

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.

Master of Science in Geophysics or 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 in addition to those associated with the Master of Science in Geophysics:

  • Students must complete, either prior to their arrival at Mines or while at Mines, 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.

Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics or 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 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.
    • 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.

Application Requirements

We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible for the term for which you wish to be considered. Credentials may be received separately and will be included with submitted application file. Applications are evaluated on their individual 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.

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 ETS)
  • 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.  Average scores of applicants accepted into the program for 2016-2017 are:

  • GPA: 3.47 (on a 4.00 scale)
  • TOEFL: 101/120 (approximately 7.5/9.0 for IELTS)
  • GRE: 159 Quantitative, 151 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.

Deadlines

Fall Application Deadlines:

  • January 15:  APPLICATION AND ALL CREDENTIALS MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE OFFICE OF GRADUATE STUDIES

Spring Application Deadlines:

  • October 1:  APPLICATION AND ALL CREDENTIALS MUST BE RECEIVED BY OFFICE OF GRADUATE STUDIES

Applications not adhering to the above deadlines will NOT be reviewed for admission consideration for that term, including applications for current Mines students. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all credentials are received in time to meet the above deadlines. If you cannot meet the deadlines, you may contact the Graduate Admissions office to be considered for admission for a subsequent term.