Colorado School of Mines
Department of Geophysics & Geophysical
Dept of Geophysics
1500 Illinois Street
Golden, Colorado 80401 USA
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The Department of Geophysics at the Colorado School of Mines offers both traditional, research-oriented graduate programs and nonthesis professional education programs designed to help students meet specific career objectives.|
Master of Science (MS) degrees are awarded in both geophysics and geophysical engineering. Both require a minimum of 24 course credit hours and 12 research credit hours, and students are normally admitted into the MS in geophysics program. However, those who wish to obtain an MS in geophysical engineering must ensure that coursework and thesis research meet the following additional requirements: completion, either prior to arrival at CSM or while at CSM, of no fewer than 16 semester hours of engineering coursework, and selection of a thesis topic appropriate for inclusion as part of an engineering degree, according to the opinion of the geophysics faculty at large.
For the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in geophysics or geophysical engineering, completion of at least 72 hours of coursework and research credit beyond the bachelor’s degree is required. Up to 36 semester hours of graduate credit can be awarded by the PhD thesis committee for completion of a master's degree at CSM or another recognized institution. While individual courses are determined by the student and approved by the advisor and committee, courses applied to all PhD degrees must satisfy certain criteria. At least 24 credits of research in preparation for the thesis, followed by an oral defense, are required for the degree.
As with the MS degree, students in the PhD program must demonstrate a breadth of geophysical knowledge by successfully completing appropriate coursework in geophysical theory and modeling, experimental/data acquisition, data processing and interpretation. Students are also required to gain at least one semester of teaching experience.
Doctoral candidates must complete a minor program of study consisting of at least 12 semester hours, and demonstrate their potential for successful completion of independent research by completing a comprehensive examination no later than the fourth semester in residence.
The Department of Geophysics, jointly with other CSM departments, offers the non-thesis Professional Master's degree in specific multidisciplinary areas. These non-thesis programs require 36 credit hours of coursework. Along with Geology and Petroleum Engineering, the Department of Geophysics offers a Professional Master's degree in petroleum reservoir systems. In partnership with Geology and Geochemistry, a Professional Master's in mineral exploration and mining geosciences is offered. Details concerning non-thesis Professional Master's degrees are available from participating departments.
Admission to CSM is open to graduates of four-year programs at recognized colleges and universities, including international students. Admission is competitive and based on an evaluation of undergraduate academic performance, test scores and references.|
Applicants to the Geophysics Department must have an adequate undergraduate background in mathematics, physics, geology and geophysics.
Applications for admission must include two official transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended, three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, a statement of goals and the application fee. Those applicants whose native language is not English must also submit a TOEFL score of 550 pbt or 213 cbt.
assistantship, co-op/work internship, part-time|
|Student Profile - Masters|
|Student Profile - Doctorate|
|Admissions at a Glance|
Jan 15 fall - financial consideration; Jul 1 fall - final; Nov 1 spring - final
International Student Application Deadlines:
Jan 15 fall - financial consideration; Apr 1 fall - final; Sept 1 spring - final
Minimum English Requirements:
TOEFL 550 (pbt), 213 (cbt), 79 (ibt)
|Annual Expenses (in US$)|
|Expenses and Financial Support|
Graduate fellowships are awarded by merit to assist students with tuition, research and living expenses. Research assistantships allow students an opportunity to do research supported by funds from sponsored projects; the terms of these appointments and the qualifications for them depend on the sponsoring agency and the faculty member. Teaching assistantships are normally reserved for full-time degree students who have demonstrated academic excellence.|
Awarding of financial support is done during the admissions review process. Since competition for funds is high, new students are encouraged to apply early.
|Buildings and Facilities|
Geophysics and geophysical engineering facilities at CSM offer one of the most complete ranges of analytical equipment in the world, including the capability to measure EM, acoustic, elastic fluid flow and NMR properties on fluids, rocks and soils. These analyses can be conducted under environmental conditions that approximate the temperature, pressure and chemistry found in petroleum reservoirs, permafrost or erupting volcanoes.|
The Rock Physics Laboratory is used to conduct research on the physical properties of rocks with varying porosity, permeability and fluid content. These properties are measured at various temperatures and pressures to simulate reservoir conditions. Other research resources at CSM include the Center for Petrophysics, the Center for Wave Phenomena, the Gravity and Magnetics Research Consortium, the Reservoir Characterization Project, the Near-Surface Seismology Group and the Physical Acoustics Laboratory.
The International Student Office (ISO) provides guidance and advice to international students, as well as services including a graduate student orientation, an international friendship program, English classes for students' spouses and a speakers' bureau. The ISO also processes required Immigration and Naturalization Service documentation for new students.|
An Interlink Language Center is available on the CSM campus for students needing training in the English language.
• Borehole geophysics|
• Chaotic scattering & resonance
• Characterization of contaminated soils
• Computational physics & geophysics
• Direct & inverse problems in seismic exploration
• Earthquake seismology
• Electrical & electromagnetic methods
• Electrical methods & groundwater geophysics
• Environmental & geotechnical geophysics
• Flaw characterization
• Geological hazard mitigation
• Geotechnical waste management
• Gravity & magnetics
• Groundwater geophysics
• Imaging of the earth's subsurface
• Integrated exploration & development
• Invasion correction of wireline logs
• Inverse theory & statistical inference
• Medical imaging
• Modeling, processing & inversion of gravity & magnetic data
• Multicomponent seismology
• Reflection seismology
• Reservoir characterization
• Rock physics & properties
• Scientific visualization
• Sea mine detection
• Seismic anisotropy
• Seismic interpretation
• Seismic lithology
• Statistical techniques
• Stochastic modeling
• Tectonic & petrologic evolution
• Theory, data processing & interpretation
• Time-lapse (4-D) seismic
• Unexploded ordinance (UXO) detection
• Wave phenomena