Skip Navigation

Doctor of Philosophy

Skip Side Navigation

Doctor of Philosophy Programs

The Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in geology and geophysics are intended primarily for those students who plan research careers in Earth sciences in universities, industry, or government agencies. The goals of the Ph.D. degree program are to prepare the student for a career in research by providing coursework in an area of specialization in geology or geophysics, provide a strong background in allied fields such as mathematics, physical science, biological science, and engineering to give the student the necessary tools to conduct original and significant geological research; and encourage critical thinking and analysis of geological problems through the design of original research projects.

The Ph.D. degree in Geology generally requires a minimum of three years beyond the M.S. degree. The Graduate College at the University of Oklahoma requires 90 post- baccalaureate credit hours of coursework. PhD students will be required to take the General Examination and complete an original research project in the form of a Dissertation while studying at the University of Oklahoma. There are no specified course requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Geology. Rather, a degree program is designed for each student

The Ph.D. in Geophysics has specific core requirements. The following core courses are all required as part of the Ph.D. in Geophysics: GPHY 5102-Advanced Field Geophysics; GPHY 5243-Computational Geosciences; GPHY 5513-Introduction to Seismic Processing; GPHY 5613-Introduction to Seismic Stratigraphy; GPHY 5713- Solid Earth Geophysics and GPHY 6874-Applied Seismic Modeling. The purpose of the coursework is to prepare the student for the general examination, which tests the mastery of the field of specialization and related fields as well as the capacity for synthesis, sound generalization, and critical thinking. The examination consists of a written section in the major field of study, written sections in related fields, and oral defense of an original research proposal. Frequently, the original research proposal is the student's dissertation topic.

The dissertation is the culmination of an original research project in the student's field of specialization and should make a significant contribution to scientific understanding in the field. Normally, the student works closely with the faculty adviser in the design and execution of the research project. The student and the adviser may submit proposals to foundations or industry for financial support to carry out the research, and they report the results of the research at regional, national and international meetings and in papers published by national and international journals.