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Major & Minor


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 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.

Bachelor of Science in Geophysics

The Geophysics Major Curriculum

Undergraduates in Geophysics are exposed to a broad spectrum of topics including resource exploration, environmental geophysics, seismology, and tectonics. Majors build on a solid foundation of math, physics, and geology 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.

The Geophysics Minor Curriculum

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 one required class (3 units), three electives (min. 9 units), and supporting classes in geology, mathematics and physics.

Geophysics Major & Minor Curricula

Undergraduate Curriculum Proposal

In addition, prospective minors must download, complete, and file the Registrar's Major-Minor and Multiple Major Course Approval Form.pdf

Coterminal B.S./ M.S. Program

The department also offers a coterminal program. Interested individuals should check with a member of the department faculty for details.

Honors Program

The department offers a program leading to the B.S. degree in Geophysics with honors. The guidelines are: 

1.Select a research project, either theoretical, field, or experimental, that has the approval of an adviser. 

2.Submit a proposal to the department, which decides on its suitability as an honors project. Necessary forms are in the department office. 

3.Course credit for the project is assigned by the adviser within the framework of GEOPHYS 198.

4.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'adviser.  This decision is based on the quality of both the honors work and the student's other work in Earth sciences. 

5.The work done on the honors program cannot be used as a substitute for regularly required courses. 

6. 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.

Please download the Undergraduate Honors Program Application.pdf

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 Simon Klemperer.

Application Procedure for B.S.

Prospective Undergraduate Applicants please visit the Office of Undergraduate Admission for information and to request an application.

For more information: visit the Geophysics Website
or Professor Simon Klemperer  Director of Undergraduate Studies, Mitchell 353
or contact Sara Cina Undergraduate Program Coordinator, (650) 724-8899