Geophysics - 5-Year Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Geophysics

The combined program in Geophysics is a 5-year path leading to a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a thesis option Master of Science (MS) in Geophysics. This program is designed to quickly prepare exceptional students who would like to either enter into the job market with an advanced degree or apply to PhD programs. Because the MS degree requires a thesis, it is highly recommended that interested students become involved in research project early in the undergraduate career. Areas of opportunity for research at both the undergraduate and MS levels include earthquake mechanisms and seismic wave propagation, theoretical and experimental studies of deformation of rocks and soft sediment, petrophysics and reservoir physics, marine studies of the structure of the oceanic crust and continental margins, near surface applied geophysics and archaeological geophysics.

There are 150 total credit hours in the two degrees: 120 at the undergraduate level and 32 at the graduate level, including two hours of dual credit. 

Application and Eligibility

  • Students may apply for entrance to the graduate program when they reach 90 hours applied to their degree program, normally in the spring of their junior year.
  • Applicants to this program are not required to submit GRE, but they must submit two letters of advocacy from faculty members, one of whom is willing to serve as the MS thesis advisor.
  • Students admitted into the combined program must finish the entire 150 credit hours to obtain both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.  These students will be conferred with two degrees once they complete all requirements.
  • Students not accepted into the combined program will complete the 120 hour Bachelor’s degree under the standard 4 year curriculum. These students may still apply to the traditional graduate program.
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
CHEM 107 General Chemistry for Engineering Students 3
CHEM 117 General Chemistry for Engineering Students Laboratory 1
ENGL 104 Composition and Rhetoric 3
GEOL 150 Introduction to the Solid Earth 4
GEOL 180 Introduction to Geology and Geophysics 1
MATH 151 Engineering Mathematics I 4
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring
GEOL 152 History of the Earth 4
MATH 152 Engineering Mathematics II 4
Communication 3
Government/Political Science 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Second Year
Fall
GEOL 203 Mineralogy 4
GEOL 210 Geological Communication 3
MATH 251 Engineering Mathematics III 3
PHYS 206 Newtonian Mechanics for Engineering and Science 3
PHYS 226 Physics of Motion Laboratory for the Sciences 1
American history 3
 Semester Credit Hours17
Spring
GEOL 250 Geological Field Methods 4
GEOL 304 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology 4
MATH 308 Differential Equations 3
PHYS 207 Electricity and Magnetism for Engineering and Science 3
PHYS 227 Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory for the Sciences (Technical Electives) 2 1
Technical electives 2 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Summer
American history 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
Third Year
Fall
GEOL 306 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy 4
GEOP 341 Fundamentals of Geophysics 3
MATH 311 Topics in Applied Mathematics I 3
PHYS 221 Optics and Thermal Physics 3
Government/Political Science 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring
GEOL 312 Structural Geology and Tectonics 4
GEOP 313 Geophysical Field Methods 4
GEOP 361 Geophysical Signal Processing 3
Language, philosophy and culture 1 3
Social and behavioral science 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours17
Summer
Technical elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
Fourth Year
Fall
GEOL 450 Geology Senior Project 3
GEOP 421 Seismology 4
GEOP 413 Near-surface Geophysics 3
Creative arts 1 3
Geophysics elective 3 3
Technical elective 2
 Semester Credit Hours18
Spring
Graduate electives 4 12
 Semester Credit Hours12
Fifth Year
Fall
Graduate electives 4 9
 Semester Credit Hours9
Spring
Graduate electives 4 9
 Semester Credit Hours9
 Total Semester Credit Hours150

The program includes a total of  152 or 156 hours which up to 2 or 6 hours may be applied toward both the Bachelor of Science in Geophysics and the Master of Science in Geophysics.