Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics

Work leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Geophysics is designed to give candidates a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of their professional field, and training in methods of research. The final basis for granting the degree shall be the candidate’s grasp of the subject matter of a broad field of study and a demonstrated ability to carry out and communicate independent research. In addition, the candidate must have acquired the ability to express thoughts clearly and convincingly in both oral and written communications. The degree is not granted solely for the completion of coursework, residence and technical requirements, although these must be met.

Skills obtained by graduates from this degree program include knowing how to: explain the scope, significance and limitations of geophysical information to land and environment stewardship and civil infrastructure stakeholders; develop new methods to evaluate risk and vulnerability from geological hazards and to make detailed evaluations about quality and quantity of Earth resources; determine whether geophysical data indicate a subsurface target of interest so that reliable drilling and excavation decisions can be made; design and execute field studies that employ geophysical data to solve a geoscience problem; create robust and reliable inferences of fundamental Earth structures and processes from incomplete and possibly inaccurate geological information; combine geological and geophysical data to build and assess the implications of integrative models whose value exceeds the sum of its components; deliver oral presentations and answer technical questions in plain language, in which geophysical information is described, interpreted, and from which compelling conclusions are carefully explained to the audience; prepare and widely circulate well-written and well-structured documents that contain sound reasoning and robust conclusions based on geophysical principles; use the full capabilities of commercial software packages to process, display and manipulate geophysical data and work with companies for their further development and refinement; use advanced geophysical field and laboratory equipment; execute robust and decisive tests of geophysical research hypotheses using advanced principles, data, and techniques; apply and further develop advanced principles of scientific uncertainty as they relate to geophysical hypothesis testing; be a role model in professional conduct in research and assume leadership roles of professional societies within geological sciences; and demonstrate exemplary behavior in balancing stakeholder, client and public interest concerns as they pertain to geophysical investigations. For more information, please see the Geology and Geophysics Graduate Programs webpage.

Steps to Fulfill a Doctoral Program