Geophysics - BS

The Bachelor of Science in Geophysics prepares students for employment opportunities in industrial, environmental, governmental, education, non-profit and related careers, but the rigor of this degree is also designed to prepare students for advanced study. The first two years are similar to the BS in Geology, providing students with the fundamentals of geology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Courses during the junior and senior years emphasize knowledge transfer from the fields of math and physics to techniques and problems in both theoretical and applied geophysics. Technical electives allow students to focus on specific career objectives. Seniors will participate in a group research capstone course (GEOL 450), in which they work in teams with a faculty advisor to solve a current problem and communicate their findings. Students are also encouraged to become involved in research projects with faculty members and can receive course credit for this activity through GEOP 291 and GEOP 491. Some courses in geophysics require field trips.

Geophysicists contribute to the field of environmental science by working on traditional and emerging methods used for hydrogeological, structural, and stratigraphic characterization of the uppermost 100 meters of the Earth, with applications to shallow resource and groundwater assessment and solutions to environmental and engineering problems. Environmental geophysicists typically work as independent environmental consultants or with industrial corporation or government agencies.

Geophysicists may find employment in the petroleum industry, in which reflection seismology is the primary subsurface exploration tool. Students aiming for this field will supplement their background in seismic theory with electives that focus on subsurface structures and processes and industry techniques. These students will be prepared for graduate study, as well as industry service jobs.

To remain in satisfactory academic standing, students must maintain a 2.0 or better GPA in all technical courses (geology, geophysics, chemistry, math and physics). Some courses require field trips.