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What is Geophysics?

Geophysicists explore problems by application of physical, numerical, and computer technology to study Earth and the exploration of natural resources. They apply mathematics, the principles of physics, and modeling to study Earth’s interior, electromagnetic and gravitational fields. Earth is a complex system that has evolved over history and Geophysicists attempt to understand the processes that drive these changes over time. Student studying geophysics typically specialize in an area such as seismology, oceanography or volcanology. Geophysicists work on field-based research projects that require very sophisticated lab analyses or high levels of computation, as well as the use of electron microscopes, mass spectrometers, and supercomputers, among other tools. 


Do my interests fit?

Geophysicist students typically have interests in:

  • Outdoors
  • Physics
  • Problem solving
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Working in the field/lab

High school preparation should include science and math courses, especially geographic sciences and physics.

How can OU Geophysicist help me?

Graduates from OU's School of Geosciences in the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy are among the most highly recruited students in the energy industry, and 98 percent of graduating seniors are placed in full-time positions or choose to continue onto graduate school. With some of the highest starting salaries in the nation, we prepare students for success in their professional careers by instilling knowledge, skills, confidence, pride, principled leadership, and the ability to contribute to the wise stewardship of the earth and its resources. Curriculum is taught by exceptional faculty with the finest equipment and highly focused on providing hands-on learning through labs and field trips.

What courses will I take?

Geophysics courses include:

  • Introduction of Mineral Sciences
  • Sedimentary Petrology and Sedimentology
  • Global Geophysics
  • Seismic Exploration
  • Gravimetric & Magnetic Exploration
  • Introductory Field
  • Geowriting
  • Structural Geology
  • Colorado Field Experience - Capstone

How can I study abroad?

Geophysics students have the opportunity to study abroad through a variety of programs:

  • Geophysicists in Brazil
  • Geologists in Colombia
  • Petroleum Engineers in Bolivia
  • Petroleum Engineers in Romania
  • Petroleum Engineers in Spain

How can I get involved?

What kind of career could I pursue?

  • Geophysicist
  • Geologist
  • Petroleum industry
  • Drilling companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Energy companies
  • Engineering geologist

How much will I make?

Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to explore the median pay for jobs you can pursue with this degree. 

Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy School of Geosciences University of Oklahoma

School of Geosciences
Phone: (405) 325-3255