backpacker posing in front of steam cloud at a thermal spring


Gravity, electricity, vibrations, magnetism — these phenomena and others can be studied when we apply physics to the area of earth sciences. As a result, geophysics helps us do things like locate mineral deposits and determine the thickness of glaciers.

What to Expect

As a geophysics major, you will benefit from a combination of quality classroom education, laboratory experience and field-based activities. You will focus on the physics of the earth and its atmosphere, including seismology, oceanography and volcanology.

You will also have the unique opportunity to complete a field-based course to get valuable hands-on experience with practical geophysical techniques for exploring the shallow subsurface. This opportunity synergizes your education in geophysics to understanding the earth's formation in an observational setting.


Undergraduate Degree

B B.S. with a major in Geophysics

Within the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment is one of only two institutions in the Southeast that offers a geophysics undergraduate degree. The department boasts a large and diverse faculty with broad scientific expertise.

The following courses fulfill some of the course requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Geophysics:

  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Processes Structural Geology and Tectonics
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Applied Seismology
  • Elementary Seismology
  • Seismic Reflection Interpretation
  • Numerical Modeling for Earth Science Applications
  • Marine Geophysics
  • Environmental Geophysics

Students in geophysics will also complete a cognate in mathematics.

Apply for Undergraduate Admission

Our Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides the most current information on the application process so you can check the requirements based on your current status and find university scholarships.