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 3 math and applied courses; students can choose courses from both solid Earth geophysics and climate science themes. 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, modeling the effects of the warming climate in the oceans and atmosphere, and remote sensing of how climate change affects vegetation.

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 processes affecting planets, Earth, and the environment and how they are modeled.  Some course requirements may be flexible based on consultation with concentration advisor.

GEOL 0220Physical Processes in Geology1
GEOL 0250Computational Approaches to Modelling and Quantitative Analysis in Natural Sciences: An Introduction1
or GEOL 0350 Mathematical Methods of Fluid and Solid Geophysics and Geology
Four theme courses (choose either the Solid Earth Geophysics Theme or the Climate Science Theme)4
Solid Earth Geophysics Theme
Geochemistry: Earth and Planetary Materials and Processes (solid Earth geophysics theme)
Solid Earth Geophysics (solid Earth geophysics theme)
And select two of the following:
Mineralogy (solid Earth geophysics theme)
Petrology
Structural Geology (solid Earth geophysics theme)
Continuum Physics of the Solid Earth (solid Earth geophysics theme)
Climate Science Theme
Earth: Evolution of a Habitable Planet (climate science theme)
Weather and Climate (climate science theme)
And select two from the following:
Ocean Biogeochemical Cycles (climate science theme)
Global Water Cycle (climate science theme)
Principles of Planetary Climate (climate science theme)
Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics (climate science theme))
GEOL 1520
Ocean Circulation and Climate
Choose one of the following: 1
Foundations of Mechanics
Analytical Mechanics
Dynamics and Vibrations
Choose one of the following: 1
Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics
Mechanics of Solids and Structures
Fluid Mechanics 1
Choose one of the following: 1
Electricity and Magnetism
Advanced Classical Mechanics
Computational Physics
Electricity and Magnetism
Fluid Mechanics 1,2
Advanced Engineering Mechanics
GEOL 1820
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
Three courses in Mathematics, including: 3
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
CHEM 0330Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure (or advanced placement)1
One additional course from upper level geological sciences, mathematics, or supporting sciences with approval from the departmental concentration advisor. 31
Total Credits14
1

 One course cannot be used to satisfy two requirements.

2

ENGN 0810 or GEOL 1820 are recommended for those completing the Climate Science theme. 

3

In addition to courses listed elsewhere, in the Geology-Physics/Math concentrations, these courses are of particular relevance: GEOL 0810, GEOL 1320, GEOL 1710, GEOL 1960A.

Standard program for the Sc.B. degree

This program is recommended for students interested in graduate study and careers in geophysics, climate science and related fields.  Students will be prepared to understand and use models, make measurements, and use theories of the processes studied in these fields.  Some course requirements may be flexible based on consultation with concentration advisor.

GEOL 0220Physical Processes in Geology1
GEOL 1430Principles of Planetary Climate1
GEOL 1610Solid Earth Geophysics1
GEOL 0250Computational Approaches to Modelling and Quantitative Analysis in Natural Sciences: An Introduction1
or GEOL 0350 Mathematical Methods of Fluid and Solid Geophysics and Geology
Five theme courses (choose either the Solid Earth Geophysics theme or the Climate Science Theme):5
Solid Earth Geophysics Theme
Geochemistry: Earth and Planetary Materials and Processes
Structural Geology
Continuum Physics of the Solid Earth
And choose two from the following:
Mineralogy
Petrology
Global Tectonics
Earthquake Seismology (Climate Science Theme)
Or a field course
Climate Science Theme
Earth: Evolution of a Habitable Planet
Choose one:
Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics
GEOL 1520
Ocean Circulation and Climate
And choose three from the following: 1
Ocean Biogeochemical Cycles
Global Water Cycle
Global Environmental Remote Sensing
Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics
GEOL 1520
Ocean Circulation and Climate
Or a field or sea course
PHYS 0050Foundations of Mechanics1
or PHYS 0070 Analytical Mechanics
or ENGN 0040 Dynamics and Vibrations
PHYS 0060Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics1
or ENGN 0310 Mechanics of Solids and Structures
or ENGN 0810 Fluid Mechanics
Select two of the following: 1,22
Electricity and Magnetism
Advanced Classical Mechanics
Computational Physics
Electricity and Magnetism
Fluid Mechanics
Advanced Engineering Mechanics
GEOL 1820
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
Three courses in mathematics including3
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. 32
CHEM 0330Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure1
GEOL 1970Individual Study of Geologic Problems1
Total Credits20
1

 One course cannot be used to satisfy two requirements

2

ENGN 0810 or GEOL 1820 are recommended for those completing the Climate Science theme.

3

In addition to courses listed elsewhere, in the Geology-Physics/Math concentrations, these courses are of particular relevance: GEOL 0810, GEOL 1320, GEOL 1710, GEOL 1960A.