Geophysics, Minor College of Letters & Science

Geophysics is the study of the physical properties and processes within and surrounding the Earth and other planets. Many problems in the Earth and Planetary Sciences require geophysical techniques for study. The minor in geophysics is designed for those Geology majors and non-Geology majors, who are interested in pursuing a graduate or professional career in geophysics, and/or those who desire a career in petroleum or civil engineering or environmental industries. The minor in geophysics may be particularly useful to those in related technical fields such as mathematics, physics, material science and engineering, who wish to apply their skills to problems in Earth science.

Students majoring in Geology may elect to complete a minor in Geophysics, Environmental Geology, or Oceanography. They may not complete a minor in Geology.

Students majoring in Marine & Coastal Science may elect to complete a minor in Geology, Geophysics, or Environmental Geology. They may not complete a minor in Oceanography. 

The minor is sponsored by the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences.


Visit the staff major advisor for help navigating minor requirements, policies, prerequisites, and course offerings. Visit the faculty major advisors for additional advice on courses, careers, and graduate school. Faculty Advisor: M. I. Billen.

Work with your major advisor and college advisors to fit a minor into your overall academic plan. 

Declare your minor using the OASIS Minor Declaration form, due the quarter before graduation. 

Choose four:12
Risk: Natural Hazards & Related Phenomena
Geological Data Analysis
Geophysical Field Methods
Geophysics of the Solid Earth
Planetary Geology & Geophysics
Choose additional courses from above and/or from the following list to reach at least 18 total units for the minor.6
Structural Geology
Non-Renewable Natural Resources
Environmental Geology & Land Use Planning
Basin Analysis
Geology of Ore Deposits
Geothermal Systems
Physical & Chemical Oceanography
Geological Oceanography
Hydrogeology & Contaminant Transport
Groundwater Hydrology
Principles of Hydrologic Science
Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
Total Units18