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BS Geophysics Subprogram

BS Geophysics Subprogram

The Geophysics Subprogram is designed for students interested in the physical processes and properties of Earth and space, such as seismic, electrical, magnetic, and gravitational activity, using quantitative analyses.

The field of geophysics is critical to our everyday life, with societal applications including energy and mineral resource exploration, water resource management, natural hazard mitigation, and environmental protection and remediation.

The Geophysics Subprogram requires 14-15 credit hours of geophysics-specific required courses and an additional 6-8 credit hours of elective geophysics classes in addition to the 9-10 credit hours of core courses required for all BS students in the School of Earth Sciences. Like all Earth Science BS Subprograms, Geophysics requires the completion of an approved certificate, minor, or any second major. The Geophysics Subprogram has a 50% overlap with the School of Earth Sciences' Petroleum Geology and Planetary Science Certificates, meaning that it is possible to earn one of these certificates with as little as 2 additional courses.


Required Coursework

  1. Preparation for the Major
  2. Geophysics Coursework
    • Required for everyone in the Geophysics Subprogram (14-15 units):
      • MATH 2153 or MATH 2173: Calculus III (4 units) or Engineering Mathematics B (3 units)
      • PHYSICS 2300: Intermediate Mechanics I (4 units)
      • EARTHSC 4530: Structural Geology (4 units)
      • EARTHSC 4560: Applied Geophysics (3 units)
    • Additional geophysics courses (2-3 courses):
      • EARTHSC 5641: Geostatistics (3 units)
      • EARTHSC 5646: Geodynamics (3 units)
      • EARTHSC 5680: Deep Earth Geophysics (3 units)
      • GEOSCIM 5612: Introduction to Geodesy (3 units)
      • GEOSCIM 5781: Geodesy & Geodynamics (3 units)
      • EARTHSC 5310: Remote Sensing in the Earth Sciences (3 units)
      • EARTHSC 5687: Borehole Geophysics (3 units)
      • EARTHSC 5751: Quantitative Reservoir Modeling (4 units)
      • EARTHSC 5757: Artificial Intelligence in Earth Sciences (3 units)
      • EARTHSC 5780: Reflection Seismology (4 units)
  3. Core required courses (7-10 units):
    • EARTHSC 2000: Preparation for Thesis and Careers in Earth Sciences (1 unit)
    • EARTHSC 2245: Introductory Data Analysis for Earth and Environmental Sciences (4 units)
    • EARTHSC 4999.01: Undergraduate Research for Thesis in Earth Sciences (1 unit, graded)
    • EARTHSC 4999.02 (H): Undergraduate Research for Thesis in Earth Sciences (0-3 units, satisfactory/unsatisfactory)
  4. Complete at least 1 course focused on the Science of Sustainability (if not fulfilled in the preparation for the major) (3-4 units):
    • EARTHSC 2122 (L): Climate and Life over Billions of Years on Earth (4 units)
    • EARTHSC 2155: Energy and Environment (3 units)
    • EARTHSC 2203: Environmental Geoscience (3 units)
    • EARTHSC 2204: Exploring Water Issues (3 units)
    • EARTHSC 2206 (S): Principles of Oceanography (3 units)
    • EARTHSC 2210: Energy, Mineral Resources, and Society (3 units)
    • EARTHSC 3411: Water Security for the 21st Century (3 units)
    • EARTHSC 4425: Energy Resources and Sustainability (3 units)
    • EARTHSC 4911: Earth’s Climate: Past and Future (3 units)
    • EARTHSC 5663: Global Change and Sustainability (4 units)
    • ENR 2100: Introduction to Environmental Science (3 units)
    • ENR 5451: Water Policy and Governance (3 units)


The state of Ohio does not license Geologists; however, if you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure and certification and state licensing board contact information at Office of Distance Education and eLearning- State Authorizations for Students.


View the two-year course schedule here.


Advising Information

Director of Undergraduate Studies (Earth Sciences): Professor Ann Cook, cook.1129@osu.edu.

Undergraduate Academic Advisor (Earth Sciences): Dr. Karen Royce, royce.6@osu.edu, 614-292-6961