Graduate Requirements: Geophysics Option

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In addition to general Institute requirements, candidates for the Ph.D degree in geophysics must successfully complete the following coursework requirements:

(1) two of the following basic introductory courses: Ge 101, 103, 104, or ESE 101–103;

(2) either Ae/Ge/ME 160 ab, APh 105 ab, MS 115, or a subject equivalent;

(3) three of Ge 161, Ge 162, Ge 163, or Ge 164;

(4) Ge 111 ab;

(5) the choice between five additional 100- or 200-level science or mathematics courses or a minor in any field at Caltech (for example, computational science and engineering);

(6) one term of Ge 109 per year from the second year until the last year prior to obtaining the degree

It is highly recommended that (1)-(4) be fulfilled in the first year and (5) in the second year. A grade of C or better is required for all course work that satisfies these requirements. Knowledge of basic physics, mathematics, and data analysis at the level of Ge 108 and Ge/ESE 118 is required of all Ph.D. candidates in geophysics. This requirement may be met by previous course work or through successful completion of these classes. Students may substitute another course for a required course if they can demonstrate to an option representative that they have already had the material in the required course.

It is highly recommended that these courses be completed in the first two years. Graduate students are expected to apply for candidacy during the first term of their third year. Part of candidacy includes completing 135 units of the above-mentioned coursework with satisfactory grades.

To complete the course requirements, students have the choice between a minor in any STEM field (examples: Computational Science & Engineering, a different option within the Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences Graduate Program Requirements) or five additional 100/200 level science or math  courses. Students may substitute another course for a required course if they can demonstrate to the option representative that they have already had the material in the required course.

Units at Caltech nominally reflect the total hours a typical student will spend per week in the classroom, the lab and with homework. Thus, a nine unit course may involve three hours in the classroom, two hours in a laboratory and four hours doing homework each week.

For more information

For more information, visit the geophysics program website or contact option representative Jennifer Jackson.