Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Geology Graduate Major

Painted Hills

Geology and Geophysics is the study of the materials, processes, and history of the solid Earth and its fluid envelopes. Geology and Geophysics are integrative fields, and draw on mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology to understand the interactions of the lithosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. Studies commonly combine observations and measurements from field, laboratory, and computational studies. Geology is concerned with the processes involved in the formation and evolution of the Earth through geological time, and plays an important role in decisions about resource use, natural hazards, mineral exploration and extraction, and the understanding of the effects and rates of natural and human-induced change in the environment.

Geophysics is concerned with physical processes within and on Earth, especially the internal physical constitution of the planet, and seismic, gravitational, geothermal, geoelectrical, geomagnetic phenomena and their relation to geological processes. The geophysics concentration offers graduate work toward the MS and PhD degrees. Opportunities for research exist on a wide range of geophysical problems in marine and continental regimes, emphasizing experimental, applied, and theoretical aspects.

For more information see:

The Geology and Geophysics Discipline group offers graduate study leading to MS and PhD degrees. Graduate areas of concentration include:

  • Glacial geology
  • Geochemistry
  • Hydrology and Hydrogeology
  • Structural geology
  • Geomorphology
  • Geophysics
  • Igneous petrology
  • Neotonics
  • Paleoclimate
  • Volcanology
  • Mineral deposit geology
  • Marine Geology

There are two degree programs used by Geology and Geophysics graduate students – a traditional Geology track and an integrative track via the Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences degree. Most graduate research in the Geology track includes field study, and an approved field course of at least 9 quarter credits or equivalent experience is prerequisite to candidacy for a graduate degree. There is no required prerequisite geology field course for the integrated track. No foreign language is required.

For guidelines on how to apply to the traditional Geology track, see Geology Graduate Program Application Instructions.

For more information about the integrated track, see the Geophysics section and the Marine Geology paragraph (under Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences) on the Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Major page.

See this course plan sheet for differences between the Geology MS and PhD, and the OEAS Marine Geology or Geophysics tracks.

For guidelines on how to apply to water resources, see Water Resources Graduate Program Applicants.

Director: Adam Kent