The Geophysics Graduate Program requires a strong foundation in basic mathematics and physics prior to beginning work on a graduate degree. To enable entering students to judge their need for supplementary work, the general background requirements are listed below. Students who do not have these prerequisites at entrance will substantially slow down their progress. We strongly urge that students endeavor to take as many of these courses prior to graduation as possible. Students in physics, mathematics, computer science, statistics and most fields of engineering will meet the mathematics requirements in their undergraduate curricula. Students outside of physics or electrical engineering may require additional physics courses in their first year of the Geophysics Program. Students in fields such as geology may also require extra undergraduate mathematics courses and will spend a substantial part of their first year completing supplementary course work. Most U.S. universities have equivalent courses.
EARTH SCIENCE: We strongly suggest that all students contemplating studying solid earth geophysics take a one quarter course in physical geology for geology majors prior to graduation. There are not specific recommendations for undergraduate earth science courses for students contemplating other fields of geophysics, such as space science or fluid dynamics.
MATHEMATICS: Students must have a full year of calculus with analytic geometry, plus at least a quarter each of ordinary differential equations, introductory linear algebra and vector differential calculus. Students are expected to complete a one year upper division sequence in applied mathematics if they have not done so prior to entrance.
PHYSICS: Students must have a full year of physics with lab. A sophomore level classical mechanics course, a sophomore level thermodynamics course, and a one year sequence in electromagnetism are strongly recommended.