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This archived information is dated to the 2010-11 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Bachelor of Science in Geophysics

The following courses are required for the B.S. degree in Geophysics. A written report on original research or an honors thesis is also required through participation in GEOPHYS 196 (Undergraduate Research) and GEOPHYS 199 (Senior Seminar) in Autumn Quarter of the senior year. The departmental program proposal form can be downloaded at Seniors in Geophysics who expect to do graduate work should take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) early in their final undergraduate year.



Students must take all of the following:


Choose four upper-level courses, one from each of the following four areas:

  1. Resources, hazards, and the environment
    • GEOPHYS 182. Reflection Seismology, 3 units
    • GEOPHYS 183. Reflection Seismology Interpretation, 3 units
    • GEOPHYS 185. Rock Physics for Reservoir Characterization, 3 units
    • ENERGY 120. Fundamentals of Petroleum Engineering, 3 units
    • GES 131. Hydrologically-Driven Landscape Evolution, 3 units
  2. Whole-earth Geophysics
    • GEOPHYS 184. Journey to the Center of the Earth, 3 units
    • GEOPHYS 140. The Earth from Space: Introduction to Remote Sensing , 3 units
    • GEOPHYS 170. Global Tectonics, 3 units
    • GEOPHYS 186. Tectonophysics, 3 units
  3. Numerical and computational methods
    • GEOPHYS 187. Environmental Soundings Image Estimation, 3 units
    • GEOPHYS 281. Geophysical Inverse Problems, 3 units
    • CME 200. Linear Algebra with Applications to Engineering Computations, 3 units
    • CME 204. Partial Differential Equations in Engineering, 3 units
    • CME 206. Introduction to Numerical Methods for Engineering, 3 units
    • CME 211. Computer Programming in C++ for Earth Scientists and Engineers, 3 units
    • EE 102A. Signal Processing and Linear Systems I, 4 units
    • ENERGY 160. Modeling Uncertainty, 3 units
  4. Geophysical fluid dynamics
    • GEOPHYS 181. Fluids and Flow, 3 units
    • CEE 164. Introduction to Physical Oceanography, 4 units
    • EESS 146A. Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics: The Atmospheric Circulation, 3 units
    • EESS 220. Physical Hydrogeology, 4 units
    • ENERGY 121. Fundamentals of Multiphase Flow, 3 units
    • GES 130. Soil Physics and Hydrogeology, 3 units

Students must take all of the following (15-20 units):


Students must take all of the following (16-25 units):


The department offers a program leading to the B.S. degree in Geophysics with honors. The guidelines are:

  1. Select a research project, either theoretical, field, or experimental, that has the approval of an adviser.
  2. Submit a proposal to the department, which decides on its suitability as an honors project. Necessary forms are in the department office.
  3. Course credit for the project is assigned by the adviser within the framework of GEOPHYS 205.
  4. The decision whether a given independent study project does or does not merit an award of honors is made jointly by the department and the student's adviser. This decision is based on the quality of both the honors work and the student's other work in Earth sciences.
  5. The work done on the honors program cannot be used as a substitute for regularly required courses.

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