The Geophysics program integrates geology, mathematics, and physics in order to understand the large scale processes of Earth as a planetary body and regional variations in the near surface. Geophysicists study Earth processes through a combination of laboratory experiments, computational and theoretical modeling, remote imaging, and direct measurements. This includes the study of magnetic and gravitational fields, tectonics and volcanism, the hydrological cycle, and interactions with the Moon and other celestial bodies.
NOTE: Because of the significant amount of common interdisciplinary coursework, students having their major within the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering may not also have a minor from within the Department.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:
- demonstrate competence in oral and written communication skills including the ability to write and present independent research, and the ability to read and critically evaluate relevant geoscience literature.
- demonstrate critical thinking and reasoning as part of their professional skills.
Transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno
Use the transfer agreement and the degree planner (available by clicking at the top right of this page) to build your plan for graduation with your advisor. Course substitutions not identified on the transfer agreement require UNR advisor approval.
If a major-to-major transfer agreement is not available for your transfer institution, please check the General Core agreement if available. If neither is available, access Transferology to assist in your planning.
- Total Units | 120
- Cumulative GPA | 2.0
- University GPA | 2.0
- Major GPA | 2.0
- Residency Requirement | 30 Upper-Division Units at UNR
- Major Residency Requirement | 15 Upper-Division Units in the major at UNR
- Upper-Division Requirement | 40 Upper-Division Units
- Half Program Units/4 Year Institution | 60 Units
I. Core General Education Requirements (27-30 units)
NOTE: Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter of this catalog for information regarding the “Core English and Math Completion Policy .”
Students in this major must meet all Core Objectives (CO1 through CO14). Courses satisfying Core Objectives are designated (e.g., CO9) in General Catalog curricula and course descriptions.
A. Composition & Communication; Critical Analysis & Use of Information (3-6 units) - CO1, CO3
B. Quantitative Reasoning (4 units) - CO2
C. Physical & Natural Phenomena (8 units) - CO4, CO4L
D. Cultures, Societies, & Individuals (3 units) - CO6
Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO6 courses .
E. Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression (3 units) - CO7
Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO7 courses .
F. History & Culture; Constitution (6 units) - CO5, CO8
Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter in this catalog.
II. Additional Core Requirements (12 units maximum)
Students must take courses that satisfy the following Core Objectives. Some or all of these Core Objectives may be satisfied in the Major Requirements (Section IV). Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter in this catalog.
A. Science, Technology & Society - CO9
Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO9 courses.
B. Diversity & Equity - CO10
Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO10 courses.
C. Global Contexts - CO11
Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO11 courses.
D. Ethics - CO12
Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO12 courses.
E. Capstone Integration & Synthesis - CO13
III. Additional Requirements (0 units)
IV. Major Requirements (72-75 units)
All geology, geophysics, geological engineering and hydrogeology major courses and electives having GEOL, GPH, or GE prefixes must be passed with a grade of “C” or greater; “C-” or lower is not acceptable.
A. Geophysics (12-15 units)
Summer field course or research experience (1-3 units)
Advisor approval required. Select one from the following:
B. Geological Sciences (22 units)
C. Mathematics (14 units)
The addition of PHYS 323 and PHYS 423 Intermediate and Advanced Physics Lab (3 units total) will satisfy the Physics minor.
E. Technical electives (9 units)
At least 6 units at 300-499 level, see an advisor for recommended groupings.
V. Minor Requirements (0 units)
VI. Electives (3-9 units)
Students are strongly encouraged to take courses in related fields of interest.
VII. Recommended Schedule
Spring Semester (15 units)
Spring Semester (16 units)
Spring Semester (14 units)
Summer Semester (1-3 units)
Fall Semester (12-13 units)
Spring Semester (12-15 units)
- GPH 492 - Applied Geophysics (4 units) CO13, CO14
- Science, Technology & Society (3 units) CO9
- Technical Elective (3 credits)
- General Elective (2-5 units)