Graduate Program

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. 

New Graduate Degrees, Available Fall 2019

We are excited to announce the addition of several NEW graduate degree programs, starting in Fall 2019!  Specific requirements to be published this spring.  For more information, contact the Department office.  Click here to begin the application process.

Master of Science, Non-Thesis: Geophysics or Geophysical Engineering
Computational Geophysics Track Now Available

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

Master of Science, Thesis and Non-Thesis
Humanitarian Engineering: Humanitarian Geophysics

Current Degrees Offered

Professional Masters, 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, Geophysics or Geophysical Engineering

Students may obtain a thesis-based Master of Science degree in either Geophysics or Geophysical Engineering.  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, at least 16 credits of engineering coursework.
  • The student’s dissertation topic must be appropriate for inclusion as part of an engineering degree.

Doctor of Philosophy, Geophysics or Geophysical Engineering

This program is suitable for student who desire careers in research or academia.  To obtain the PhD in Geophysical Engineering, the course work and thesis topic must meet the following requirements in addition to those associated with the PhD in Geophysics:

  • Students must complete, either prior to their arrival at Mines or while at Mines, at least 16 credits of engineering-based coursework.
  • The student’s dissertation topic must be appropriate for inclusion as part of an engineering degree.

PhD students must successfully complete two PhD Qualifying examinations, before proceeding with the thesis research.

In addition to specific professional development course requirements, and a requirement to demonstrate fluency in a language other than English, PhD students in the Department of Geophysics must also engage in a practical teaching experience in an ongoing Mines course.  This experience must take place within a single semester and involves a range of teaching methodology, including planning and delivering lectures and labs, holding office hours, and developing and grading assignments or quizzes.

Application 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.

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 for 2017-2018 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

Spring 2020 Application Deadline: October 1, 2019

Fall 2020 Application Deadline: January 1, 2020

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.