Oregon State University

Geology and Geophysics Graduate Major


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, drawing 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 plays an important role in decisions about resource use, slope stability and the safety of building projects, natural hazards standards, mineral exploration and extraction, the basic workings of the Earth, 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 MA, MS and PhD degrees. Candidates should have an undergraduate degree in physics, mathematics, engineering, geology, or geophysics. Mathematics through differential equations is required and mathematical physics is desirable. Graduate Record Exam scores are required of all applicants. 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 Geophyscs Program offers graduate study leading to MA, MS and PhD degrees. Graduate areas of concentration are:

There are two degree programs in Geology and Geophysics – a traditional Geology track and an integrative track. Most graduate research in the Geology and Geophysics program includes field study. An approved field course of at least 9 quarter credits or equivalent experience is prerequisite to candidacy for a graduate degree in the traditional track. 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 guidelines on how to apply to the integrated track, see Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Program Application Instructions.

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

Director: Ed Brook