Geophysics Major

As a geophysics major, you will learn to apply the principles of physics to the study of the Earth. In geophysics, evaluation of gravity, magnetic and electrical fields, seismic wave propagation and heat flow are used to deduce the Earth's structure, composition, physical properties and dynamic processes. These studies may emphasize exploration geophysics, which uses geophysical techniques in the search for petroleum, natural gas, mineral deposits and groundwater resources. The techniques of geophysics are also used to investigate the shallow portions of the earth to determine conditions for the suitable location of dams, bridges, nuclear power plants, waste disposal sites and highways.

You should major in geophysics if...

  • You are skilled in science and mathematics.
  • You have a wide spectrum of interests in the physical sciences.
  • You are interested in groundwater, petroleum or materials exploration.
  • You are interested in deep Earth or planetary exploration.
  • You are considering going on to graduate-level studies in the physical sciences.

Program overview

The geophysics major will train you in the broad spectrum of both physics and geosciences, as well as the mathematical underpinnings of both fields. After completing the required foundation courses, you may choose electives to suit your specific areas of interest. For example, you will have the opportunity to study various areas of physics, from astrophysics to electronics and geosciences, from hydrogeology to remote sensing.

  • Program requirements: To learn more about specific program requirements, consult the most recent academic catalog.
  • Course listings: To see which courses will be offered when, check out the WMU course listings. You can also read course descriptions for physics classes here or geological and environmental sciences classes here.
  • Professional development: Students in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences are encouraged to gain valuable professional, research and field experience through joining our highly active student organizations.

What's next?

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