Geology-Physics/Mathematics

Geophysics involves the application of physics and mathematics to the study of processes that operate on and within the Earth and other planets, over short and long timescales. The AB degree requires a total of 14 courses, including 6 geoscience courses, 3 physics or engineering courses, and 3 math and applied math courses. The ScB degree requires a total of 20 courses, including 8 geoscience courses, 4 physics or engineering courses, and 4 math and applied courses; students can choose courses from both solid Earth geophysics and environmental geophysics. Geoscience courses emphasize an analytical and process-oriented approach, with hands-on experiences in labs and on field trips. Active and collaborative learning is encouraged, as is practice in written and oral communication. There are many opportunities for students to engage in research (typically in paid positions) during the academic year or in the summer, in areas such as analysis of seismic waves in subduction zones, theoretical modeling of convection in the Earth’s mantle, interpreting the cause of gravity anomalies in southern California, and remote sensing of warming in Narragansett Bay.

Standard program for the A.B. degree

 Recommended for students seeking a liberal education and interested in applying physical and mathematical principles toward an understanding of the planets, Earth and the environment.

Basic supporting science courses
Select one of the following Series:2
Foundations of Mechanics
   and Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics
Analytical Mechanics
   and Introduction to Relativity and Quantum Physics
Introduction to Engineering
   and Dynamics and Vibrations
CHEM 0330Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure (or advanced placement)1
Concentration courses
GEOL 0220Physical Processes in Geology1
GEOL 0230Geochemistry: Earth and Planetary Materials and Processes1
GEOL 0250Computational Approaches to Modelling and Quantitative Analysis in Natural Sciences: An Introduction1
GEOL 1610Solid Earth Geophysics1
Select two of the following:2
Mineralogy
Structural Geology
Continuum Physics of the Solid Earth (related to solid Earth dynamics)
Global Environmental Remote Sensing
Weather and Climate
Quantitative Elements of Physical Hydrology
Three courses in mathematics, including:3
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
PHYS 0470Electricity and Magnetism1
or ENGN 0510 Electricity and Magnetism
One upper-level geological sciences, mathematics or physics course with approval from the departmental concentration advisor.1
Total Credits14

Standard program for the Sc.B. degree

This program is recommended for students interested in graduate study and careers in geophysics and related fields.

Basic supporting science courses
Select one of the following Series:2
Foundations of Mechanics
   and Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics
Analytical Mechanics
   and Introduction to Relativity and Quantum Physics
Introduction to Engineering
   and Dynamics and Vibrations
CHEM 0330Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure (or advanced placement)1
Concentration courses
GEOL 0220Physical Processes in Geology1
GEOL 0230Geochemistry: Earth and Planetary Materials and Processes1
GEOL 0250Computational Approaches to Modelling and Quantitative Analysis in Natural Sciences: An Introduction1
GEOL 1450Structural Geology1
GEOL 1610Solid Earth Geophysics1
GEOL 1620Continuum Physics of the Solid Earth1
Select two of the following:2
Mineralogy
Petrology
Global Tectonics
Earthquake Seismology
Physics of Planetary Evolution
Earth: Evolution of a Habitable Planet
Global Environmental Remote Sensing
Weather and Climate
Quantitative Elements of Physical Hydrology
A field course
Select one of the following Series:2
Electricity and Magnetism
   and Advanced Classical Mechanics
Electricity and Magnetism
   and Advanced Engineering Mechanics
Four courses in mathematics, including:4
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
Two additional courses from upper level geological sciences, mathematics, or supporting sciences with approval from the departmental concentration advisor.2
GEOL 1970Individual Study of Geologic Problems1
Total Credits20